Employee morale is a key factor to the success of your business. As a manager, you can usually tell when morale is very high or very low. However, when looking to improve morale over time, you need to measure it, and that can't be done by simply sitting in the break room tallying negative comments. Use a combination of several factors to establish a reliable performance indicator of your employees' morale.
Record the number of improvement suggestions coming from employees. Highly motivated workers are actively engaged in making the company better and their job more efficient. The number of suggestions per employee reflects engagement and morale, according to the website BSC Designer.
Poll employees for their reaction to new company initiatives and directions. Allowing space for suggestions in the poll also allows you to assess employee engagement and make use of the full human expertise at your business. Keep in mind that your employees are unlikely to indicate very much negativity in their polling answers out of interest in keeping their jobs, even if the polls are anonymous.
Score your personal assessment of individual employee morale during performance reviews or other regular meetings. Morale is difficult to measure, but your instinct usually serves you best.
Contract with an outside polling group or consultants to assess employee morale when your own polls don't reflect what you've observed personally. Employees may feel more comfortable and safe sharing strong opinions with an outsider than with their own boss.
Don't use measures such as absenteeism, lateness or bad behavior to measure morale, as these can be affected by many other factors.
Avoid relying entirely on a morale performance indicator to make management decisions, especially when your gut tells you otherwise.