Boost Team Morale: Tips for Improving Employee Engagement

By Drew Moffitt

Morale is the most important element in an organization, playing a key role in holding it together. When your employees have high morale, your teams are capable of accomplishing anything presented to them.

High workplace morale means an atmosphere where employees feel genuinely valued and have all the right growth opportunities, both employees and managers work in harmony, and everyone works toward the achievement of a unified purpose.

Great employee morale is important for companies, as it helps improve many organizational aspects, including:

  • Employee retention
  • Employee motivation
  • Work performance
  • Employee productivity
  • Effective communication
  • Employee engagement
  • Collaboration

Management has a big impact on employee morale. One of the most important factors affecting workplace morale is relationships. And the relationship that employees have with their managers is among the most important professional connection they can have. The support and recognition employees receive from their management has the strongest influence on improving morale. There are many underlying factors at play here relevant to this relationship.


Cause Of Low Team Morale

Some of the leading causes of low team morale are discussed below. Identifying and addressing these causes can help your organization boost employee morale and drive positive KPIs.

Lack Of Recognition And Appreciation

Employees want their work to get the attention and appreciation it deserves. They like to be rewarded. When the work and effort they put in goes unnoticed, it negatively affects the individual employee's morale, which overall affects the company culture. There are managers who have developed a pattern of solely pointing out mistakes and not recognizing or appreciating the contributions of some or all of their team members. Instead, managers should make an effort to celebrate employees’ milestones, even including small ones.

Poor Communication

A lack of clarity in expectations and lousy communication can be a big factor causing a drop in employee and team morale. Poor communication usually translates into one of the following scenarios:

  • Employees don't know what is expected of them
  • They are no longer aware of what is going on in their department or organization

This affects their motivation to get the job done to the best of their abilities. With poor communication, even a super-motivated employee is likely to misunderstand the task at hand.

Unclear Expectations

As mentioned above, a lack of clarity with expectations can cause employees to become unaligned with their organization’s mission, values, and purpose. The sense of low morale in such scenarios can often lead employees to leave the company. So, be sure to communicate expectations clearly and frequently.

Lack Of Support And Resources

It is the organization that should equip its employees with the right tools and resources for completing their jobs. Proper resources and support from the employer help encourage high morale and productivity. Lack of proper support and resources, on the other hand, causes low morale and affects their overall performance. Employees must feel like they are set up for success in order to achieve success.

Unfair Treatment

When treated unfairly, employees lose their trust in their leaders. A lack of trust affects employee morale, leading to issues with teamwork and employee productivity. So, employers should always treat everyone fairly. Check in with your employees to gauge how they feel and see where improvements can be made.


How To Improve Employee Morale?

The leaders of the company have an important responsibility and role in improving and building employee morale. Some of the most important steps your organization can take to enhance employee morale are as follows:

Show Appreciation And Recognition

Create employee recognition and appreciation programs. These programs should reward employees that meet certain performance metrics. You can create such programs to appreciate performers on a daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis. Even giving someone a simple shoutout for their recent work is sometimes all they’ll need to keep going.

Improve Communication And Transparency

You can improve staff communication by taking some of the following steps:

  • Set up clear and realistic goals for each employee
  • Create scheduled one-on-one meetings that keep track of progress and eliminate any confusion
  • Communication should be encouraged at every opportunity
  • Regularly share company announcements including new product development or a great customer review that recognizes an employee

You can also improve transparency to boost workplace morale by following these tips:

  • Have conversations when problems arise to find a resolution
  • Be honest; employees respect it
  • Make sure employees are in the same boat, and all are working towards a common goal
  • Keep them up-to-date with the latest company developments

Set Clear Expectations And Goals

Employees feel more motivated when they have a better understanding of how their work contributes to the success of their company. It is recommended to set clear expectations, goals, and objectives to build employee morale. Hold periodic meetings to set goals and discuss and appreciate the team’s performance.

