A good mentor once told me that as a leader or manager of your unit you should focus on company morale before it becomes a problem. If morale is already a problem, then it will become much more difficult to fix. Morale is an intangible aspect that may be difficult to measure, but it can have as much as an impact as the next sale. Good morale means your employees are more engaged, which helps them to work more productively.
A team with great morale are more likely to go the extra mile. In companies where employee morale isn’t a priority, the culture can become quickly toxic. Unfortunately, this is becoming the norm for most companies. Good morale is by no means a given. It must be a priority from day one. Here are some steps you can take from the beginning to measure the effectiveness of your employees and boost morale.
Conduct Performance Reviews and Give Valuable Feedback
This simple tool costs nothing, is extremely effective, yet surprisingly not used as often as it should. Schedule regular performance reviews with your employees. Spend time assessing performance together, set goals, determine metrics, and develop a plan of action to meet their goals and improve their performance. Be clear and tell them what you want from them. But, make sure you listen to them too. Ask them what they need from you, and take the time to listen to what they have to say.
When employees don’t know the impact they have or how they fit into the bigger, then it can be disconcerting. Giving feedback will help them understand how they can improve, and what they will need to focus on to meet the company goals. Morale is higher when employees know if they are “winning” and making a difference.
Use Software Platforms for Task Management and Employee Work Schedules
Use an integrative platform where you can assign tasks, allow others to also assign tasks, and give real-time status to see who is doing what and a task’s progress. It will immediately become clear who is doing the work and who isn’t.
Use a fully customizable contract management software to help monitor the performance of your employees. Especially if you outsource certain tasks to other companies, management software can help you manage and integrate the processes that surround performance contracts. This can help keep employees or contractors accountable to their work, maintain cost discipline and minimize risk and drive long-term revenue growth.
In order to monitor the performance of your employees, use software to determine if employees are consistently late or just delayed due to outside circumstances. Automated software is difficult to manipulate and will help keep employees accountable to coming to work on time.
Celebrate Your Successes
Find ways to incentivize performance and when they meet them, reward them! Simply recognizing a job well done can do wonders in raising morale. Rewards don’t have to cost a lot of money. Don’t just focus on the negatives and the mistakes people make. Take time to point out the positives and thank them.
It can be something simple as a certificate of achievement, creating an employee of the quarter program, casual Fridays, and offer to bring some snacks or lunch for your employees.
Allow Your Employees to Create a Unique Company Culture
Sometimes, we overwhelm ourselves and our teams by trying to do too much. We’re so focused on pushing our business forward that we fail to realize how much pressure we are putting on people. If morale is low, take a step back. Get back to basics and focus on the core job. Let the personalities of your employees shine! Don’t restrict them to fit in a box. That will only stifle their creativity.
You might have heard the saying, “you work to live, you don’t live to work.” Try to create a work environment where you let your team have some fun and express their individuality. Allow regular breaks. Arrange days out and add some games to the break room. There’s nothing like fun to boost morale and improve team spirit.
The key thing is to get feedback from your employees, and ask them what they want! That alone is crucial in raising morale. Is shows you care for them, and value their opinions.
Look At Your Office Layout
Something as simple as your office layout can have an important effect on company morale. A confined, messy office, with little to no sunlight, can make workers feel closed off and hurt their well-being. Employees are generally happier when they work in a comfortable, clean, and optimized environment that gives them space to reflect and decompress from their hard work.
Think Feng Shui! Feng Shui is a thousand year system where spatial arrangement and orientation in relation to the flow of energy (qi), and whose favorable or unfavorable effects are taken into account when designing and organizing the room’s layout.
Take a look at the layout of your office. Not sure where to start? You can look at professional companies like Bond Collective office space to create the ideal office space for you. Even making small changes can make a big impact.
If possible try to create an open workspace that can be more conducive to a positive atmosphere. Try to maximize natural light, which studies show that help people to feel more alert and energetic. Reposition desks and workspaces for people to face each other instead of walls. Look at getting comfortable furniture, and even plants to add to the ambiance.
Get Out of the Office and Consider Offering More Flexibility
Sitting indoors all of the time can not only be bad for morale, but also for your health. Stand-up desks are becoming more popular. Give your employees the option to work remotely once in awhile. Working in a new environment often stimulates your creative juices. If possible, take everyone outside to work. Working outdoors can improve posture and health. Getting fresh air can do wonders for team morale.
In modern life, staff need and often expect, flexibility. Many of them are working around childcare and other responsibilities. Studies show that the option to work flexible hours is one of the top considerations when choosing a job. Consider offering it as a perk if it works for your company and team.