“The best morale exist when you never hear the word mentioned. When you hear a lot of talk about it, it’s usually lousy.” –Dwight D. Eisenhower
How to Boost your Team’s Morale
As a leader, you have to wear many hats in your organisation. You manage teams of people with diverse backgrounds that may require varying degrees of attention; you have to keep yourself informed of industry trends and make sure you’re aligning your efforts with the organisation’s overall mission; and you also have to manage those pesky and time-consuming administrative tasks—among many other intangible responsibilities. While we’ve explored in other blog posts practical things you can do to effectively achieve some of these tasks, I can tell you with certainty there is little chance you will accomplish any of your goals as a leader if your team is unhappy.
When your team is experiencing a lack of morale, destructive behaviours such as disengagement, absenteeism and negative attitudes—which lead to frequent turnover—can be devastating to an organisation.
Studies have shown that low morale has a very real and direct impact on productivity and, therefore, an organisation’s bottom line. CBI/Pfizer’s recent Absence and Workplace Health Survey found that absenteeism is costing the UK economy a staggering £14 billion a year. Further research released from business advisers, PricewaterhouseCoopers, shows absenteeism is costing British businesses almost £29 billion, and even more when lower productivity, lost revenue, and the effects of poor morale are considered.
As leaders, we have a duty to ensure that our talent is fully engaged and satisfied with their work environment. If you notice behaviours that lead to poor morale, the key is to act quickly and boost your team’s morale with these 6 top tips:
- Treat team members with fairness and respect. Create an environment in which team members feel they are not just performing a job, but they are actually part of a larger team who is there to ensure the overall success of the organisation regardless of their job function.
- Offer opportunities to grow and develop. Align roles with their strengths, which will make people feel they are paving a path to a career—instead of just passing time or collecting a salary. As a result, employees will naturally feel more engaged, vested in their output and how they are viewed within the organisation.
- Don’t micromanage. Give your staff space to deliver while monitoring progress at agreed upon intervals and providing timely feedback so they know how they are doing and have a chance to make improvements where needed. There is nothing more demoralising than delayed and unexpected feedback used, at times, as an excuse to justify low performance ratings, deny a pay increase or delay a promotion.
- Actively promote work/life balance. Don’t just talk about it; actively help team members carve out personal time and make sure these efforts are supported by the organisation.
- Don’t underestimate the positive influence socialising can have. Make the office a fun and positive place in which to work. Social interactions among peers and leaders is a great way for colleagues to let off some steam and connect in an informal environment.
- Pay them fairly for the job they do and relative to their peers. If an employee thinks they are performing the same duties as others who are paid more, this inevitably will lead to resentment and, ultimately, to disengagement.
Dissatisfaction can quickly spread among your team members. Making changes as soon as you notice undesirable behaviours is vital to avoiding low morale across your organisation. Engage your team and demonstrate with your words and actions that you are committed to their job enjoyment.
How would you describe the morale in your team and organisation? Have you successfully turned around a team’s morale; how did you do it?
Contact Castlegate International if you need help developing morale-boosting strategies for your team.