Every business owner, manager and supervisor in the country wants to keep their employees happy — but it's not as straightforward as it sounds.
According to a Gallup poll, only about 30 percent of workers feel actively engaged or connected to their workplace, and low morale costs businesses anywhere from $450 billion to $550 billion per year. Unhappy, disengaged workers are more likely to be absent, more likely to take sick days, are less productive and are more prone to leaving prematurely.
But what are the root causes of low employee morale? Some employers think it's all about money; they throw salary raises and cash bonuses at their employees to improve morale. And while that might be cause for temporary satisfaction, consistent raises may actually decrease morale and productivity, making employees complacent in a predictable environment where performance means little.
Instead, new research shows that one of the true secrets to employee happiness and well-being is an acute sense of autonomy in daily operations.