Morale in the Workplace: More Than Happy Workers
Often, we mistakenly think that morale in the workplace refers to the happiness of our employees. However, morale is more than just happy workers. It’s a reflection on the entire company.
Think about your past career choices. Were there times when you dreaded setting foot over the business threshold? Now, think of times when you couldn’t wait to get to the office. What was different?
High employee morale in the workplace is an indicator of healthy company culture. Effective management which values communication with employees helps facilitate that kind of company culture.
Employees who feel the company takes care of them exhibit high morale in the workplace. If you have a good leadership team, they will be supportive of the employees in your company.
Do you want to build a thriving company culture? Here are some tips to keep morale in the workplace high year-round.
Communication and Morale in the Workplace
A company that genuinely cares about its employees keeps lines of communication open. Effective communication helps employees feel supported. Frequent one-on-one communication is a valuable tool to help keep morale up in the workplace.
Creating a structure for effective one-on-one communication practices helps managers in multiple ways. It will help them to keep up with their team’s productivity, and it will help them lead meetings more efficiently.
When an effective one-on-one communication system is in place, managers and team members spend less meeting time catching up on progress. Instead, they can focus on the reason for the meeting. Getting straight to the meat of the conversation allows the building of trust.
As employees learn to trust management at a higher level, there are other benefits as well. Employees become more engaged. Increased engagement leads to increased productivity. As employees become more productive, confidence rises, which leads to greater morale in the workplace.
Freedom to Ask for Feedback Leads to Self-Development
When you think of feedback, what comes to mind? For many, feedback signifies negative comments from a manager. However, feedback is essential to growth, development, and productivity.
In the traditional model of feedback, someone on the management team initiates the conversation. Feedback is meant to help employees correct behaviors and grow from the experience. Today’s model of feedback encourages a more free-flowing example with employees encouraged to seek feedback themselves.
Supporting employees as they learn to ask for feedback empowers them to take control of their own growth. Requesting feedback on their own helps them master new skills or correct ineffective behaviors quicker than if they must wait for you to come to them.
One way to begin to encourage employees to seek feedback is to include the behavior as part of the completion of a project. Instead of you seeking a progress report, incorporate directions for the employee to seek feedback when they feel the project is complete.
Requesting feedback allows the employee to monitor their own progress. It also allows the members of the team to demonstrate they care about each other’s progress. Feeling cared for leads employees to more engagement with their projects.
Are They Managers or Coaches?
Your team has capable leaders. Consider whether your team leaders are dictatorial managers or team-building coaches. A manager simply hands out assignments and leaves employees to complete the work.
A coach, on the other hand, knows which team member has talent in what areas. They encourage their team to build their skills based on their talents. The team’s coach can assist employees with turning their passions into job skills.
Employees who can use their passion to accomplish the company’s mission become more engaged with the work they do. Higher engagement leads to greater productivity. Success in their job naturally leads to higher morale in the workplace.
Of course, managers need to have high expectations for performance. However, an effective manager knows that high performance is only one aspect of a job well done. Employees who incorporate their natural talents into their work tend to have a higher job satisfaction rating.
When an employee uses natural strengths on the job, they tend to be more self-motivated. Self-motivated individuals tend to be more productive. A team that has been encouraged to work within their natural gifts tends to be more capable of success than one that simply shows up to punch the clock.
Personal and Professional Development: Keys to Success
How do you foster success within your team? The first step is to provide them with the tools they need to succeed. Those tools could be physical, but they can also be intangible resources.
One of the resources every team member needs to do a job well is comprehensive professional training. Starting with the first day they enter the building as a new hire, you can incorporate training that helps them grow.
Appropriate professional training does more than simply teach you the job you do. It creates knowledge of best practices. It also helps the entire team to grow their knowledge base of information that is pertinent to the company and team.
Employees who work remotely don’t have the same opportunities to stop by your desk for a quick question. For them, creating a comprehensive training program is particularly crucial.
Remember, employees are more than members of your team. They have lives beyond the office door. They need development tools that help them grow both personally and professionally.
One way to incorporate personal development with professional development is by helping with the development of soft skills. Communication, empathy, and emotional intelligence are examples of soft skills. Having these skills will help prepare future leaders for roles higher up the corporate ladder.
Appropriate Appreciation Boosts Morale in the Workplace
Have you ever felt unimportant in your job? If so, it’s likely the management team wasn’t exhibiting the appreciation you needed. Management shouldn’t be the only ones showing appreciation.
The management team should facilitate an atmosphere of caring and support among team members. High-performing teams are more supportive and complimentary of each other. Teams that learn to be supportive and complimentary of each other become higher-performing teams.
Leaders and team members alike benefit from having managers in place who recognize the strengths and contributions of team members. Employees become more engaged and creative. Engagement and creativity lead to greater productivity.
The power of appreciation lies in the contagious nature of sharing it. Noticing an employee’s hard work boosts morale in the workplace immediately. Regularly recognizing employee effort eases the tension that is part of the daily grind.
Showing appreciation to your employees can be as simple as praising them for a job well done. You might also consider offering other rewards for exceptional work. Ideas for that include time off with pay, gift certificates for movies, food, or coffee. Another idea is to have lunch catered for the team as an appreciation for completing a team project.
Use your imagination and your knowledge of your team to choose the rewards. The more personal you can make them, the more your team will appreciate the gesture. Your team will feel appreciated, and you will reinforce the idea that you see them as more than employees.
Fun is Fundamental to Morale in the Workplace
Everyone thinks that you must be serious at work. Yet, a totally serious workplace is a boring workplace. Obviously, there are times when seriousness is required. You should recognize when it’s time to be more lighthearted, though.
Look for ways to let your team see your true personality. Allowing your employees to know who you are away from work will enable them to relate to you on a more personal level.
Letting your team see your human vulnerability tells them you see them as more than a number on the payroll. Employees who feel that management relates to them are more productive.
Incorporate fun activities into your relationship with your team. Team-building activities or social activities can bond the team creating a more productive working arrangement. You might consider having an office cookout one casual Friday.
Is there a business sports league in your town? If so, your office might choose to participate as a team. Host a trivia night where the winner receives a coveted prize. Ideas for building fun into your team dynamic are virtually endless.
Interpersonal relationships are crucial for an effective team. Teams who play together tend to work well together. When teams spend time doing fun activities together, morale in the workplace is instantly boosted.
The Bottom Line
Building morale in the workplace sounds more complicated than it is. Simple tips can easily be implemented to increase engagement, creativity, productivity, and morale. The most important thing to do to boost morale is making your employees feel valued as human beings.
Communication and personal knowledge of the team are at the heart of efforts to boost morale in the workplace. A productive team will continue to increase morale by feeding off their success. A team that exhibits high morale will also be more productive.
The eLeaP continuous performance management system provides organizations with powerful options to attract and retain high caliber team members.