2 min read

How to improve morale on your ward

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If you’ve ever worked in a place with low morale, you know first-hand the effect it had on your productivity and your willingness to strive. It affects creativity, collaboration, productivity, quality of work, and of course, talent retention.

Low morale can cause some employees to give up and stop trying, and others to simply leave for a better job. It can even affect physical health. 

Symptoms of low morale

When employees feel that they are not trusted, not appreciated or recognised, and that their contributions are not valued; 

  • They feel their work doesn’t make a difference. 
  • There’s a sense of powerlessness, hopelessness and lack of purpose.
As opposed to mental health, low morale is often experienced in a group context: the whole team feels “it doesn’t matter”.


How to boost workplace morale

To determine what is needed, ask yourself: 

  1. How can we encourage the team to bring their best selves to work each day? 
  2. How can we help them feel valued? 
  3. How can we help them thrive and shine and feel great about working here?

What does good morale feel like?

  • A tangible sense of energy
  • Alignment with personal values and goals: you want to feel good, your workplace wants you to feel good
  • A feeling of having your personal talents recognised, such as ability to encourage others, or tell the best jokes.
  • Reward for effort: a gamified workplace that rewards people for effort. When they do the recommended activities, be it trying a new vegetable or turning screens off before bed, they earn points.
  • A shared purpose: working with others who also want to feel healthy create healthy habits
  • Collaboration and socialisation: team challenges bring people together in fun ways. Competing together forms strong bonds, and competing against other teams can be a great equaliser, bringing down barriers and helping break silos.

Some ideas to boost morale from nurses:

  • Create an inspiration board with positive sayings and jokes. 
  • Choose a few reliable staff (keep anonymous), give them 5 marbles each. Each day they find 5 positive things to say to other staff, move marble to other pocket each time. 
  • Floral or fun shirt Friday
  • White Board / Kudos Board: anonymous thank you notes, what you’re grateful for, positive thoughts eg. “I love the way Sam W always ensures everyone has drank enough water on our shift”
  • Pizza Day / Food Days / Birthday Celebrations
  • Competitions:  Baby photos / Pets  ...who is it?
  • Challenges: Fundraising / Team events

Have you seen a positive change in your team?  What has contributed most to the change?