Provide Support And Resources

Organizations should equip their employees with all the resources they need to complete their jobs. They should be provided with the fastest, latest, and most efficient tools. 
It is further recommended to offer stress management and coping tools. This includes:

  • Company training
  • Offsites
  • Coaching
  • Preventative care services

You can also develop programs that provide employee support in the following areas of employee wellness:

  • Emotional
  • Financial
  • Social
  • Physical
  • Mental

Address Unfair Treatment And Conflicts

When conflicts occur between employees, they affect the entire department and the organization. If you allow a conflict or unfair treatment to continue for a long time, it will affect not just employee morale but also the company culture and the bottom line. Any form of conflict and unfair treatment should be addressed immediately by practicing the following:

  • Avoid taking sides
  • Avoid the assumption that the dispute should immediately come to an end
  • Expect healthy disagreements
  • Make sure there is no tolerance for disrespect or rudeness
  • Remind both sides that they are on the same team
  • Encourage employees to get along & build a better work relationship

Observe how the employees talk to each other because the problem most often lies there. Guide them in navigating their conversation civilly. Encourage them to start the conversation that states their intentions. It is also important to remind both sides that it is not always possible to fully agree with each other, but if there’s mutual respect, conflicts can be resolved.


Create A Positive Work Environment

A positive work environment is one of the biggest employee morale boosters. A warm company  culture starts with the leaders. Employees look up to their leaders for ways to act and handle situations within their company. Positive thinking starts from the top and trickles down. The following tips should help you build a positive work environment in your organization or department:

Encourage Collaboration And Teamwork

Find ways to encourage team collaboration and teamwork. This can include team outings to allow team members to spend time outside the office environment. You can also encourage team members to engage in team-building games. Some of the benefits of such measures include:

  • Creating a more motivated and collaborative work culture
  • Fosters open & meaningful communication
  • Promotes team-based problem-solving
  • Improves productivity
  • Boosts employee morale
  • Promotes creativity

Team-building games and in-person or virtual company offsites can be especially beneficial when you have remote workers.

Offer Opportunities For Professional Development

When you give your team a goal, they will have a greater sense of purpose. Offer them opportunities for professional development, and this can help boost team morale. Professional development can take many forms, including:

  • Job promotion
  • Offering a course to improve skills
  • Sending employees to a conference

Remember, employees need a sense of growth to feel motivated.
Signing up your employees for a course or a conference can enable them to grow professionally and personally. 

Foster A Culture Of Inclusion And Diversity

Promote workplace diversity and inclusion. This can help boost employee morale by making them feel that being different can be an asset to the organization. Teams and organizations that give priority to diversity inculcate versatility and abundance in terms of:

  • Ideas
  • Learning opportunities
  • Perspectives

Diverse employees bring forth a combination of diverse experiences, talents, and skill sets, leading to more creative solutions. Diversity in the workplace brings together different minds, allowing the team to get more work done, further leading to improved workplace morale.

Promote Work-Life Balance

Promoting work-life balance is also seen as an effective way to improve employee morale. Studies show that knowledge workers see remote working to be better than working solely from an office. While promoting the increasingly popular remote and hybrid work models, the need to provide greater employee independence has also been noticed. For example, many companies follow the policy of ‘no email’ between 7 pm and 5 am. The goal is to allow employees to maintain a better work-life balance.


When you create an atmosphere of high employee morale, you are creating the perfect setup for the team and organizational success. No team or company can think of achieving its goals without maintaining workplace morale. It makes your employees feel that they are valued as people and that their work is valued. Strong morale creates an environment where everyone is working toward achieving a shared goal. It further translates into increased employee motivation and improved work performance, retention, and productivity, among other positives. Some of the key strategies that act as employee morale boosters include showing appreciation and recognition, providing support and tools, improving communication, maintaining transparency, and addressing conflicts and unfair treatment. It is also important to create a positive work environment to help boost employee morale.

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Headshot for Drew Moffitt
Drew Moffitt

Drew leads marketing at Kumospace. Prior to joining Kumospace, he spent his career founding and operating businesses. His work has been featured in over 50 publications. Outside of work, Drew is an avid skier and sailor. A wholehearted extrovert, he organizes VentureSails, a series of networking events for founders and tech investors.

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