Boosting Employee Morale
Now that summer, with its long days, outdoor activities, and vacations, is drawing to a close, your employees are returning to their normal routines. As a result, you may find morale has dropped dramatically. This is a natural response, especially when things are hectic or work is piling up.
Show appreciation — This might seem intuitive, but you’d be surprised how many good managers forget to do this regularly. Just taking the time to say “thanks” and “good job” will go a long way to making your team feel satisfied.
Show an interest in your staff’s personal lives — A good balance between work and home life is a big morale booster. Find ways to show your team that you value and respect their personal lives, and that it’s important to you as a manager. You’ll be surprised by the positive results it generates.
Encourage and address feedback (especially complaints) — Employees need to feel that dialogue with higher-ups is a two-way street. That’s why you need to acknowledge concerns and feedback. Listening and addressing feedback lets your staff know that you’re really listening.
Invest in your employees’ future — Studies have repeatedly shown that employee training programs are one of the best ways to improve morale. In addition to improving skill sets, training programs also energize and excite employees who take part in them.
Don’t forget about breaks — While there may be lots of work to be done, especially following some time off, don’t neglect the importance of breaks. In fact, by encouraging regular, short breaks, you may find your employees are actually more productive than they would be if they worked nonstop.
Find what works — These are just a few ideas on how to boost morale, but everyone is motivated by different things. Experiment and don’t be afraid to take chances to find what works for you and your organization. Just remember: happy workers are productive workers.
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“The superior man is distressed by the limitations of his ability; he is not distressed by the fact that men do not recognize the ability that he has.”
I spend a few moments each morning "checking-in" for 1 -2 minutes with each person in my department of 16 people by walking by their desk any casually chatting with them to see how they are doing. It takes me 20 minutes a day but creates a bond that is well worth the short time that is invested. It allows me to connect with people prior to going in my office and getting bogged down with work related issues.
Our employee involvement team started two boards - one for thank-you-grams and one for gripes. The thank-you-grams are free and are shaped like smiley faces, stars and hearts. The gripes are shaped like toilets and the gripes go on the inside. Employees have to pay $1 to put up a grip, which goes to the Employee Involvement Team budget. The gripes are addressed by management periodically.
in our office, i offer a 'prize basket'. the items are inexpensive ( flavored waters, candy bars, votive candles, neon post it notes, seasonal stuff....endless possibilities). I will offer a 'prize pick' for the competion of certain tasks or anyone can nominate a co-worker for going above and beyond in their everyday work. New prizes are always exciting and motiviational....lots of fun.
At times as a manager I will provide luncheon at our monthly staff meetings and this is a way I show my appreciation and keep the morale going the staff enjoys them and provide input on how line areas can improve and staff provides helpful ideas.
In our department, having a breakfast pot luck always seems to make people perk up.
In my meetings with my mgmt team, I open up with.. how's morale? Are we doing all we can for the staff? Are we keeping them intuned, interested, challenged, maintaining trust, maintaining two way communication?
In your article, these are all great ways to keep individuals knowing they are important. It takes many moons to develop and build trust, but a day or so to lose it!
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