Are you worried about your team morale? Would you like to do something about it and improve its productivity? You’re in luck!

In this article, we will explain how to identify the issues at the bottom of low team morale and how to turn the tide. Are you ready for some introspection?

Table of content:

Team Morale: Definition

Happy is the new rich. The culture of happiness has invaded our lives, pressuring us to experience to the fullest our time on earth. But real-life included ups and downs, making an effort to reach one’s goal, bliss and disappointment, success and failure. 

If the promise to be happy in your job (or worse, thanks to your job) can be delusional, the feeling of well-being in the workplace is a more realistic goal – one that can be reached and make a real difference. Indeed, researchers from the University of Warwick in the UK have proven that happy people are 12% more productive than usual, while unhappy workers are 10% less productive. Good team morale can enhance the company’s overall performance:

  • improving employee productivity,
  • fostering collaboration among colleagues,
  • boosting employee creativity,
  • … 

Even if you have the desire to keep your team morale up, reality may not always go your way. As work is getting increasingly complex, employees can suffer from uncountable sources of pressure or dissatisfaction that may not show physically. If you feel something is looming among your teammates, the first thing you need to do is to identify the roots of the problem, in order to find the right solutions to put your team back on tracks.

Team Morale: Survey Your Team Members To Identify Issues 

The first step to improve a low team morale is to gather feedback from all team members. Providing a safe “place” for everyone to express oneself openly is key to identify the roots of the problem. Indeed, as a manager, you might be part of the problem. Or else, your team member might not feel comfortable in spilling the beans in front of everyone. 

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Here are 3 methods you can implement in your team:

#1 Sending An Anonymous Survey

Employee morale surveys can provide crucial feedback that can lead to measures being taken to increase employee well-being. They give everyone the opportunity to share comments about the company or their team. Surveys can help identify issues before they become a bigger problem. 

Anonymous surveys are even more effective for introverts or any employee fearing to get reproved for their ideas or comments. Anonymity helps to collect more honest feedback.

By understanding employee opinions, job satisfaction or dissatisfaction, and motivation, you can improve employee well-being, boost team morale in the workplace, and foster a productive environment where your employees thrive.

#2 Measuring The Team Morale With A Niko-Niko

The Niko-Niko calendar, a.k.a. the smiley calendar or the happiness index is a simple tool to measure team morale over time. It takes the form of a calendar with everybody’s name on it. At the end of the day, each team member is invited to share their mood of the day, sticking smilies happy 😄, straight 😬 or frowning 🙁 or color stickers on it. 

The Niko-Niko calendar helps quantify the well-being, morale, and motivation of the team, and identify if something is going wrong.

#3 Using An Automated Tool Such As TeamMood

If you don’t want to build your own physical Niko-Niko calendar with a stack of color stickers, or if your team is working remotely, you can choose to use an online tool such as TeamMood. An online tool can also help you gather anonymous comments more easily, and provides statistics that can help you analyze trends.

Start measuring your team health today!

Improving Your Team Morale In The Long Term

If a one-of survey can help solve a specific situation, gathering regular feedback from your collaborators is key to continuously improve your team morale. Indeed, the situation is bound to evolve over time. A deadline moved forward, a change in the organization or a set-back in the project can destabilize the team members. 

Moreover, by measuring team morale over time, you can measure the impact of past optimizations, and verify whether they were useful, or if you need to change them. 

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Team Morale Boosters: Best Of

Ideas to improve your team morale are legion, so we’ve selected the top 5 morale boosters that you can apply in all situations:

#1 Celebrate Personal And Team Achievements

Taking a moment to recognize your team members for a job well done in their day-to-day work is the easiest and most effective way to boost their morale. You can set a regular time to highlight individual contributions, at staff meetings, or during the annual evaluation of your team members. You can also make ad hoc praises if you want to recognize the stellar work of some team members.

Don’t underestimate team praise in front of the rest of the company too. Some teams may feel they work in the shadows, with no recognition from their colleagues in other teams. The team as a whole can benefit from feeling valuable to the rest of the company.

#2 Invest In Employee Training

The rate of technological change has forced the modern workforce to adopt a continuous learning mindset. From a business standpoint, helping employees master new skills ensures that your employees continue to be at the top of their game. 

Moreover, providing adequate training is a key argument for engaging and retaining your best talents. Indeed, top-notch employees look for opportunities to learn and grow their skillset. If you don’t have enough budget to offer outside training for everyone, you can leverage the diverse skills of each team member and implement a regular “skillshare”. Your team members will benefit from both learning a new skill and being recognized for their specific talents.

#3 Cultivate A Culture Of Gratitude

Employees are more likely to thrive in a positive environment that values individuals and cultivates a culture of gratitude. Even in the toughest of times, most of us have something to be grateful for. Whether it’s a family back home that supports you or the latest achievement in your team, make sure that you appreciate what you have. By encouraging moments of reflection for your team, they will never lose sight of the positive things in their lives.

#4 Encourage Real Lunch Breaks And Vacations (Or Even Sabbaticals)

Your employees need to step away from their desks during the day. According to management professor Kimberly Elsbach, “staying inside, in the same location, is really detrimental to creative thinking.” Getting team members to take a coffee break, go for a walk, take a real lunch break or practice some sport will improve the overall team morale. 

Likewise, true vacation time – with no work email, no phone calls, no laptop on the beach – can be a true booster of team morale. 

#5 Limit Office Hours

“A shorter working week could improve our mental and physical health,’’ research shows. By limiting office hours, you can help your team members meet a work-life balance, and improve their quality of life. By having more time to rest or do a hobby they like, your employees will feel a higher motivation for work, as well as improve their productivity and creativity.

Do you want more? We’ve listed a few extra ideas in this article


Doing your best to improve your team morale can prove the best investment for the future. Don’t miss the coach!

Photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash


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