Employers boosting morale: Survey

Communication, professional development and financial rewards among initiatives

To offset the effects of a sagging economy, companies are taking steps to boost employee morale, according to a new survey.

The survey by staffing firm Accountemps found 89 per cent of 270 chief financial officers in Canada are implementing strategies to buoy the mood of their teams.

However, not all employers have jumped on the bandwagon — 11 per cent of executives say their firms aren't doing anything to improve morale.

The most common way businesses are attempting to raise workplace morale is through increased and improved communication, cited by 49 per cent of respondents. Also of note, 28 per cent are offering additional professional development opportunities and 25 per cent are offering further financial rewards.

"Proactive communication with employees during times of economic uncertainty can help maintain employee motivation and morale," said Kathryn Bolt, district president of Accountemps. "By keeping top performers engaged, companies improve their chances to retain these individuals and strategically position themselves for when the economy rebounds."

Communication helps employees feel more included and less anxious during tough economic times. Staff meetings and one-on-one discussions are effective means to calm employee concerns while possibly gaining some helpful business development and cost savings ideas, said Bolt.

While financial rewards are a powerful motivational tool, not all incentives have to involve an expense.

"Several low or no-cost ways to improve employee morale may include adopting flexible schedules when appropriate, writing a personal thank-you note for a job well done or letting people leave early one night," said Bolt.

What organizations are doing to improve morale:

Increased frequency, quality of communication — 49%

Provided additional professional development opportunities — 28%

Offered additional financial rewards — 25%

Enhanced employee recognition programs — 20%

Conducted additional team building activities — 20%

No steps taken — 11%

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