How to Improve Team Morale

Author Image Written by Garth Belic

Learn how to improve team morale and inspire better employee engagement. 

Driving a motivated team can be challenging in today's fast-paced business environment. Maintaining a high level of team morale fosters a positive work culture and can significantly improve productivity and overall business performance. 

So how do you do it? Let’s take a look.


Sometimes it’s as simple as observing the energy in the room during team meetings, or noticing the interactions among your team members. 

Are they cheerful and engaged or quiet and withdrawn? It’s often said that company culture is 'the way we do things around here', and team morale is a part of that.  

More than ever, it’s critical to watch for declining morale during these difficult times. Early detection can enable you to take action and implement strategies to boost motivation and overall job satisfaction among your team members. 

Learning to gauge your team's morale also allows you to discern between temporary downturns—say, due to the inevitable stress of a big project—and a substantial decrease in morale that might indicate broader team engagement issues. 

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By conducting a survey, you can gather insights directly from your workforce, which allows you to assess the general ‘vibe’ in your team and then successfully boost employee morale after that.

Begin with developing clear and concise questions. This strategy helps in extracting precise responses from your team members. For instance, questions about job satisfaction, workload, team dynamics, and management could be included. Remember, these surveys should be anonymous to ensure candid feedback is received. 

  • Job satisfaction: Ask for their level of employee satisfaction with their current role. This includes the nature of their work, workload, and opportunities for progression.
  • Workload: Evaluate the volume and intensity of their workload. It's important to check if they feel overwhelmed with too much work or under-stimulated with too little.
  • Team dynamics: Investigate their relationship with co-workers. This helps to identify any toxicity that might be damaging morale.
  • Management: Get opinions on leadership and management style. This might reveal the need for more direction, better communication, or more feedback.

After collecting the responses, thoroughly analyse the data and look for recurring themes. This understanding will lead to planned steps to improve team morale. Remember, an employee survey aims to gather sincere feedback and use the results to foster a more supportive and positive work environment.

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Although these signs may vary, some common indications suggest your team could be experiencing low morale. Being watchful of these cues can help you address the issues quickly and prevent more severe implications. 

Lower Productivity 

A decrease in productivity is usually a direct consequence of low employee morale. When staff are not motivated and engaged, their work output is notably reduced. This could be due to a lack of inspiration or passion towards their roles, or the feeling of being unappreciated for their efforts. 

Boosting employee morale effectively starts with understanding when and why they are going through a rough patch of productivity.

Increased Absenteeism 

If your team members constantly call in sick or take days off, this might be a sign of low job satisfaction. There might be a sense of employee burnout, under stress or simply unhappy in their roles, leading them to avoid the work environment. 

Remember, it's always important to prioritise employee mental health above everything else.

Poor Communication 

Communication is the lifeblood of a functioning team. A breakdown in communication or a reasonably noticeable drop in the general chatter could indicate low morale. People might hold back opinions, concerns, or suggestions due to an unhealthy work climate. 

High Staff Turnover 

Your employees are your most valuable assets; if they’re leaving frequently, it’s often a telltale sign of low morale. Constantly losing valuable employees indicates that your team's spirit might need a boost. 

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It’s about making your workplace a location where your team members genuinely want to be.

So how do you tick the box on this task? Here are a few proven strategies to consider:

  • Ensure clear communication: Low employee morale breeds poor communication, but the opposite is also true. It's crucial to have open lines of communication across all levels of your organisation. This means encouraging feedback, promoting transparency, and allowing every voice to be heard. Remember, communication is a two-way street.
  • Deliver employee recognition where it’s due: Regularly acknowledging and rewarding an employee's hard work is a powerful way to boost morale. This recognition can take many forms - not only monetary. A simple message of thanks can often be as effective as a bonus.
  • Equip your team for success: There’s nothing more demoralising than being asked to complete a task without the right tools or resources. Ensure your team feels empowered to do their job, and set them up for success, by providing exactly what they need.
  • Promote work-life balance: Understand the significance of personal life and promote balance. Encourage your team to take appropriate breaks and time away from their duties when needed. Remember, a happy and well-rested team is a more productive one.

