When morale is low in your office, you may find that productivity levels take a nosedive, profitability tumbles and turnover increases. Each of these factors can be a detriment to your business, and the unfortunate reality is that managers and business owners must make a regular effort to keep morale high for the benefit of the company. Simply addressing this issue once and walking away from it or intermittently focusing on morale is not enough. One of your top goals should be to keep your team motivated and engaged throughout the year, and you can easily employ some of these great tips to achieve the results you desire.
Let Them Know What to Expect
It is easy for workers to feel as though they are spinning their wheels and getting nowhere fast. They may feel as though they put in a hard day’s work regularly and that they are not achieving anything from their efforts. Some may even feel as though their professional lives are pointless. As a manager or business owner, you need to tell your employees what the company’s goals are.
Each individual should be informed about how their efforts are helping the company achieve its goals, and they should be reminded of the importance of their contributions regularly. Your workers should be provided with goals and tasks that are reasonable and attainable, and these should be focused in some way on helping the company to achieve its collective goal. Remember that excessive work and unattainable goals can lead to low morale, so always set reasonable expectations for them. More than that, empower them to get their jobs done as necessary.
Get to Know Your Workers
Nobody wants to work in an environment where they feel unimportant and unappreciated. They also do not want to feel like strangers in the environment. Managers should spend time getting to know each employee on a somewhat personal level. Address them by their names when you great them. Always act cheerful and happy to see them. Pay attention to milestone events in their lives, and offer cards or small gifts for birthdays, weddings and other events.
While you should get to know them on a somewhat personal level to keep them feeling valued and important, avoid getting too personal. Remember that this is a professional environment, and there are some boundaries that should remain in place at all times.
Help Them Grow
When workers feel stagnant in their positions, morale can decline. While they want to feel as though their contributions are making a difference for the company, they also typically want to feel as though their contributions and efforts are helping them in some way.
Offer your employees the opportunity to improve their skills and training, and give them the opportunity for career advancement when their skills reach a necessary level. Think about offering technology-based training courses. These are affordable, and they can be completed around the individual’s other duties. Language courses, industry seminars, massive open online courses and industry conferences also provide them with additional opportunities to expand their knowledge and training.
Give Feedback and Acknowledgement
Your employees want to know how they are doing in their positions. They desire constructive criticism so that they can further improve. However, your feedback should also include ample praise when they do a good job. For example, when you see an employee coming in early or leaving later than everyone else, offer a word of acknowledgment and thanks.
Offer special benefits programs, such as an employee of the month, a team lunch when the group meets an important goal, promotions and more. When the time comes to give negative feedback, this should always be done constructively and in private.
Be Supportive and Flexible
Another factor that can lead to low morale in the workplace relates to workers feeling overworked and stressed about their work-life balance. All employees should be encouraged to take their full amount of vacation time each year. Vacations help workers relax and get refocused. You should be flexible about allowing employees time off to take care of sick children and to handle other personal issues. They should never be made to feel guilty about taking time off to address their personal needs or when taking a vacation.
Another great idea is to allow your employees the opportunity to telecommute several days per week. Telecommuting has been shown to increase morale, reduce stress and increase productivity. It also can help your workers to improve their work-life balance. Make an effort to focus on the results the employee can produce rather than how much time the individual is actually in the office and sitting at a desk. If they can get the job done remotely, allow them the opportunity to do so.
Promote Team Spirit
Team spirit is not just for schools. In a professional work environment, the group must operate as a team in order to promote positive morale and to foster productivity. Each employee should feel included as part of the team, and you will find that this can result in their personal level of motivation increasing.
Consider getting your team together outside of the office to bond. Corporate team building events, happy hours after work and volunteering together for a charitable organization are all wonderful ways to build team spirit and to improve morale in the office. Schedule periodic events throughout the year to keep team spirit strong.
Remember to Have Fun
There are many aspects of your work environment that create serious, tense and even stressful situations. While this is a normal part of any work environment, you also need to incorporate fun and happy times into your work week. Your team can easily dread going into work each day when their job creates nothing but stress and unhappiness for them. Give them something to look forward to, and make work fun to keep morale high.
There are numerous ideas to consider, such as holiday and birthday parties in the office, an annual summer picnic or barbecue, casual Fridays and team building retreats over the weekends. You can also plan fun random events throughout the year, such as team paintball, movie nights and other fun events.
It is easy to overlook the task of keeping morale high until you notice that morale is at an all-time low in your office. Because productivity, motivation and engagement are all linked to morale, it is critical that you take steps throughout the year to keep morale high. Consider how you can incorporate these excellent ideas into your monthly schedules throughout the year to enjoy the benefits of higher morale on a regular basis.
About the author
Jen McKenzie is a freelance writer from New York, NY. She is fascinated by all things having to do with words, business, education and cutting-edge. When Jennifer is not busy writing, she enjoys taking long walks and spending time with her two pets Brando & Marlon. You can reach Jennifer @jenmcknzie