Employers urged to tackle staff morale or risk loss of productivity

Employers risk a loss of productivity and falling retention levels if they don’t do more to manage morale in the workplace.

The warning by workplace psychologists OPP follows research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development Employee Outlook survey, which found that job satisfaction levels across the UK workforce had fallen by almost a quarter (24%) since spring 2009.

According to the report, job satisfaction was +35 this quarter, compared with +46 in spring 2009.

OPP consultant Catherine Ellwood cautioned that unless businesses do more to manage morale, worker productivity can drop and if the economic climate improves, employees with low morale will be the most likely to leave at the first opportunity.

She said: “If morale is low in a business, employees are more likely to arrive in the morning simply to do the day job. Often the real value of a workforce can be the things they are prepared to do above and beyond the day job, and businesses should do more to ensure that they do not lose this.

“Employees with low morale are also more likely to jump ship when the opportunity presents itself. A low retention rate means a loss of institutional knowledge, as well as the cost involved in training new staff members.”

Recommendations include:

  • Focusing on the individual and making sure that employees can still see a career path in their day-to-day job.
  • Engaging people with decision making – particularly during difficult times, a workforce can feel as though all the decisions are being made somewhere else and “handed down” to them.
  • Working on team building – this is particularly important in a business that has experienced redundancies in the recent past. It is important for managers to look at the remaining team and explore how they will work best together.

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