"Morale is when your hands and feet keep on working when your head says it can't be done." - Benjamin Morrell
Very often employers underestimate the importance of building morale in the workplace. Bosses and managers are rarely concerned about employee morale, team spirit, etc. All that matters is performance and results. Yes, performance and results do matter, no doubt about that. But what managers must realize is that if they wish to extract good results and par performance from their employees on a consistent basis, it is vital that there be good team spirit and employee morale. So how do you go about improving it? Does it take time or is it an instantaneous process? Can there be any magic wand for instantly boosting up the team spirit of your employees? Let us answer all these questions in the following sections of this article.
How to Improve Morale in Your Office
First and foremost, there is no magic wand as such for building high morale overnight. It is a cyclic, evolutionary process that needs to happen on a continuous and consistent basis. High motivation can be achieved through the following ways and workplace ethics:
Managers and bosses should be open in the communication with their employees. By open, I do not mean openly yelling or screaming. What I mean is that there should be two-way communication and both the parties should be able to put their views across comfortably without any inhibitions.
Bosses should appreciate and recognize any outstanding piece of work on the part of the employee. Good performances and above-average results should be acknowledged and appreciated. Appreciation can be done in many ways, it does not always have to be through a salary hike or a bonus. Simple things like an honest one-to-one conversation or a pat on the shoulder for a job well done can often be the deciding factor between high and low morale at work.
Team Building Activities
Team building is an important way of keeping the employee morale high. It encourages teamwork and spurs people to work together towards a common goal. Good teamwork almost always translates into good results. Investing some time in a few creative team building activities by means of trips, outdoor recreation, group activities, etc., will only help to boost employee morale.
Stand Firm by Your Employees
Employees need to be backed up by their manager or a senior authority in difficult situations. As an employer it is your duty to stand by your employees in case of a conflict with a customer or any other similar problem. The employee will be thankful for your strong support in managing the situation and understanding his/ her point.
Work Life Balance
Managers should be sensitive enough to understand that every employee has an individual life outside the office premises. Steps should be taken to ensure that employees are able to achieve a good balance between their professional and personal lives. There are some female employees who have kids and need to drop and pick them from the day care or school. Introducing flexible working hours can be helpful in such a situation and a good way in getting rid of any negativity, rising due to inconvenience and frustration, in the office.
Getting a Little Personal will Help
Although most people do not like others being concerned about their personal lives, sometimes a boss inquiring about his/ her employee's well-being will make the employees feel valued and respected and appreciate your caring attitude. Getting personal also implies knowing more about them; their hobbies, areas of interests and any extra curricular activities that they perform apart from office work. If any of your employees is into a performing art offer him/ her a platform in annual gathering or at an informal meet, to showcase their hidden talent.
Encourage employees to provide feedback and come up with suggestions through periodic employee surveys. Let them be open and speak their mind without any sort of fear or suppression. Such a gesture will make them feel valued, wanted, and it will go a long way towards improving employee motivation and morale. If the employees do not open up, set up an anonymous suggestion box wherein employees can put forth their ideas and opinions regarding the betterment of the company. As an employer, don't be afraid of any criticism coming from your employees rather, take it positively and work accordingly.
Monetary Rewards and Gifts
No matter how long you ramble on about job satisfaction, professional challenges and career growth, at the end of the day, it's all about the money honey! Monetary rewards, regular salary hikes, performance bonuses, perks for family members, etc., can contribute significantly towards maintaining a positive morale in the workplace.