When it comes to the workplace, 81 percent of employees say their professional environment is at least somewhat good, according to a recent study done by Accountemps, a Robert Half company.
According to Rick D. Westbrook, Salt Lake branch manager of Robert Half Company, the study is good news for employers and employees. Employers need to show concern with moral because firms that don't take care of their employees risk losing them to other companies, Westbrook said.
"It's (morale) really at this point a key thing for retention, productivity and overall success for the organization," Westbrook said.
Good morale also improves productivity and retention. Westbrook gave advice on how this environment can be created.
"It all starts with the individual," Westbrook said. "If the individual is happy and enjoys what they do, then it goes around and everyone participates and enjoys. In this survey 81 percent of employees are at least 'somewhat good' or 'good' in their morale. That's pretty high. I don't think we would have been that high a year or two ago."
The study said key things affect morale, including allowing an environment that helps people produce work they are proud of, providing a place where they can partner with colleagues in respect and be in an environment where their contributions are valued.
Communicating daily with employees, using surveys and exit interviews are the most effective measures of morale, according to the study.
Employers should act on the issues they identify and communicate on how to do improve, Westbrook said.
He suggests low-cost morale boosters such as reaching out individually to express thanks and even sending occasional notes. Updates about the company, whether positive or negative, help employees feel in tune with how the company is performing.
He also said highlighting employees who are making a difference in the organization on a bulletin and providing opportunities to build friendships with colleagues can boost morale.
As a manager, Westbrook personally suggests taking breaks. A few minutes of downtime each hour helps him be more productive. Exercising is what helps him deal with stress.