How to keep team morale high during tough times


“The way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement.” — Charles R. Schwab

Why is morale so important?

High morale is fundamental to the success of any business. Employees who are happier in their jobs demonstrate their positive attitude in a number of ways:

  • Enhanced productivity
  • Improved focus on customers and outcomes
  • More likelihood of retention
  • Better colleague, management and client interactions
  • Good attendance and timekeeping
  • Less workplace accidents and injuries

Studies have shown that organizations with high employee happiness outperform low employee satisfaction companies by over 200%. Let’s explore some of the many ways you can keep staff smiling and at the top of their game, even during the toughest of times.

Don’t wait until it’s too late

You may have the most qualified, experienced team but without motivation and spirit even your best people can transform into a mediocre mess. Low staff morale is an insidious, creeping condition that is guaranteed to spread if it’s not contained. The best way to deal with it is to stop it from taking hold in the first place - which means proactively maintaining a happy work environment at all times. 

And when the going gets tough - for example in a crisis or if unexpected deadlines mean everyone has to pitch in hard for a burst of extra productivity - you’ll need to kick your morale-boosting actions up a gear. 

Give and take

Your team is working hard to smash a critical deadline that’s impacting on their other commitments… They’re doing your brand proud but at the same time stress levels are rising. How do you maintain motivation and stop morale slipping? 

Balance is key. Cut back on non-essential duties for the duration of the prioritized project. Allow flexibility in working times to compensate for overtime, and consider offering remote working options where practical. 

Encourage open communication - ask for feedback and then respond in meaningful ways. Regularly update your team on how much has been achieved and how much more needs to be done. 

Actively keeping employees engaged by valuing their individual and team input is a significant factor. According to Gallup, engaged teams can lead to a 21% increase in profitability. The same research has shown that engaged employees have a 41% decrease in absenteeism.

Show that you know

There’s nothing more demoralizing than doing a great job and not getting due recognition for your achievements. Feeling invisible in the system will lead to a sense of worthlessness that can only result in poorer performance. “What’s the point if nobody’s even noticing?” An extensive research study showed that 79% of workers would leave a company because of “lack of appreciation”.

When it comes to acknowledging a job well done, even the smallest of gestures can make all the difference. A cheery wink and a thumbs-up; a brief appreciation email; a quick shout-out at the morning meeting… It may not seem like much, but simple and spontaneous micro interactions like these are capable of building genuine, lasting goodwill and loyalty. As Lockheed Martin executive chairman Marillyn Hewson says, “Small gestures like opting for face-to-face meetings or sending personal notes can have an enormous impact on teams and their morale.” 

Reward achievements 

It’s great to get thanks and praise, but some accomplishments deserve a little something extra. When employees spring into action for an urgent job, deliver especially positive results, complete challenging tasks, beat difficult deadlines, consistently meet targets or prove their value in any other way, a tangible reward is called for. 

We have a huge range of spot bonus gifts ranging from $5-$1000+ to suit every occasion and budget. If you want to extend that all-important flexibility principle, there’s even an option to allow recipients to choose a gift they actually need or want from a selection of leading nationwide brands, including fashion, dining & food delivery, travel, outdoors, and much more. Start gifting, and watch your staff morale levels skyrocket...

“No one who achieves success does so without acknowledging the help of others.” – Alfred North Whitehead