How to Boost Employee Morale Amidst a Looming Recession 

The current economic climate has left many companies struggling to keep their heads above water. In such tough times, ensuring that your employees are happy and motivated is more important than ever.  Although most companies know the value of employee morale, they are unaware of the best practices. In this post, we’ll cover some effective strategies you can deploy within your organisation to improve your employee engagement and morale.

The importance of employee morale for companies

The management team is responsible for encouraging employees and reassuring them that the company will be there for them even during economic instability. Without reinforced encouragement from management, employee morale will be subject to the environment around them.

According to a Gallup survey, organisations that improve employee morale earn more money per share (EPS). For example, earnings per share for publicly traded corporations increased by 115 percent when employee morale increased.

Employees with high morale create better results, are more productive, and stay with the company longer. They are also considered more knowledgeable about processes, standards, and systems and are more attentive to customer expectations. Additionally, firms implementing employee engagement initiatives have found a 223 percent increase in customer retention and a 26 percent increase in yearly profit. This impact is achieved through raising staff morale, which drives employees to work better. As a result, they provide better service to clients and this has numerous positive effects for the company, such as repeat business and improved customer satisfaction scores.

Effective ways to boost employee morale

There are several strategies you can use to lift employee morale. Many of these tactics are tried and tested, while others are newer methods that are being used by successful companies. Some ways you can improve employee morale include:

1. Keeping communication lines open.

Frequent communication is one of the most effective strategies to boost employee morale. A basic beginning point for developing an open communication culture with your workers may be to provide channels through which anyone can feel comfortable expressing honest inquiries to leadership.

Provide your staff with the most effective tools to help them remove irritating hurdles and enhance productivity. In addition, management should also meet with each employee personally to ask questions, provide comments, and solicit suggestions. Let them know and feel that you are available to hear whatever they want to say. Tiny gestures like this can make employees feel appreciated and heard.

2. Understand what actually impacts your employees’ morale.

You can’t improve employee morale without first understanding what influences it. Make sure you sit down with your team and ask them what impacts their morale. When you speak with your employees, you also allow yourself to learn about the unique factors that influence their attitudes toward work and productivity. Each of your employees is unique, and so are their needs.

Measure Employee Morale

One strategy to learn what influences your workers’ attitudes toward work and productivity is to constantly monitor and measure employee morale and use employee input to make good adjustments. There are a handful of employee engagement tools you can use to help measure employee morale.  Send out an anonymous business-wide survey to find out how employees feel about their jobs, corporate culture, benefits, and incentives, among other things. 

Treat Employees as People

Recognise that your employees are people, and make an effort to build more inclusive rules and recognize unique yet critical employee requirements. For example, during an impending recession, you may give your staff the option to work remotely. This allows them to have a better work-life balance and spend more time with their family.

Observe Employees

Observation is another method for determining what your staff needs. Monitor how your employees perform at work in real-time and then determine what needs to be changed. Take time to study them during their breaks as well, so you can identify places where you may give them a more relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere.

Pay employees a fair wage

Lack of fair compensation is one of the top employee morale killers. If you don’t pay your employees fairly, they will get disgruntled and their work quality will suffer. In order to keep employee morale high, you need to make sure that you are paying your employees fairly.

A study conducted by the Harvard Law School found that when employees believe they are being paid fairly, they are more productive, have a higher commitment to the organisation, and experience less job-related stress.

Make sure that your compensation is at least in line with the industry average. If it is not, you will have a hard time attracting and retaining top talent. Negative word of mouth internally and externally about your company’s compensation can come with irreparable damage. This can prevent future employees from applying or working with your company.

3. Show appreciation.

Employees who are valued are happier and do better work. Leaders who acknowledge their employees’ abilities and accomplishments are considerably favored over lackluster leaders within companies. Thanking your staff is the simplest way to let them know their efforts are appreciated. Don’t be afraid to compliment them and tell them they are doing a good job, no matter how minor the assignment is. 

Take the time to compose letters letting them know you notice and appreciate their efforts. Regular appreciation might help relieve some of the stress employees may feel. According to Glassdoor’s Employee Gratitude Survey, more than half (53 percent) of employees say they would remain at their firm longer if their supervisor showed them more appreciation. When their supervisor recognises them, 83 percent of respondents say they are more inspired to work.

If you want to take it a step further, include employee recognition in your company’s overall operations and provide them with a robust recognition and incentives program. For example, you may develop a platform that makes it simple to publicise recognition. Make it more interesting by allowing employees to remark, respond, or enhance certain acknowledgments. You may also give them incentives, such as a monetary prize or distinct recognitions.

4. Offer employee development opportunities.

One of the most common reasons employees quit is a lack of advancement chances. Setting your workers up for success in their roles begins with providing them with the tools and resources required to execute their jobs properly. Providing competent and effective training to your staff will undoubtedly enhance morale.

Offering one-on-one professional coaching, sending them to conferences and seminars, and providing additional incentives for attending classes to upskill can all help your staff become better professionals and ultimately drive more business to your company.

The most successful companies have the most talented staff. If  you want to keep employee morale high, you need to offer employee development opportunities. By doing so, you will show your employees that you are invested in their success and that you want them to excel in their roles.

5. Encourage a positive outlook.

Managers greatly influence employee morale, and management’s morale directly influences team engagement. Managers and executives throughout the company set the tone for everyone else. If the manager is positive, the team will follow suit.

It is your responsibility as a company executive to create a favorable example for your employees. When people perceive that you are also making an effort to promote morale, they are more inclined to collaborate with you.

In difficult circumstances, it is critical to make extra efforts to ensure staff have a positive mentality. By doing so, you will encourage your staff to stay away from negative thoughts that may impair their productivity.

Making your workplace enjoyable is one approach to ensure that your staff remains optimistic. You can do this by having more enjoyable activities like team building, team meals, and occasional games.  Whatever tactics you choose, try to do it with genuine interest and concern for your team.


These are some of the ways you can boost employee morale amidst a looming recession. It’s best to focus on aspects of your business you can control. Aspects of your business like your attitude, showing appreciation for your staff, investing in your staff, etc. are all things that you can do to improve employee morale. Taking some time to focus on these things will undoubtedly pay dividends in the long run in the form of improved employee morale and increased profits for the business.

Author: Ali Ali – Content Marketer at Alisquared.co

Photo credit: Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

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