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The Link Between Morale and Belonging

When morale is high, people excel beyond their potential. Their work quality is great, they are highly productive, and their outlook is positive. But staying motivated can be an overwhelming challenge when morale is low.

A variety of feelings and emotions make up morale. Since this quality is inherent (and different) in everyone, it can be considered to be difficult to define and maintain. Attitudes and perceptions about jobs, workplace culture, colleagues, leadership, and the workplace all comprise morale, and a positive attitude and desire to perform well are usually signs of a healthy outlook. Morale is not explained solely by a single factor, but rather by a multitude of interconnected variables.

What does low morale in the workplace look like?

When people have low morale and are less engaged, they are often less productive, more likely to pull back their participation, and may display less-than-stellar performance. It usually occurs when they lack proper training, an understanding of expectations for their role, or a feeling of belonging within their team or organization. 

Not receiving recognition or feeling undervalued can also lead to low morale. Low morale can wreak havoc on employee satisfaction, engagement, and may even negatively influence other members of the team. This can be damaging to workplace culture, productivity, and professional and personal growth.

Combat low morale in the workplace by fostering belonging

Vityl surveyed 1,300 full time employees and 500 senior leaders regarding their workplace experiences. The leading study revealed that employees who lack a sense of belonging are 8x more likely to be dissatisfied with their job relative to those that feel they belong and 5.4x more likely to feel disengaged with their job. 

Dissatisfaction and disengagement are entirely descriptive of low morale. On the flip side, employees who feel they belong are 24.7x more likely to feel satisfied with their job and 8.8x more likely to feel “very engaged” at work.

Satisfaction and engagement are key drivers for productivity and growth. Fostering belonging creates a sense of comfort, which leads to connection and contribution over time.

Fostering belonging to combat low morale

Organizations have historically looked to HR or People teams to foster a sense of belonging among teams. While that remains important, all employees at an organization can lend a hand to drive feelings of belonging and inclusion for themselves and others.

Three interrelated components comprise belonging: acceptance, recognition, and connection. The workplace should be a place where people feel comfortable showing up as their authentic selves. People should feel connected to their teams and the mission of their organizations. Lastly, they should feel recognized for their unique contributions. Contributing to a workplace culture in which you and your teammates feel respected, connected, and valued can create an environment in which everyone feels happy, productive, and motivated.

This sounds great. Now what?

Vityl delivers an easy-to-use platform packed with impactful nudges that help people build culture together. We believe in rallying around shared purpose and delivering light (yet actionable) resources to champion a positive and high-performing culture.

To get started on contributing to a great company culture, visit your My Belonging page and check out your latest nudges!

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