It is well established that an organization with high employee morale is more productive, efficient, and raises the organizations public perception. This can also translate into workers compensation loss reduction.
Employees, who are respected, trusted, nurtured, praised for their talent and contribution will respond in kind to the employer. When employees are content there is reduction of sick time, fewer production problems, and willingness to help the employer have a better bottom line profit.
High morale builds confidence in the job being done by the employee. Hence the employee will be more inclined to: follow all safety measures, refrain from short cuts, and keep their attention on the job and its performance.
This will result in fewer losses. If there are losses they will be more likely to be minor. If lost time does occur the employee will be more likely want to return to work as soon as possible. There will be higher cooperation in medical treatment, and willingness to take temporary duty until recovery.
Fellow employees will be more likely to bolster the injured employee so he or she will want to return to the team as soon as possible.
Some Suggestions to improve morale:
- Select employees that fit the job. They need to clearly understand the job functions and what is required by management. Once hired, make sure the training, indoctrination, and assimilation is through. Obtain the employees feedback to ascertain that he or she has grasped everything.
- Listen to employee suggestions. If the suggestions can be used, accept and implement them. Praise the employee publicly when the suggestion is used. If the suggestion cannot be assimilated clearly explain why, but do this in private. Thank the employee for the idea and encourage the employee to give future suggestions.
- Set the tone of the organization by example. Demonstrate good character, appropriate dress and good conduct. Be polite and professional at all times. Be enthusiastic and optimistic.
- Keep lines of communication open and be sure it flows both ways.
- Make sure the employees have adequate equipment and supplies to do the job.
- When a change will impact the employee, have a meeting to explain the change before it is implemented, and make adjustments if possible.
- Impress the team concept on a constant basis: acknowledge and appreciate, recognize small successes, and use encouraging language.
- Show interest in employee’s personal lives. Do not pry but find out what things they consider important and motivate their lives.
- Lead effectively: be honest, fair, and accessible, interact with the staff as much as possible, handle all discipline issues in private.
- Reward consistent high performance and achievement. A free company lunch, dinner for husband and wife, a small appropriate gift, or time off might be used.
- Look for ideas from other organizations that have high employee morale.
- Support community efforts that are supported by the employee staff.
- Endorse intramural activities that the employees may want. However, be aware to sanction the activities that have minimal chance for injury since such injuries may become compensable.
- Set plans and programs that institute employee cooperate and respect for each other
- Seek assistance from professionals in the social activities field.
- Constantly review all programs and policies that impact employees. Be certain they induce activity that will enhance well-being and morale.
- Include employees and their representatives in meetings before implementing policies and programs that will affect them. Work for acceptance and understanding. Be amenable to compromise and adjustments.
The list could be much longer. However, the basic premise of treating others as you would like to be treated should always be the primary step.
Maintaining high employee morale is a tool that can help in reducing the workers’ compensation losses and cost. It requires constant effort by the employer. Seek professional assistance where necessary.
Author Michael Stack, CEO Amaxx LLC. He is an expert in workers’ compensation cost containment systems and helps employers reduce their workers’ comp costs by 20% to 50%. He works as a consultant to large and mid-market clients, is a co-author of Your Ultimate Guide To Mastering Workers Comp Costs, a comprehensive step-by-step manual of cost containment strategies based on hands-on field experience, and is the founder & lead trainer of Amaxx Workers’ Comp Training Center, which offers the Certified Master of Workers’ Compensation national designation.
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