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Tips for boosting employee morale

By Paul Nelson | Posted - Nov 29th, 2012 @ 7:33am



SALT LAKE CITY — Recent surveys show that most American workers are less than satisfied with their jobs. So what can bosses do boost employee morale?

A lot of the issues that bring employee morale down are the result of business decisions from when the economy hit a downturn a few years ago.

Kimberly Barton with The Employer's Council in Utah says many companies had to cut contributions to 401k retirement plans, cut medical benefits and make reductions in staff.

"For those companies that had to do that, they're now on a slow recovery," she said. "For an employee working in that kind of an environment, it takes a blow to the employee morale."

Stress is still the biggest problem to employee morale. This year's Gallup Work and Education poll says that 33 percent of employees are "totally dissatisfied" with their on-the-job stress levels. Here are some other findings:

  • 31 percent of workers are dissatisfied with health insurance benefits.
  • 28 percent are dissatisfied with the amount of money they make.
  • 27 percent don't like their company's retirement plan.
  • 23 percent aren't happy with their chances of promotion.
Barton says a lot of employers in Utah, especially in the IT industry, are doing their best to make sure workers don't go shopping around for other jobs.

"I've been getting quite a lot of calls on, ‘What's the compensation? What are the benefits? What are other employers providing?'" Barton said.

There are some things bosses can do to alleviate some of the stress their workers feel. Barton says lines of communication need to be clear so the employee knows how their jobs fit in the company's overall goals. Plus, management needs to ensure that they're using their workers in the best way.

"[They should ask], ‘Are we playing to our employee's strengths? Are we hiring the right people? Are they assigned to the right job? Are they being promoted?'" Barton said.

Also, if employees are frustrated, they need to talk to their boss about why.

"The employee has to take some responsibility and have a constructive conversation with the employer and say, ‘[This] is what I'm looking for.' Maybe they can change job responsibilities," Barton said.

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