As we approach the end of the year, it’s common to notice that some of your employees are a little less enthusiastic or even sloppy. It’s not unusual for them to be tired and maybe a little cranky. The end of the year increases stress, employees know there’s a review coming and that they need to finish their projects on time, add some cold weather and darker days to the mix and you’ve got yourself a fine case of morale breakdown.
It’s up to managers now to foster a caring environment and boost morale in order to increase productivity and wrap up the year in the best possible way.
What’s in it for you and your company?
Research shows that organizations with high morale and corporate culture benefit from less stress, and that obviously means your employees have a higher productivity and efficiency, less absenteeism and your company decreases turnover.
When employees like their workplace and feel cared for, they give their all. Going to work is not just a thing they’ve got to do to pay rent, it’s something they actually enjoy doing, therefore their performance is much higher and the quality of their work is top notch.
A good company culture gives you a competitive edge, and allows you to attract and maintain top talent. So it’s fair to say that by boosting your company’s morale, both you and your employees win. We’re here to provide you with simple tips that’ll help you in your pursuit of increasing employee morale.
Who hasn’t worked extra hours and even nights when having a big project on hand? It’s not uncommon to see some people stretching their work schedule to meet expectations. But the truth is that this only causes burnout and a big amount of stress. The project will end up not being completely satisfactory and you’ll have a cranky and tired up employee with no sense of accomplishment. Sure, they tried their best but it doesn’t show.
Some might think these actions are proper of a committed employee, but they’re not. They will just take your employees over the edge and you’ll end up with poor quality results and facing turnover.
Promote a healthy work-life balance. Do not encourage your employees to work after hours nor to address work matters while they’re off the clock. Your employees will thank you and feel cared for, resulting in higher commitment and productivity.
When morale is a little off, hiding things from your team will only add up to uncertainty and insecurity. Don’t be afraid to communicate and even ask for help if there’s a situation you don’t know how to handle. Your team will appreciate and thank your honesty. Employees like feeling trusted, so share with them insights from the company, like updates or customer satisfaction stats; or what new products you’re expecting to release next year, the company’s upcoming plans and protocols. You never know who might surprise you with feedback or an idea that could be the answer you were hoping for.
If your employees feel they don’t know enough about the organization, provide them with the information that will make them feel part of the team, like how things are done in other departments or how the decision making process is held.
Be sure to check-in with your employees every so often. When using Hirebook’s Check-Ins feature, you can schedule weekly, biweekly and monthly check-ins and even personalize your questions. Don’t ask the typical questions, try to dig a little deep so you can really know how your team is feeling and if they need help with anything. Building trust is all about actually being there for your team and genuinely worry for their wellbeing.
If you want more ideas on questions, check out our “Check-in with your employees: A Remote Management Guide” article.
The winter blues are something not many companies know how to combat, and it’s as easy as encouraging get-togethers, since they’re a huge morale boost. You could arrange some “out of the office Fridays” and have your teams working together from another location, or organizing small parties or holiday giveaways.
Get-togethers don’t necessarily have to be out of the office; you can create a warm environment, a shelter to protect your employees from the cold, and maybe have special beverages like hot cocoa and snacks in the cafeteria or break room, so your employees can share a few moments together, destress and continue with their work with a smile on their faces.
You want to make it better? Have some vitamins and supplements in case someone is feeling like they might come down with something. It’s not just about taking care of their emotional health, but their physical health as well.
Your employees surely have a lot on their hands right now, but there’s always room for a little fun. During this season you can ask your managers to set different goals and objectives to their team that are not completely work related. Sometimes when people feel under pressure, an effective way to clear their minds is by accomplishing a different type of goal and experiencing a sense of satisfaction by doing so.
Set fun goals like finding the strangest story of the day on the news, or finding fun facts on specific subjects. Giving your employees a fun activity to focus on for a bit, and maybe rewarding them, will help them relax and feel more engaged.
You’re probably a bit overwhelmed by work and having to wrap up the year in an outstanding way, but as a manager, keeping up team morale is part of the deal, and recognizing your employees’ hard work won’t take up much of your time.
A survey by Gallup pointed out that “Workplace recognition motivates, provides a sense of accomplishment and makes employees feel valued for their work. Recognition not only boosts individual employee engagement, but it also has been found to increase productivity and loyalty to the company, leading to higher retention.”
So, focus on the good things! When someone is doing a great job, praise them and share their accomplishments with the rest of the team. Be careful though, don’t just praise for the sake of praising or it may come off a little phoney. Be genuine when congratulating someone.
When you recognize your team’s efforts, they feel valued, and it creates a positive ripple effect among other colleagues and even influences customer satisfaction.
In the end, part of your job is to lead by example. Being happy and merry all the time is probably not an easy task, but unfortunately negativity is always the most infectious. If the months ahead are packed with projects and stress, you should come into work with a positive attitude and try not to complain in front of your team. If there are bad news to share, share them, but your attitude will affect whether they take such news with a heavy feeling, or a sense of hope.
As a manager, employee morale is part of your daily duties, and should be one of your priorities. Be consistent in your efforts and learn what works for your team. If your workplace morale is high, your morale will be high as well, and the organization’s productivity will be off the charts!
Image credit: marymarkevich
BY Michelle Sheridan
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