5 Ways to Manage Team Morale in Tough Times
Healthy and happy workers make healthy and happy organisations. If team morale isn’t something you’re actively trying to cultivate, you risk being left at a competitive disadvantage. Numerous studies have proven the link between morale and productivity. Despite what you may have been led to believe, building team morale is less about zany perks – dogs, table tennis and trampolines – and more about the way employees are treated by those they work with. Beyond boosting your team’s morale, there are other ways to take care of your employees.
Here are 5 unique ways to manage team morale in tough times and boost your business productivity.
1. Trust your employees
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Making your employees feel like they have the autonomy to make their own decisions is at the heart of a happy organisation. Risk-averse businesses bogged down by bureaucracy can unintentionally alienate their employees. Take the example of getting a new laptop approved for a team member. In one unnamed organisation, this process took the approval of fifteen members of staff. As you can imagine, the office worker who badly needed an essential bit of equipment was left feeling alienated and unsure. Such an environment will make workers less likely to voice their opinions, stifling innovation in the process.
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The way that decisions are made can be bewilderingly opaque and confusing for members of staff – especially when it comes to recruitment. Internal promotions provide a much-needed motivating carrot for employees. When access to information is restricted, it can feel like those making the decisions only ever conspire to put their friends in positions of power. Providing clarity on hiring decisions removes any intimations of bias and assures everyone that promotion is only ever the natural consequence of hard work. Revealing the inner workings of something potentially sensitive like recruitment also shows a level of trust in your employees – faith that is sure to be returned. You can go as far as telling them how you select employees for an award in your company.
3. Listen to your employees
Ensuring that your employees have a voice is absolutely essential. Superficial markers of communication like steady eye contact and amenable body language just aren’t enough. Workers that don’t feel as though their ideas, concerns and aspirations are being taken seriously simply don’t feel valued. Overlooking their concerns can allow a contagious sense of lingering discontent to profligate. This is something positive psychology would have solved. Those in senior positions have to be genuinely receptive to the ideas of their employees and willing to be flexible and open-minded enough to change or reconsider their position on any issue.
4. Sharing success will
It seems obvious but the financial health of your company has a direct impact on the happiness of your employees. Thriving businesses can afford to pay their employees more and, as a result, have far lower rates of employee turnover. Business growth programmes have proven a catalyst for sustained success. A more settled team – confident that their fortunes really are intertwined with those of the company – can grow and develop together.
5. Spend time together outside of work
Quirky, fun initiatives and one-off events may come across as empty gestures designed to curry favour with employees but allowing for bonding outside of company time can help forge a sense of unity. Everyone can interact without the usual cloud of everyday work pressures hanging over their head. It can create a togetherness that carries over to the office.
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Team morale is something that has to be tended to constantly – a one-off gesture every few months isn’t enough to foster the organisation-wide well-being that powers successful businesses. Treat your employees as you’d like to be treated and reap the rewards because they will also treat your customers the same way.