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The economy is in flux, with various sectors facing turbulence, resulting in inevitable layoffs. Economic uncertainty often breeds a sense of unrest within an organisation. It’s an intricate phase marked by numerous challenges, with employee morale often experiencing the most significant impact. As per the American Psychological Association, as many as half of all employees, report being negatively affected by organisational changes. In such times, motivation levels can decline, affecting productivity and engagement. A study  showed that disengaged employees cost $8.8 trillion in lost productivity globally. This phenomenon makes Human Resources and their understanding of counselling and psychological support indispensable, serving as a conduit between the management and the workforce, ensuring effective communication and sustaining engagement.
Understanding the Impact of Employee Engagement
Employee engagement isn’t just a theoretical construct; it carries quantifiable implications for an organisation’s performance. For instance, another study reveals that disengaged employees can lower the profitability of an organisation. On the flip side, companies with engaged employees realise an 18% above-average productivity and a 23% higher profit. Furthermore, motivated employees are 87% less likely to resign from their positions, significantly reducing turnover and associated costs.
The Power of Effective Communication with an Empathy Mindset
In times of uncertainty, managers play a pivotal role in bridging the communication gap between the organisation and its employees. Clear, transparent, and consistent communication can help assuage anxieties, providing a more precise understanding of the organisation’s future direction and plans. HR departments can foster an environment of inclusivity by creating an open line of communication that is both confidential and non-judgmental with an empathy mindset.
Cultivating a Supportive Work Culture
Creating a cohesive and supportive work culture can significantly boost morale. Encourage employees to support each other with a workplace buddy system, provide mental health and stress resources, celebrate achievements, and embrace diversity and inclusion. Treat everyone with compassion. Even in challenging times, a nurturing work environment helps employees feel valued.
Promoting Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs)
Companies can effectively manage workplace morale by promoting Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs), confidential programmes offering mental health support, coaching and counselling services. Such initiatives can help employees handle their emotional well-being more effectively, mitigating issues that could impact productivity. A well-implemented workplace health program can lead to 25% savings in health care costs.
However, employers should note that having an EAP in place without proper research and planning is not enough. Even if companies provide adequate programs, they can turn into failures if employees don’t take advantage. There are many ways to encourage employees to use their EAP. In addition, choosing the right EAP is important — more of which you can learn here.
Growth and Development Opportunities
Giving employees opportunities to develop themselves can empower them to feel more secure in their jobs and motivated to perform at their best. These opportunities can include offering reskilling and upskilling programs, personal career coaching and mentorship initiatives.
The Direct Implications on Business Performance
High employee morale directly translates into improved business performance. An engaged and motivated workforce can increase productivity, customer service, and innovation. These factors can increase sales, customer satisfaction, and overall business growth. Hence, it is crucial to have a system to boost morale when needed. After all, while many companies may face rough times, many leaders have innovative strategies in mind to overcome these obstacles. The key, therefore, is a mentally healthy and resilient workforce.
HR as a Catalyst
The role of HR in maintaining employee morale during times of uncertainty is instrumental. By leveraging effective communication, nurturing a supportive work environment, and promoting growth opportunities, HR can positively impact employee morale, engagement, and productivity.
Supporting HR Professionals
Our mental health service, with a team of experienced psychologists, counsellors, and coaches, understands the vital role that HR plays in creating a resilient workforce. We are committed to supporting HR professionals in their efforts to cultivate healthier, happier, and more productive workplace community . So when markets are challenging, we can work hand in hand to help inspire and motivate employees, bringing out the best in them during the not-so-best times.