Compared to employees who are motivated, disengaged workers are less efficient, miss more workdays and cost their employers thousands of dollars in lost productivity. Keeping employee morale high is one of the best things you can do to instill loyalty and maintain a productive workplace.
Developing and maintaining good morale starts with hiring the right people in the first place. Thereafter, your employees’ morale affects how motivated they will be to work for you, suggests how much they will do while on shift, and influences how long they will stay with your organization. As a manager, much of the mood within the organization is in your hands. Make sure you do your part to keep morale levels high.
First, make sure that your people clearly understand their role, their impact on customers, and how they bring value to the organization. Managers must deliver good training and continuous feedback to ensure this understanding. This foundation is vital for getting employees to feel connected to the company.
Motivate with your own example. Show good character, and conduct yourself and your business in a manner you want imitated. Demonstrate a positive attitude to serve as an example of optimism and achievement. In other words, “walk the talk.”
Set a high standard and show commitment. When it comes to things like quality and customer service, act in a manner that’s consistent with what you demand from your staff.
Communicate. Tell employees your objectives for the company and promptly share news that affects the organization. Let staff know clearly what your expectations are, and explain the reasoning behind certain rules or rule changes. Ask workers directly what motivates them, and get their feedback on how to handle staff issues.
Involve employees as equal members of your team. Make them feel valued and connected to your cause by asking for their feedback and giving them room to make decisions.
Challenge your workforce with new opportunities to use and develop their skills.
Consult employees before implementing policies that will affect them. Instead of handing down rules like a dictator, allow staff to give input into creating their own environment.
Acknowledge and appreciate staff. Recognize small successes with kind and encouraging words for a job well done. You can reinforce commendable behaviour further by giving inexpensive rewards like “thank you” cards or larger ones like gift certificates.
Provide adequate tools and staffing levels to get the job done. Don’t be so frugal as to create an environment where workers are overburdened or otherwise restricted from giving their best effort. If you do, they’ll feel they’re wasting time and energy on a futile effort. Make sure you promote policies that support staff in taking action to resolve issues.
Respect team members as individuals and as professionals.
Care about your employees, not just about your business. Show an interest in their personal lives and get to know what’s important to them, so you can help them achieve their goals.
Respond to problems, concerns and questions. Leaving things unaddressed tells employees you don’t care.
Align your business activities with positive social values. Workers respond favourably when corporate actions reflect responsible community or environmental practices. You might also consider donating equipment or sponsoring group volunteer projects or fundraising activities.
Be fair about discipline. Address performance issues privately and apply discipline consistently, without favouritism.
Most importantly, be an effective leader. Be honest, fair, and accessible; interact with staff frequently; and display a positive demeanour whenever possible. Show your employees that yours is a workplace to be proud of, where great things can happen, and that their efforts are a major factor in its success.