How many employers out there realize that employee absenteeism is directly related to low employee morale? It would pay for employers to take a serious look at this issue because according to the 2004 CCH Unscheduled Absence Survey, the annual cost of employee no-shows can range from an estimated $60,000 for small employers to over a million dollars annually for large companies.
CCH Incorporated, a leading provider of employment law information and software, issued its 14th annual survey on October 7, 2004. CCH workplace analyst, Lori Rosen, J.D., states "It´s clear that unhealthy work environments breed undesirable work practices. Employers need to understand the bottom-line impact morale has and make the investment needed to get at the root causes of their morale issues. This often means taking an honest look at their management and corporate programs and policies, as well as making the effort required to really understand their workforce."?¿
According to CCH, presenteeism, a situation where employees come to work even though they are ill and pose potential problems of contagion and lower productivity — continues to be an emerging area of concern. Thirty-nine percent of respondents indicated that presenteeism is a problem within their organizations.
Once again, morale had an impact. Despite higher rates of unscheduled absenteeism overall, companies with low morale have more ill workers showing up for work. Fifty-two percent of organizations with poor/fair morale reported presenteesim was a problem.
There are companies out there where the morale is so unbearable; employees are leaving left and right. However, some employees, because of financial commitments or the lack of alternative employment stay in jobs where they are unhappy, further pulling down the morale of the company, and at worst case scenario, filing legal suit against their employers.
So the question is how do employers improve the morale of their employees? Start by making sure the work environment is conducive to productivity. Their area needs to be safe and comfortable. It is important that employees have the tools, supplies and adequate office space to perform their jobs.
Communication is vital, as is occasional praise. Just as children tend to behave better when you tell them how wonderfully they are acting, employees will thrive on positive feedback. I worked for an owner of a company who never seemed to have a bad day. I remember most, his coming in every Monday morning and saying "Happy Monday"?¿. Monday always seems to be the hardest day of the week for most employees, but having that positive little statement repeated over and over again made all the difference.
Every employer should have a suggestion box available somewhere in their office. Allowing employees the opportunity to make anonymous comments or suggestions will open the lines of communication. Take the information given and create surveys, address issues in a newsletter, discuss topics in your staff meetings. Your employees will appreciate the fact that you have taken their concerns into consideration.
Make sure you have a policy and procedures guide available to your employees. Keep it up to date and add new information as it becomes an issue. This will go a long way in alleviating any questions as to what is expected of them. I will address this in further detail later on.
In closing, I would like to say that as an employer, you need to find the best qualified employees available, train them well as to the way your company operates, and motivate them to perform their responsibilities at the highest level possible. Stay tuned for employee reward incentives.
"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great."?¿ ~ Mark Twain