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They carry crucial benefits that significantly uplift the camaraderie spirit and foster a healthy, productive work environment. 

Let's take a closer look at why team-building activities should be a consistent part of your business strategy to augment teamwork and overall morale. 

Strengthening Bonds 

Regular team-building exercises help enhance interpersonal relationships among team members. These activities force people to step outside their daily work roles and interact on different levels, thus forging stronger connections that ripple into the workspace. 

Boosting Communication 

Many team-building tasks require effective communication for successful completion. They present the perfect opportunity for team members to learn how to express their thoughts and ideas clearly, encouraging seamless communication within the team. 

Encouraging Collaboration 

Collaboration is the backbone of any successful team. Team-building activities often require individuals to work together to achieve a common goal. This practice translates into the work scenario, promoting a culture of collaboration and mutual assistance. 

Identifying Leadership Qualities 

These activities often reveal hidden leadership qualities among team members. Having identified these, you can nurture and utilise these skills within your team for better productivity and efficiency. 

Enhancing Problem-Solving Skills 

Team-building exercises typically present various challenges that demand creative problem-solving. Regularly engaging in such activities, team members hone their problem-solving skills, ultimately improving their performance at work. 

In conclusion, when carried out regularly, team-building activities can be one of your strongest tools in building a highly motivated and united workforce. It's one of the keys to unlocking higher team morale and productivity levels.

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Business owners or HR managers can only effectively boost team morale with it. Here are some foolproof guidelines for giving constructive criticism in a way that uplifts rather than undermines. 

Start with Positive Remarks 

Starting on a positive note goes a long way towards alleviating any tension. It shows your team members that you value their efforts and have noticed their positive attributes. This approach is known as the ‘sandwich’ method: sandwiching the criticism between two positive remarks. 

Maintain a Balanced Perspective 

While addressing shortcomings, remember to highlight the achievements too. Ensure that you point out the areas where your team members are excelling and where they need to improve. This prevents them from feeling overwhelmingly negative. 

Offer Clear, Specific Critique 

General feedback can often come across as confusing or non-actionable. Ensure your feedback is clear enough for the individual to know exactly what they need to work on, and why it's significant to the team and their professional growth. 

Practice Empathy 

Arrive at the conversation with an empathetic mindset. Remember that we all have areas we need to improve on, and hearing about our shortcomings is not easy. Criticism should be aimed to mentor and guide, not to chastise or embarrass. 

Encourage a Dialogue 

Encourage your team members to share their thoughts rather than making your feedback a one-way conversation. This creates a supportive atmosphere where everyone is open to growth and learning. 

Provide Guidance 

When sharing constructive employee feedback, don't just point out what's wrong. Provide examples or suggestions for how they can improve. This gives team members a clear path to follow, making your feedback constructive and actionable. 

If you have a solid HR management plan in place, you can track this guidance and reflect on any progress easily as you try to boost company morale.

Remember, the ultimate goal of constructive feedback is to improve team performance and, consequently, morale. By following these steps, you can ensure your feedback helps, rather than hinders your team's progress. 

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  • Employee morale is a crucial factor in a company's success and can be identified through various signs such as low productivity, increased absenteeism, poor communication, and high staff turnover.
  • Employee surveys are an effective method to gauge employee morale and solicit feedback.
  • Creating a positive work environment that encourages regular team-building activities can help improve morale, strengthen bonds, boost communication, encourage collaboration, reveal leadership qualities, and enhance problem-solving skills.
  • Regular, constructive feedback should be given by starting with positive remarks, maintaining a balanced perspective, offering a clear and specific critique, practising empathy, encouraging dialogue, and providing guidance.
  • The main goal of constructive feedback is to improve team performance and morale; hence, a balanced approach should be followed.