Create a Happy, Committed Workforce!
Low staff morale can have a crippling effect on your business. If morale is low, then employees could lose their zest for the role, dissatisfaction and alienation may become commonplace and levels of absenteeism may rise. The usual harmony of the workplace could potentially be shattered by conflict and hostility, with less productive collaboration and team spirit. If the issue isn’t addressed, the problem can develop, adversely affecting all aspects of the company.
Fortunately, there is a solution. In the short term, activities such as team-building, social gatherings and staff events can boost staff morale very successfully. However, it’s equally important to develop a more long-term, forward thinking approach. In part 1 and 2 of this post, we offer some simple, yet effective advice to help leaders boost employee morale and increase productivity within their company, permanently.
1) Body language matters, as does your attitude
Research indicates that 50% to 70% of employees judge the climate of the company in which they work, based on the behaviour of their leader. In short, the ‘you’ that you display to your employees is highly important and a major factor in motivating your staff and keeping morale high.
If your demeanour conveys negativity, the likelihood is that this will permeate to the organisation as a whole, almost with a ‘drip-feed’ effect. If you display a negative attitude, your employees will pick up on this, and react accordingly. Try to maintain consistency, predictability and a positive attitude when dealing with staff and be aware that negative behaviour can contribute to causing low morale in the workplace.
2) Be appreciative
Never take your employees for granted. The feeling of being under-appreciated can have a disastrous effect on morale, causing employees to feel bitter and unhappy within their role. A simple acknowledgement of a good piece of work can make a big difference and thanking your staff for going the extra mile is vital.
It’s important to recognise hard work and accomplishment. As a leader, be on the lookout at all times to recognise hard work and to acknowledge it, to ensure that your members of staff feel valued at all times.
3) Fairness matters
Adopting a human approach is vital in business. If your expectations are too high, this can have a hugely detrimental impact on your staff. They feel over-worked, stressed and over time; lose the passion for their job.
Of course, it’s important to have high expectations to ensure that your staff strive to produce the best work possible, but it’s equally as important to recognise what is realistically achievable. Create reasonable goals for your employees and stick to them, to maintain consistency.
4) Trust your staff to perform and allow them to concentrate
As a leader, it can be tempting to hover over your employees, stopping by for chats on the spur of the moment, and insisting on accessibility at all times. However, if you recognise this behaviour in yourself, it might be time to stop, as it could be damaging productivity in the workplace.
Accessibility is, of course, important. But so too is allowing your employees the chance to focus properly on the task at hand. Give them the time to concentrate and allow them to perform to their optimum ability, without continual interruption, which can seriously damage quality of work, and morale.