Friday July 4 2014

Boosting employee morale

By Isaiah Kitimbo

After working for eight years as an engineer at a city firm, Andrew decided to quit his job. He had virtually lost interest in working for the company, which he blamed for having ‘frustrated’ his career plan.
Andrew was angry that the company he once cherished had failed to live up to his expectations. Among the notable promises include increasing his monthly pay, and improving the working conditions.
His departure was a terrible blow to the engineering department. He was such a dedicated and enterprising employee, traits that enabled his department to scoop the prestigious annual company award.
At the workplace, every individual employee’s input is important irrespective of the role levels. This is reflected in the way they execute various assignments. A happy team works faster to achieve results while a dejected one will only post poor results. For instance, an empowered manager will take decisions quickly to facilitate operations. For companies with interconnected systems of production, a breakdown at one stage will impact the final product. In the same way, a manager can shine when he or she has a happy team.
Therefore, boosting employees’ morale is crucial for effective productivity. Unlike Andrew, few frustrated employees often quit or are lucky to quickly find new and better jobs. As such, they will stay and vent their frustration. Such employees also exhibit negative energy.
Pay is one of the factors that affect an employee’s morale at a workplace. Others include working conditions, job insecurity, poor communication, unrealistic work targets, and limited career growth opportunities.
As a manager, it is important to devise means of identifying the underlying factors for low employee morale and finding lasting solutions. Listening to employees is one sure way of kick-starting the healing process. Employees can be allowed to express grievances during staff meetings or openly engage with their line mangers for immediate feedback.
The writer is a human resources expert and a journalist.