Do people drag themselves into work? Have you noticed signs of complacency? Maybe one too many people walking around with a bad attitude? Does gossip abound? Well, these are all symptoms of low morale and it’s ugly and costly.
Poor morale at work has been directly related to:
- poor cooperation between staff/leaders
- low productivity
- increased turnover
- poor initiative
- bad customer service/relations
It’s no secret that for companies troubled with it, it’s a huge problem because it’s going to cost them a lot of money, if it’s not already.
Creating and maintaining a high morale environment is not something I can teach you how to do in a short article…you know that right? But here’s some things you can start on right away and get yourself going in the right direction:
- Let people know they’re being heard. Letting people know they’re being heard means taking the time to listen to their perspectives and ideas. As a leader, this is priceless, as you will gain insights as to where your talent is and how you need to develop them. Not to mention they will have plenty of really good ideas and perspectives that are not available to you from where you sit. It doesn’t mean you have to act on everything they come up with. Letting them know that you may not be able to act on everything is a good place to start.
- Set the bar. If you want a positive work environment then you go first. If you have a bad attitude it teaches them that having a bad attitude at work is okay.
- Recognize individual/departmental achievements. We’re not talking about a big party with balloons and clowns…unless of course that would be appropriate. If someone just made you a ton of money, let them know you’re happy about it and you appreciate it! If you don’t that’s okay too, eventually they’ll just find someone else to work for that will.
- Make work fun or at least enjoyable. Nobody is going to be committed wholeheartedly in an environment that is heavy and dark. People love to feel good. Laughter is a must in the workplace, and if it’s not in yours I can guarantee you high employee turnover is ongoing and a costly problem for you – Just saying.
- Promote talent from within. Sure okay, there are times when someone thinks they should get the promotion but you know they aren’t ready. That’s okay but tell them so. Let them know that you considered them. Tell them what they do really well and the reasons that they aren’t ready for the promotion or at least that promotion. Tell them what they can be doing to ensure they get the next promotion. Whatever you do don’t lie. If they challenge your opinion, that’s their right. Hear them out and where possible provide them with observable evidence in which your decision was based.
Gosh, I feel like I’ve just started in this area. There are so many tiny things you can be doing as a leader and as a responsible employee in a non-leadership role to help improve the morale in the workplace.
There is a great amount of responsibility on the leaders to create a happy, healthy, highly productive, profit-generating work environment, and it will take some time and some effort to develop the skills and strategies, but the payoff is MASSIVE! .
Remember emotions trump intellect at almost every turn. You can hire the most technically talented but if you don’t develop their EQ through soft skills development, you’re going to find yourself hiring the most technically talented people over and over again.