How to Maintain a Happy Workforce

Keeping morale high is important for the success of an officeKeeping employees happy is always a challenge for management and when office morale has been compromised; it is very difficult to recover it. The best solution is of course to prevent it from dropping in the first place but how can this be achieved? The old maxim ‘a productive workforce is a happy workforce’ is of course false as the majority of workers want more than to work hard for their money. They also want the money they receive to be comparable with their skills and experience and annual increases to exceed annual inflation rates. It is nice to be complimented during performance reviews but the bottom line is that a pat on the back does not pay the bills. Therefore, the first step in ensuring a happy workforce is a fair and ethical wage.


Office morale can drop for several reasons but the most common include layoffs, pay cuts and pay freezes. All of these may be necessary during times of company difficulty but should apply to workers at all levels, including senior management. Office morale is sure to drop if it becomes common knowledge that the same rule does not apply to all. In addition, all employees should be informed in advance why cutbacks have become necessary, the efforts the company is taking to keep staff and assurances that they will be updated as circumstances change. At this time, a good leader will also invite suggestions that could help change the situation.

During Good and Bad Times

Effective staff management is a constant process that involved a project-based team effort on all undertakings. Regular meetings and even the odd social event for employees and their families will all help to create a family atmosphere, where everyone pulls together for a common goal. Reward individuals for their efforts, even it is just a shopping voucher or a few hours off on a Friday afternoon. It will inspire loyalty and increase productivity. If you make an error in judgment, admit it and employees will respect you for it.

Maintaining a happy workforce is an ongoing task and is much more than simple saying “good morning” in a pleasant manner each morning before retreating to an office to concentrate on ‘the big picture’. Employees are not stupid (as you hired them) and will notice any negative attitudes or superiority complexes between your role and theirs. Treat all employees (including cleaning staff) with respect as without any one of them company goals are influenced. Bear this in mind and morale is sure to be positive, regardless of business issues.

Picture: Erwin Wodicka