Employee morale is a precious thing to an employer. Businesses realise that low morale leads to decreased productivity, increased absenteeism and reduced motivation in the workplace, so it is essential to measure employee morale as a means to identify concerns before low morale plagues the workforce. As such, employers come up with a variety of ways to recognise the signs and symptoms of low morale in order to make organizational improvements.
According to the National Business Research Institute (NBRI), satisfaction surveys are an effective way to measure how happy employees are at work. These surveys, which are presented in a questionnaire format, can gauge whether employee morale is high or low based on how employees answer the questions. The NBRI explains that employers use information provided by satisfaction surveys to evaluate what employee motivation is like, whether they are satisfied with their jobs, what the organisation weaknesses are and whether employees feel loyal and committed to their company.
A January 1997 article posted on Inc.com, explains that employee satisfaction surveys give staff the chance to communicate openly and honestly about their perception of the health of the organisation. When employees can hide behind an anonymous question sheet, such as a satisfaction survey, they are more inclined to be candid.
An article in the Roberts Wesleyan College publication, Leading Edge, explains that absenteeism and turnover are related to low morale because low morale makes employees feel less interested in their jobs and less motivated to come to work. Since low employee morale is associated with high levels of absenteeism and turnover, employers can collect data to evaluate if there seems to be a morale problem in the workplace. If absenteeism and turnover rates have increased, this may be a signal to managers that their staff is unhappy. Human resource departments typically keep this information in personnel records. They may also use the data to generate a report.
Measuring employee morale is something that can be done by visual observation. Low morale is a psychological condition, but it is possible for it to take tangible forms. For instance, people with high morale may appear more cheery, may smile more often and may show more positive energy. On the other hand, employees with low morale may move at a slower pace, not demonstrate a positive enthusiasm for their jobs and may appear psychologically "flat." If employers wish to see things for themselves, it is a good idea for them to open their eyes and watch what goes on in the workplace.
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