Employee Morale and Performance

Written by Julian Armijo | julianarmijo@m5ms.com | 505-991-3296

Having visited many different dealerships from very small to very large in the past few years, and having come from a relatively large dealership myself, the subject of employee morale comes up more often than not. In some instances, management brings it up, while in others, management is unaware, blinded, or in denial that there is even an issue. One thing is for sure, low employee morale is common in our industry and is one of the main drivers to low employee performance.

So the question becomes two-fold. First, is there an issue with employee morale?  And second, if there is, what do we do about it? Looking up how to improve employee morale on the internet will result in finding hundreds of thousands of articles written on ways to improve morale. Articles can range from traditional and conservative, such as:

6 Simple Ways to Improve Employee Morale

  1. Communicate Often.
  2. Solicit Employee Feedback.
  3. Make Firm Business Decisions.
  4. Create an Effective Incentive Program.
  5. Use Social Media to Praise Employees.
  6. Have Fun.

To a little more creative:

Proven Methods for Boosting Employee Morale

  • Promote work-life balance among employees
  • Invest in trust building
  • Go beyond “My door is always open”
  • Give teammates a chance to interact outside the office
  • Support employee-led initiatives
  • Don’t ignore the power of small gestures

To the more extreme methods:

Nine Unusual Incentives That Will Lift Employee Morale

  1. Cubicle coffee shop
  2. Concierge services
  3. Office petting zoo
  4. Discounted company services
  5. Commuter perks
  6. Team spirit day
  7. On-the-job volunteer opportunities
  8. Co-worker clubs and affinity groups
  9. Old-school gratitude

And while many of these suggestions would help improve the morale of the staff, I believe the question is much deeper than how.  It’s more of a why.

As I was writing this article, I noticed that many times when I typed the word “morale” I mistyped it without the “e”. Autocorrect did not catch this because “moral” is a correct word. I found myself looking through the article ensuring that I did not mistype the word. But as I found some of the statements, I realized that “moral” seemed much more related to this situation than “morale”.

A definition of the words found online is:

Morale:  the confidence, enthusiasm, and discipline of a person or group at a particular time.

Moral: adj: Holding or manifesting high principles for proper conduct.
Noun: A person’s standards of behavior or beliefs concerning what is and is not acceptable for them to do.

And this is where the “why” came into play. Our employees’ behavior and standards and how they portray themselves to our clients are critical. If ensuring that our staff has high “standards of behavior or beliefs concerning what is and is not acceptable for them to do” is the ultimate goal, that leads me to the conclusion that performance and morale are two critical results of the morals that we instill in our staff by the actions that we perform ourselves.

With trust being the ultimate goal for both our employees and our customers, employee morale is very related to the morals of the business and our staff. And though there is no one perfect way to improve morale, the one comment I get most often during employee interviews, especially at stores that have shockingly apparent morale issues, is that communication and transparency need to be improved. At M5 we have had a great track record of uniting teams and increasing morale in stores through expectations, process, and accountability. Give us a call and let’s see what we can accomplish together.

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