Employee morale is one of the most important keys to employee productivity, and employee productivity in turn is the rock your business is built on. Improving employee morale is crucial to reducing turnover and ensuring you get value from the long-term investment that you make in your employees. However, employee morale can also be a touchy subject, as many business owners are used to thinking that money is the biggest influence on morale.
Money is important, but it isn”t the only option you have when looking for employee morale boosters. Even if raises aren”t possible, there are many other tools for improving employee morale, and the more of them you make use of, the more effective they will all be in combination. Employee morale boosters take many forms, so here”s a look at just seven of the most efficient, powerful, and cost-effective approaches.
1) Keep Communication Open With a Daily “Huddle”
While just about everyone dislikes “meetings,” a quick, focused, morale-conscious morning “huddle” can be different, according to 9 Tips to Instantly Boost Employee Morale at the American Express Open Forum. A quick, standing meeting can help keep the lines of communication open so issues can be recognized quickly.
2) Build on Meetings With Personalized 1-on-1 Time
There are some things people just won”t share in a group, so be sure that you”re making time to address employees” individual concerns in brief, closed door meetings. Do what you can to break the ice and make this situation less intimidating – by actively listening and making plans to act on what you hear. Saying “thank you” can also help.
3) Be Mindful of How Your Decisions Impact Productivity
The recent Huffington Post blog J.C. Penney Pricing Disaster Destroyed Employee Morale tells the sad story of ousted CEO Ron Johnson, whose insistence on constant price changes across the retail firm”s global network led to thousands of hours in lost productivity. Johnson could have tested changes using a fraction of his brand”s stores – instead, he made sweeping adjustments every few days, exhausting employees who were responsible for re-pricing … and failing to deliver results thanks to a lack of consumer testing. Employees celebrated when Johnson left.
4) Be Ready for Confrontation
No one enjoys confrontation – the word itself is about as negative as can be for most people. But if you fail to address a demoralizing team environment, it will only get worse, suggests customer service trainer Kristina Evey”s blog Bad Employee Morale Can Kill Customer Service. True, a mishandled confrontation can spark fallout; but if someone on the team is dragging the rest down, they”re aware of it and looking to you to act – even if they don”t tell you so.
5) Treat Your Internal Customers as Well as Your External Customers
Your business needs a good staff if you want to excel. Capable, morale-oriented leaders provide a working environment that fosters personal loyalty to their leadership and loyalty to the company business. To create this kind of genuine bond, take action on employee morale threats right away, just as you would if your reputation with customers was in danger.
6) Recognize and Reward Good Work
Employees appreciate recognition, says 10 Tips for Boosting Employee Morale. When you see a great example of excellent work, you should stop to recognize it as soon after the event as you can. Remember, though, that the type of recognition each person most appreciates may vary: Some are uncomfortable being recognized in the group, for example. Learn each person”s style and your employees will appreciate the care with which you meet their needs.
7) Personalize and Harmonize Your Work Relationships
As the leader, your mood has a direct impact on the environment your staff members work in. Cultivate habits of a positive attitude, even when you are under stress. Don”t forget to smile, take a few moments each day for personal conversation, and even tell a joke once in a while if you are comfortable doing it. Knowing your team members personally will help them to trust you and give you opportunities to boost morale by recognizing important moments in their lives.