As a leader in your company, it is your job not only to make sure operations and production are running smoothly, but also to maintain the morale of your employees. Organizations with good morale will function more efficiently and productively, have a higher retention rate, and generally bolster your company’s image. High morale is not a given, however; steps must be taken in order to boost morale and keep it up.
Create a Culture of Communication
Ensure that your employees are comfortable in coming to you or their immediate supervisors if they are having an issue. Even if no problems do arise, knowing it is acceptable to call a meeting to discuss issues will reassure employees. On the other hand, creating distance and projecting the image of an “unreachable” boss may create feelings of frustration if employees feel they have nowhere to turn when a real problem arises. When we refer to executive presence, presence means being in the moment when you are with someone and you also need to show warmth, another critical element of a great leader.
Foster Friendliness Among Coworkers
Workplace wellness can improve morale – not only by keeping employees healthy and active, but also for the opportunity to build friendship among coworkers. For more on this, check out last week’s Globe & Mail article, “Finding fitness – and camaraderie – at work,” which details real-life examples of how workplace wellness can foster connections and engage employees in and out of the office.
Social events outside of the workplace can also work to build companionship among colleagues. Organize an outing – a sporting event, a team dinner, or another casual activity. Keep attendance optional; you don’t want employees to feel forced to socialize. Rather host an activity that is more productive yet still fun and social? Choose a volunteering outing instead (and see our earlier post on the benefits of corporate volunteering).
If budget allows, provide catering at a monthly or quarterly all-staff meeting. Schedule Lunch & Learn sessions to show you are interested in their professional and personal development. This is a simple gesture but it can work wonders, offering appreciation during a routine activity.
Employees need to be reminded that their work is crucial to a company’s success. Even small acknowledgements matter, such as mentioning at a meeting that the team is doing a great job and encouraging staff to keep up the good work.
For more significant accomplishments, like when an employee completes a major project, make an effort to let the individual know directly that their work truly matters. Such a message or gesture from management will relieve pressure and give employees the positive reinforcement to keep going.
Staff morale does matter: it is widely acknowledged that companies with high levels of employee morale have a competitive edge. An organization’s management team has a responsibility to ensure that morale stays up. These tips can serve as a great starting point to building a positive workplace culture.