In these stressful times, your staff morale may suffer. They’re worried about their jobs and making ends meet. Or perhaps you’re the new boss of a demoralized crew. Whatever the problem, you may need to improve your employee morale.
Furthermore, as you make the effort to boost morale, you’ll be increasing productivity and lowering employee absenteeism.
The first and most important way to boost your staff morale is to listen. Listening gives your employees a sense of empowerment. They understand they are not alone and powerless when you listen. But you have to genuinely listen. More important, remember that it probably isn’t the low morale that is causing productivity to slump, but the other way around. Your employees want to do well. They want your company to succeed. And the people who do the work are the ones who know where the problems are. If you listen to them, you can better fix the problems that are causing low employee moral in the first place.
If you are in a situation with low employee morale, your staff may be afraid to tell you the truth. Trust is something that has to grow naturally. You can’t demand it, and even if they tried, they couldn’t give until you have proven you are trustworthy. Don’t lie or decieve them, even in small ways. They may understand if you can’t talk about things going on above you, but they will never trust you if your word is unreliable. One very good way to make sure you don’t accidentally betray your employee’s trust is to tell them what action you intend to take based on what they tell you. You may relieve their minds, or at least give them warning if things won’t go their way. They will appreciate that.
Look for easy successes.
Any kind of success will improve staff morale. Look around for something that your team can deal with quickly and easily. Everyone will get a boost from getting something done. Very often the team will ignore small issues because they are small, but those issues chip away at employee moral, and build an atmosphere of background stress that saps your team’s productivity. When you get rid of those little problems, suddenly that energy is available for other projects. By going after the easy stuff first, you can create a snowball effect, as your staff builds momentum.
Give credit – promote your employees to the world.
Make sure your employees know when they’ve done a good job. And make sure others know it too. You don’t have to sneak credit in for yourself. You are their manager, so you GET credit if they do a good job. Boost their reputation, and you will boost yours. Giving credit is a way of improving productivity as well, because the employees will want to keep this going.
A small celebration reinforces any small successes and recognition the team gets. Just take the time to mark that something really good just happened. Even a small party will improve employee morale.
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