Staff meetings have become a sea of slumped shoulders and dead eyes. Your calls for suggestions and feedback elicit only blank stares and uncomfortable silence. Sick days have spiked. No one volunteers for overtime. It’s become difficult to do any more than the basic office functions.
Morale is becoming a problem.
It may sometimes seem like the smushy-feely hobby horse of motivational speakers and self-appointed business gurus with a book to sell, but morale can have a very real impact on day-to-day operations.
Bad morale leads to higher turnover and lower productivity. In short, it impacts the bottom line. Maybe not in a way that’s easily noticeable in the short term, but in a way that has a definite dollars-and-cents impact.
Luckily, there are some easy steps you can take to improve morale. Here are four options for boosting everyone’s spirits and, in turn, boosting productivity:
People like their backs patted. Unfortunately, this usually doesn’t happen enough. Most feedback has a negative valence. Even when its pitched in a constructive way, most of what you’re telling your employees are criticisms.
Changing that fact will go a long way to boosting morale. Of course, some employees deserve praise much more than others. But find nice things to say about anyone.
An office party is the evolutionary advance of positive feedback. It’s positive feedback in the form of pizza and pastries.
Publicly celebrating a job well done helps cement team spirit, while simultaneously showing that you recognize the hard work that went into achieving a goal. When your team does well, find a way to acknowledge the success.
You run a business. Every corporate decision you make relates to the bottom line. When customers like something (i.e. they buy it), you do that thing more. If they don’t like something (that is, they don’t buy it), you do it less.
Bottom line: you respond to incentives.
So do your employees. Crass as it may sound, they work for money. If you want to improve morale, make it worth their while. If you need overtime, pay them an appropriate amount to work it. If you have a particular goal or sales target that they need to reach, offer a bonus or reward for reaching it.
Listen to Your Employees
Feedback goes both ways. Employees want to feel like they are an integral part of the company. They don’t want to feel like a cog in a machine. Instead, it’s important to promote the sense that each worker makes a relevant and unique contribution to the collective well-being.
Making sure that employees feel heard marks a big step in that direction.
Create an atmosphere where suggestions are encouraged. When a decision needs to happen, elicit feedback from your employees. If an employee approaches you with an unprompted idea, listen to it.
In the long run, people will feel a closer bond to the company and to each other. Plus, you might receive some good ideas from time to time.
Keeping up morale gets easier when you have the right employees. Energetic and self-starting workers promote a positive, productive atmosphere that encourages creative thought.
Find Your Newest Employee Today!
Partnering with the right staffing partner can help you draw in that sort of employee. LaborMax provides the expertise you need to build your high-performing team. Contact them today to find out more.