Why you should put a price on morale
Got the Monday Blues at work and have already forgotten the joys of the weekend? We’ve all been there. However, the real question is how long do the weekend blues last?
Many businesses have begun to realize the importance of happy, fulfilled, and invested employees. They’ve shed the old business idea of “if we pay them, they will be happy” philosophy and have adopted a more intrinsic motivation ideology. From unlimited vacation days to ping pong in the break room, businesses have started putting a price tag on moral.
The Cost (-)
Yes, you can put a price tag on morale. Depending on the route a business takes to achieve it, there will be tangible costs. From professional development to paternity leave, creating a happy, healthy work environment can have some steep initial costs. However, I fully believe that there are even greater savings found in a business with high morale.
The Benefits (+)
Take a second and think about what motivates you. Is $$$ the only thing? Would an encouraging boss? How about opportunities to work at your own time? I wouldn’t be surprised if there were motivations you have that if found at another job, you would potentially take a pay cut to experience. For me, it is flexible hours.
The powerful thing about morale is that it creates intrinsic motivation. This inward-out form of motivation is far more powerful and effective than any extrinsic motivation. If you can get an employee to love where and what he does, you will save on wages, turnover costs, and loss of work due to time wasting. You will also find greater creativity and harder and more impressive work performed. The investment in the company goal and role will surpass any cost involved in creating the environment and moral desired by most employees of your establishment.
According to studies being conducted on morale in the workplace, employees with lower happiness levels actually cost a company close to 33% more than others. This stark difference should be enough to get the attention of any employer.
The Verdict (=)
The truth is that morale will be a cost no matter the action taken. Either no steps will be made and the cost of unmotivated employees will put a drag on a business or investments will be made to create an environment that promotes personal investment and intrinsic motivation.
Each business is different and would have to decide what morale boosters it can implement, but here are a list of a few ideas:
- Team parties
- Game rooms
- Flexible hours
- Paternity leave
- Feedback opportunities
- Professional development
- Time off to pursue personal passions
- Change of the status quo
In a Nutshell
It’s time to count the cost of morale in the workplace. Take steps to identify motivations and explore your options. This could be as simple as employee of the month or as extravagant as sponsored vacations. But, remember that any investment in an employee is an investment in your customer, goal, and business as a whole.
Novotney, A., (2010) Boosting morale. American Psychological Association (41) 11. 32 retrieved from http://www.apa.org/monitor/2010/12/morale.aspx