The other day at a coffee shop I heard someone refer to “low company moral”. Not morale, moral. At first I cringed, but then I thought, where does the word originate?
Turns out that he was right. The French added the “e” to “moral” in the 18th Century because…well because the French have style.
So while you are worried about employee burnout, you are actually focused on employee morality — the collective character and confidence of everyone in your organization.
When people become overly-stressed, their work will suffer, they will disengage, and your turnover rate could go through the roof. As a manager or executive it is your job to hire people of good character and to create a space where people can feel confident in how they show up and perform their work.
Here are 6 simple ways to support employees and create a high-energy, “moral” work environment (and yes, I will tie in the skydiver pic):
One of the simplest ways to improve employee morale is through communication. Check-in regularly with your team by asking questions like:
– How do you feel? How is the energy on your team?
– What challenges are you facing, and how can I help?
And if there’s an impending change in business operations or a new initiative about to be implemented, let your people know about it ahead of time. Don’t show up one day and say, “Surprise! We are running out of funding in 3 months”.
Your employees are people, and you should treat them that way. Let them know that their opinions matter and loop them in to conversations that affect them.
If your business is suffering in terms of sales or market share for example, don’t stand on an island when coming up with solutions. Solicit feedback from the people you hired to work on the front-lines and generate innovative ideas.
Going this route means potentially discovering a great, new way to impact profits – plus, when you communicate that their feedback is valuable, you’re likely to get more of it.
As a business owner, you can’t let yourself get stuck on the fence – you’ve got to be decisive. Whatever the issue is, educate yourself, weigh the pros and cons, then make your decision and stand by it. If an initiative fails, be transparent with the team, learn from it and move on.
Employees need to know that they can trust their leaders to guide them in the right direction. In their eyes it is much better to have a post-mortem about why something didn’t work, instead of failing to create a vision in the first place.
Don’t just reward quality employee performance with something as trite as an in-house discount or a Starbucks gift card. You want people to grow in their roles so that they can work autonomously.
Offer them something that will help them evolve personally and professionally. Pack their kindles with books or sign them up for a course in a hobby they have always wanted to pursue, especially if it ties back to their professional duties. You can even pay for them to face their fears and go skydiving (talk to your lawyer about that one).
Social media is great for marketing your business, but it can also be used to improve employee morale. If a team member takes an extra step to improve a customer’s experience, recognize that person on Facebook or Twitter. Your employees will feel proud of their accomplishments and your customers will get a glimpse of your supportive company culture.
Loosen your tie, tell a joke or two, and even schedule some casual one-on-ones to get to know your staff on a more personal level. All of these moves let your employees know that you’re a human being, not just a boss — and that you see them as more than just employees.
Unless you have extremely proactive folks working for you, no one is going to address employee morale for you. Remember to communicate regularly and provide just enough challenge to encourage growth without stressing out your team. When employees feel encouraged to do their best work, they can do so with confidence and leave you time to do more important things…like find rainbow parachute pants.
This post was contributed by Money Crashers, your guide to financial fitness via personal finance tips.
Tell us about your methods for maintaining high employee morale in the comments below.
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