Top 5 Ways to Boost Employee Morale
And 5 Ways NOT To!
Boost employee morale and you also boost employee engagement, productivity, and ultimately your own job performance. So how can you make your employees feel like you’re tuned in, appreciative and that your company is the best place to work ever?
The answers may surprise you. It’s not about the money, prestige, or even the most spacious office.
It’s all about attitude.
So let’s start with five things you don’t want to do.
Five Ways NOT to Boost Employee Morale
- Yell "Thanks. See you Monday!" - as you peel out of the parking lot at noon Friday in your new shiny red convertible.
- Give Everyone a Chocolate Bar and a $5 Gift Certificate to Ice-Cream-Is-Us. Why is this ineffective? It’s cheap, impersonal, and downright thoughtless. What about your employees who are lactose-intolerant, diabetic, or trying to shed a few surplus pounds? They won’t thank you.
- You have 12 employees, and each one takes turns being employee of the month. Even worse: you have a rotation. Jeff for January, Ellie for February, Wanda for March…Why is this ineffective? You’re not acknowledging their efforts – not really. Employees should be praised for specific things, like above-and-beyond service or an outstanding sales month. Don’t confuse meeting quotas or doing one’s job with an exceptional effort.
- You clock in, run to your office, close the door, and emerge 8-10 hours later to sprint to the parking lot. Why is this ineffective? You’re not interacting with your employees, and you’re definitely not there to help them. They need leadership. Emails and memos are fine to a point, but nothing can substitute for availability.
- You micro-manage every single detail. Why is this ineffective? Everyone is different and come with a range of amazing skills. By micro-managing it communicates you don't trust your staff. If you want a fully engaged team empower them to take charge on certain aspects of the business.
Five Ways to Boost Employee Morale
1. Be Grateful, and Show It. Humans thrive on recognition and appreciation. Recognize this fact and apply it, and you also unlock your worker’s potential. We’re not talking banners and names in lights; a simple thank you will do, but make it sincere. And don’t make it an afterthought – that’s the antidote to employee satisfaction.
2. Have Fun at Work! Know the phrase ‘All Work and No Play’? That shouldn’t apply at work. Sure, you can’t party all day long, but you can schedule in time for fun. An afternoon of fun team building exercises is great; a 30-minute round of Office Olympics works too.
3. Connect and Communicate. According to a study commissioned by Dale Carnegie & Associates, workers don’t rate money as the most important factor in job satisfaction. Pride in their company and confidence in their leaders was important. Most important was their relationship with their boss. What kind of boss are you? Are you willing to talk with your employees, help them, guide them? Are you willing to be a 'service based leader'?
4. Foster Trust and Teamwork. We’ve all worked in places where the politics were tough and the office atmosphere reminiscent of a Cold War era spy novel. Chances are we got out of there as fast as we could. Instead, build trust in each other and in your leadership. Encourage a spirit of teamwork.
5. Encourage and Respect Your Employees. Obviously, you want to respect your employees’ cultural backgrounds and personal beliefs. But do you also respect their abilities? You (or the HR people) hired them because you thought they could do their job. So let them do it. Avoid micro-management like it’s a bad 70s hairdo. Instead, encourage them to be creative, innovative, and self-directing wherever possible.
Boosting staff morale is within reach, and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. But it does start with you!
Everytime you interact with your team it's an opportunity to boost morale and engage your team. Effective staff engagement is not about doing something new - it's simply about making the most of what you're already doing!