Ties between employee morale, corporate culture and organizational effectiveness are familiar to carrier executives. But exactly what are culture and morale, and how can companies make sure they are cultivating them to boost team spirit and their bottom lines?

In his recent report, “Bring Out the Best in Your People,” Dr. Charlie Cartwright, a claims cost control consultant for Kansas City, Mo.-based insurance broker Lockton, defines the terms and outlines five key principles that create a culture of positivity.

Culture, he says, characterizes the overarching beliefs, methodologies, and customs of an organization. Morale reflects the enthusiasm, loyalty, and confidence of individuals (or of a company’s workforce as a whole), he says, noting that morale may be greatly influenced by culture.

What are some morale-boosting tips for leaders?

Connect, be silent and listen, and manage by walking around, he says. “Ninety-three percent of communication is non-verbal,” he writes, explaining the tip about connecting.

“Simply walking around and talking with employees with no specific agenda” is a way to connect, he adds.”

Outlining principles to jumpstart a positive culture—in months, not years—Cartwright says that in addition to being fair, warm, courteous, and trustworthy, supervisors need to maintain a consistent level of intensity when offering feedback. “The balance of energy helps maintain a constructive, ongoing dialogue that can contribute greatly to employees’ overall sense of value, commitment, and positive morale,” he writes in the report.

“When culture and morale are low in a company, employee performance stalls, their health suffers, productivity plummets, and workers compensation claims jump significantly,” he said in an announcement about the report.

According to Cartwright, the most common reason people quit their jobs is because of an unpleasant boss or supervisor. To avoid strained relationships, he suggests those who supervise others should invest in each and every employee by listening to thoughts, considering ideas, and providing meaningful opportunities for growth and development.

By aligning culture, business success, and employee morale, companies can be well on their way to a positive, successful environment.

The report also presents statistics from various studies underscoring the consequences of poor employee morale and negative company culture. The report concludes with a self-evaluation checklist for leaders seeking to promote positive cultures and better morale.

Source: Lockton