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Keeping Morale Sky High in Your Workplace – Part Two

High Morale in the Workplace Brings Tall Dividends

High morale is not a fate.  It requires leadership and some smart thinking to build confidence in the workplace milieu.  This post is the second edition of a list of morale-building ideas you can pick and choose from to best suit your team.

We talked previously about the fall out of dark humor, the effect of empathy, and the value of respectful behaviors from the leadership to the last employee. Let’s continue:

Maintain high morale by keeping accurate training records

Improperly or insufficiently trained employees are destructive. It can lead them to experience significant job dissatisfaction. Avoid this by setting your organization and new hires up for success from the very beginning. Create a comprehensive onboarding program that will make your new employees knowledgeable organizational members from day one.

Be proactive and put a system in place that captures accurate training records. It will ensure employees receive the training they require. It might also present employees with training opportunities they were not aware of being available to them.

Minimize turnover through innovative practices

Employee turnover is costly.  Organizational performance can be detrimentally affected by skilled and experienced employees seeking greener pastures. Sometimes turnover is inevitable, but there is a great deal that you can do to prevent it.

Waiting to find out what you are not doing at the exit interview should not be your strategy.

Once again, it’s all about being proactive and ensuring your star talent wants to stay. Creating open communication platforms between employees and management can help foster a sense of community and a shared purpose.

Build High Morale by Finding Out What Motivates Your Employees

Sometimes even the best managers will get a little careless and complacent. A weak or inconsistent employee management system leads to a negative environment. Top performers no longer care about going the extra mile.  You can ensure you have policies and procedures in place that will always demonstrate to employees how valued they are. Keep them doing what they do best.

Offer your employees what they need. These days, the relationship between compensation and retention can be a crooked path. When you offer flexible work schedules, opportunities to work remotely, and generous paid-leave policies will go a long way toward helping employees feel they are valued.  Help them feel cared for as more than bodies in the workplace, but in their values and pursuits.

You Cannot Play Favorites

Favoritism is an enemy of high morale. Employees immediately feel it is an unfair practice. Promotions in a company should be rooted in a transparent framework and process. Favoritism can lead to irreversible and adverse effects on a company’s culture. The impact on an organization’s bottom line can be disastrous. No matter how tempting, the impact of preference hurts morale and handicaps production and efficiencies due to employee turnover.

When assessing an employee’s performance, make sure your methodology is transparent and structured. Criteria should be objective and straightforward. Make an effort to spend an equal amount of time with employees to understand who is working on what. This ensures performance is objectively monitored, and with the right amount of knowledge and insight driving your assessments.

Don’t Hesitate To Acknowledge Great Results and Efforts

Rewarding and promoting reliable, high-performing staff in an organization not only keeps good people from leaving, but it also ensures that employees remain motivated.  You want these people to keep the best interests of the company at heart.

Your people need recognition and deserve to be valued. Do you reward your employees when they achieve milestones or targets? Avoid employees becoming disengaged by showing them how essential they are to your organization’s success. Acknowledging an employee’s hard work not only helps maintain an employee’s drive but also their dedication.

Rein in bad attitudes

Bad attitudes can spread like wildfire. They not only influence how employees interact with one another, but also their overall sense of job satisfaction, performance, and productivity.

Transforming employees’ negative attitudes begins with leadership. It is up to you to establish what is appropriate behavior through your example. Management must exude positive, encouraging energy. It is infectious – and you know this. Enthusiasm plays a central role in discouraging negative attitudes among employees. Supervisors also need to recognize dedication and achievements when they occur.

It is especially important to maintain a positive outlook when situations in the workplace are challenging and uncertain. Put a real but positive face on difficult circumstances. You will go a long way in discouraging employees from adopting a negative attitude.

Attentiveness Pays Off

Be attentive and available to your team. Leaders prevent a difficult employee from having a negative influence on your entire department. Show that you’re open to dialogue, both one-on-one and in a group. Make your expectations clear. You must acknowledge and deal with all concerns and complaints. The team needs to see you as part of the solution, not part of the problem. Seek input from your employees and have them propose solutions when appropriate.

Maintaining fruitful relationships after a promotion

Maintaining productive relationships with peers after promotion without compromising your effectiveness as a new leader is tricky. Utilize your insider’s knowledge to empower the people you now lead. For instance, if they complained about being removed from important decisions, allow them to participate. If they felt under-appreciated, show them how valued they are.  The rewards will appear swiftly.

Remember to be consistent in your leadership style. Communicate openly with your team and show that you have their best interests in mind. Show that you are capable of making the right decisions and can be trusted. Strive to maintain an unwavering level of authenticity and trustworthiness. Maintain a sense of humility and grace. Remember that some people will feel equally qualified for the same role you now occupy.

All employees should at least have the opportunity to succeed within your organization. Success should be available to anyone who puts in the work and commitment. Favouritism should only be admissible for the right reasons, such as when it’s linked to an employee’s performance and achievement. This type of favouritism is more merit-based and can actually inspire others to be at their best.

Management must always be improving

Leaders must take responsibility for their learning and development. Whether it be taking online courses, attending workshops, or bringing in coaches for focused training—it is all essential.

High morale-building leaders strive to grow on both a professional and personal level continually. Failure to do so results in a kind of managerial stagnation. And worse, a complacent staff.

I sincerely hope that these last two posts have been useful.  They are common sense. But believe me, in the work that we do, we hear enough horror stories of organizations where common sense is a rapidly disappearing commodity.

2020-02-04T18:23:29-08:00

About the Author:

Phil Eastwood is a former London Bobby who brings a thirty-five year career in policing to his role as Senior Partner of Fiore Group Training, a recognized leader in training top North American organizations. Phil is lead author of workplace training courses in respectful workplace training, workplace violence employee training, and leadership training seminars.