cover photo morale

How to Improve Employee Morale and Motivation

Danielle Collard
28 Feb 2022

Figuring out how to improve low morale in the workplace is a universal goal. Managers and business owners everywhere try all sorts of strategies to make their employees happier, more productive, and more invested in their work. 

The rewards are not just seen in profits. Satisfied employees stay longer, become more attached to the business, and their happiness rubs off on everybody around them: customers, other employees and managers themselves.

Identifying the obstacles

The first step to solving a problem is knowing that the problem exists. Following good business ethics can be a good starting point, encouraging openness, communication and a people-first practice. Reducing the number of business decisions that make staff feel disempowered and unmotivated will lead to lower levels of absenteeism, turnover, and mistakes in the workplace. But there are other things you can do to find out what makes work difficult for your team:

Building dialogue

It’s easy to identify problems in your workplace when your team tells you what’s bothering them. What’s hard is maintaining such an open and trusting relationship with your staff that they feel comfortable enough to come to you with their problems.

Cultivating a two-way dialogue in your team means having an openness about the goals and the problems of your business. Sharing your business principles with staff helps to create trust and is the first step towards everybody in the company having that shared vision and singleness of mind that helps drive business growth.

Being transparent about what you find difficult, and about what you are trying to do, may seem like a failure of leadership. Yet if you want your staff to be telling you about their struggles, you’re showing them that they don’t always have to put a brave face on at work. This is one of the ways many workplace leaders struggle to lead by example.

Empowering employees

Once staff feel free to speak about their problems at work, you will know of any issues in the workplace and may have ideas of how to remedy them. However, employees often respond badly to micro-management. Many workers find it suffocating to have little or no power over how they do their work.

Stepping back can be a solution for those wondering how to improve morale at work. Everybody comes into the workplace with their own attitudes and ideas. Respecting the ideas of your employees does not mean tolerating bad attitudes, but it can mean encouraging employees to find the best way for them to perform their jobs.

Once employees engage in the problem-solving process in the business, they will begin to come up with solutions to the problems that lower their morale and motivation. Those employees who come to a business with their own sense of business acumen can then earn greater responsibility. Putting a degree of trust in that and giving employees a sense of autonomy at work is a fantastic way to get the most out of them.

Many members of staff will need less management than you expect. Taking up a habit of stepping in when you’re needed and stepping back when you’re not makes everybody’s lives easier. You’ll soon find your creative thinkers come to you with their own ideas for solving morale problems (as well as other issues you may not have thought of) and your workplace dialogue will flourish.

Whether you're in retail or hospitality, Epos Now's software can equip you with the best tools to manage your staff:

  • Time-saving reports for completing payroll in moments
  • Accurate and easy clock-in system
  • Secure passcodes and swipe card systems

Retail       Hospitality

AdobeStock 353595046 v2

Recognizing and rewarding

Good management is often about giving positive attention, feedback, and recognition. When managers consider how to improve employee morale and motivation, so often it’s little things like saying thank you or making someone a hot drink after working at a difficult task.

Spotting the little things staff have done to help the business is the best way to make people feel seen. This is crucial to boosting employee morale. This means taking time out of your day to ask staff how they are and noticing if someone is down, even going as far as giving them time to compose themselves when they feel demoralized.

Some managers are in the habit of being over-present professionally, and not present enough personally. You may be stressed and overwhelmed by your own managerial duties, but finding time to show interest in the wellbeing of your staff will pay itself back in their increased productivity and a willingness to go above and beyond.

Reward schemes

Implementing an employee incentive scheme will often be effective for those workers who want or need the extra money. It can be an ironclad way of rewarding good work in an area you need to focus on. An employee that makes the most sales or tops their KPIs, but doesn’t benefit from it, is less likely to maintain their impressive sales figures.

Rewards do not have to be monetary though. Businesses often incentivize employees with:

  • An early finish or late start to a shift
  • Free food or drink (especially in hospitality)
  • Employee of the month posters or certificates
  • Office perks or benefits, e.g a personal parking spot
  • Development opportunities 


Team building

Not all your staff management needs to focus on your relationship with the team. In most businesses, employees will spend as much if not more time with each other than with management. 

Staff relationships with each other have a huge impact on morale and motivation and it’s not just about hiring the right employees. It’s also about what happens once they join. 

Staff that care about each other are less likely to shirk duties because a friend will have to pick up the slack. A team with a sense of togetherness will push harder to get good results because no one will want to let the team down.

Thinking about how to improve morale by coming up with social activities for staff is vital. There are lots of ways to develop company culture, but every team has its own interests and every workplace has its restrictions.

Skill-sharing is an excellent tool for managers looking to build togetherness within their team. When staff develop good skills, having them train each other is a great way of delegating responsibility and encouraging staff to talk about how they do their jobs and work together.

Planning social events, from a business sports team to a monthly or weekly social evening at a bar, helps staff bring the positive emotions and bonds from these events into the workplace.


Other ideas to bear in mind

There are endless ideas out there to help improve morale in the workplace. Other methods include:

  • Promoting a work-life balance mentality in the company
  • Bringing plant life into the workplace
  • Making sure career opportunities are available and visible
  • Running training programs
  • Having regular meetings with staff
  • Maintaining a positive demeanor

How Epos Now can help

An excellent POS system can make managers’ and employees’ lives much easier. With time-saving, top-of-the-range technology, but also with a dedicated staff management system that can help you give the staff you trust greater responsibility within the business, with no loss of control or security.

The moment a staff member can select their own user on the POS system is a moment they feel that little bit more a part of the team. Get in touch with the Epos Now team on 1(833) 225-3100 to take a tour of the system or take a look at our retail and hospitality hardware to see what it can do for you and everyone at your business.

Looking to find out more? Submit your details to our experts and learn what Epos Now technology can do for your business

By submitting your details you agree to our terms and conditions & privacy policy.

Join Epos Now for modifiable software and flexible hardware to suit your industry

trusted by over 40,000 businesses worldwide