How to improve morale in the workplace
Has your team been having a difficult time lately? Were you extra busy, short staffed, or otherwise strained? Are the office laughs a distant memory? If morale is low then this can lead to problems.
And this goes for remote workers as well as office workers. The bottom line is that poor morale can lead to increased staff turnover, lower levels of productivity and less collaboration between team members.
As a leader, it’s your role to help create the environment so your people can thrive so team morale is an area that you always need to have the pulse of.
Unfortunately, boosting employee morale isn’t always easy no matter how many Management Skills Training courses you attend!
There’s always someone complaining about something but, in the end, the majority of your team member will appreciate your efforts to be involved in their lives and keep them happy.
Here are a few tips for boosting employee morale.
Workplace morale boosters
5% of employees don’t think their contributions make any kind of difference, while 44% do not understand their impact or are unaware of business goals (Ceridian)
The last thing you want is for your people to come in, go through the motions and then go home.
If you don’t ensure that each and everyone of your people understands why their work is important and where it fits into the team and company goals then they can easily go through the motions that I mentioned earlier.
Ensure that you speak with every member of your team and make sure they understand the importance of their role, the importance of the quality of the work they do and where it all fits in.
4.6X Employees who feel their voice is heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work (Forbes)
Your best source of innovation will always be your team so make sure that you encourage ideas.
Unfortunately this is not always the case. Over the years I have heard of stories where managers suppress ideas from their people. This is weird and normally comes down to a power trip.
Let your people know that you appreciate their ideas, whether you incorporate them into your daily routines or not. You might even offer a small monthly prize for participating and offering suggestions.
Think about how you currently encourage creativity. Could you do this better? Could you run formal meetings that just focus on ideas?
67% of workers consider leaving their job if work arrangements became more rigid (Staples)
Your employees will have better morale, individually, if they feel as though they have a personal career path to follow when they come to work each day.
Why not use your next coaching session to help each employee set his or her own long and short term goals and then help them find a way to take the first steps towards meeting them.
They’ll feel as though they have a purpose aside from trudging through their 9-5 jobs every day.
Get to know your people on a one to one basis. Understand what motivates them and how they fit into the team environment. Work with them to establish their short, medium and long time career goals and put plans in place to help them.
69% of employees say they’d work harder if they were better appreciated (HubSpot)
Sometimes we’re too quick to pull people up when they’ve done wrong and too slow to say well done when they’ve done right (if at all!)
A simple “thank you” or “well done” can go a long way.
You can also go one step further and offer incentives or goals to your employees each week or month. They don’t have to be elaborate.
Have a McDonald’s for breakfast on Friday mornings or encourage a group pizza lunch once a month. Offer a prize for the employee with the highest level or production. Something, anything, they can look forward to will boost morale.
Sit down with your team and brainstorm together some ideas on how you can celebrate achievements.
29% of employees are happy with career advancement opportunities (SHRM Report)
Your people are either growing or they are regressing. Staying the same is regressing in today’s workplace.
Ensure that they are developing new skills and behaviours so they are moving forward.
In order to achieve this, everyone should have a development plan in place. One linked to their objectives and one linked to their personal development. For example, can some of your team be earmarked for future leadership positions? If so could you work with them to create some sort of Management Development Programme if one doesn’t already exist within your company.
Sit down with your team individually and map out a development plan. Think of the skills and behaviours to improve and then think of the resources that can help. These might include courses, podcasts, videos, coaching, books, shadowing and the like.
70% Managers account for a 70% variance in employee engagement (Gallup)
This one you cannot achieve with your immediate team but it’s one to cover off with the other leaders within your organisation.
You all need to be consistent.
Nothing damages morale more than when leaders are inconsistent in their approach, how they handle issues, how they treat their staff and whether they are practice what they preach.
That doesn’t mean that we all need to be robots as leaders but we all most have a united and consistent front on what is and what isn’t acceptable in the workplace.
Hold a meeting with the other managers within your organisation and work together on how to raise spirits and boost team morale. You all need to implement consistently and be role models for the desired behaviours that you expect to see in others. Conduct a 360 Degree Feedback exercise to ask for feedback from your people on whether your managers are walking the talk!
1 in 3 employees cite boredom as their main reason to leave their jobs (Korn Ferry Survey)
One all is said and done, you spend a lot of your life at work for it not to be enjoyable and to have fun. That doesn’t mean that you need to have pool tables, bean bags and dart boards! And it doesn’t mean that you need to be off on those Team Building Days to boost the morale of your people.
Having fun can be as simple as having an environment where you can have a laugh and a joke without thinking that the teacher will tell you off. That it’s okay to play pranks on each other.
I should know! I’m probably the biggest culprit of setting practical jokes in the office. Don’t leave your lunch out or it’s normally hidden somewhere!
There’s also a joke around MTD that my witching hour is 3.00pm!
At this time I’m normally out of my office and causing havoc in some way, shape or form. And I’m the CEO! But I lead the way in saying that this is okay and it’s okay for you to do this as well.
Think of some formal and informal ways to have fun. Ask your team. Come out with your own ideas too.
Remember – happy employees are productive employees.
What will you do to make their days a little brighter?
Originally published: 13 August, 2020
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