If you are responsible for employees, either as a manager or a business owner (or both), you’ll need to take care of them. This is not just because you have a moral duty to do so (although you do), but because when your team are happy and they feel safe at work, they’ll work harder, be more efficient and productive, and be more loyal to your business. This is crucial if you want to be able to trust them to do their work and not have to micromanage every tiny element of the business, which is time-consuming, uncomfortable, and ultimately detrimental to everyone and everything.
So, it’s vital that you understand how to boost employee morale to ensure everyone is happy to do their best at all times. Yet knowing this and putting ideas into action can be hard – there are many different things to think about. With that in mind, read on for some ideas about how to get started so that you can ensure your employees are as productive and happy as possible and that morale within the business is high.
Know How To Manage Change
The world of business changes often, and it doesn’t matter what sector or niche you are working in; change is sure to happen. This could be a change in business practices, a change in the law, or perhaps a change in how business is conducted – after all, we recently had a big change in which many people started to work from home.
Changes can come in a variety of different ways, but one thing all these ways have in common is that you need to know how to manage the changes. If you can do that, employee morale will be boosted. If you can’t manage changes and either ignore them or expect your team to handle them without any help, morale will plummet.
Ignoring change within business means that you’ll fall behind your competition and that your customers will start to notice you’re not as efficient or as modern and up to date as you could be. You’ll lose business, and your team (working hard to keep customers happy and to do their jobs well) will start to wonder why they are bothering to try. Equally, if you are happy to have change happen but you leave it to your team to deal with, they’ll feel as though you’re not helping them (because you’re not) and perhaps don’t care – again, productivity and morale will fall.
Understand that even if you like your team to work autonomously, you still have ultimate control, and if changes need to be made, you need to be the one making them.
Challenge Your Employees
Employees who have a repetitive job can easily get bored, even if the job is a necessary one. Doing the same thing over and over will become dull no matter how enthusiastic someone might be at the start or who much they want to do well. Equally, if the job someone is given is too hard for them, they’ll be unable to move forward and they’ll start to feel as though they might as well not try hard because they can’t do it anyway.
In order to get the best out of your team, you need to challenge your employees so they’re not bored, but not give them so much of a challenge that they give up and stop trying. It’s your task to determine where that perfect middle ground lies, as hitting this ideal sweet spot will produce the best work and ensure good morale within your team.
This might involve offering your employees the right training and tools so they can do their job properly. It might also mean that you ensure they know you’re there if they need you, for example if they have questions about the task you have set them. In this way, they can be happier and more confident doing tasks that challenge them, knowing that they have some backup should they need it. They’ll feel more accomplished when the job is done too, helping them understand they can do more if they want to. As you can see, this would increase morale quite easily, and it’s a simple thing to do once you know what everyone’s strengths and weaknesses are.
Have A Good Onboarding Process
If you want your team to have good morale, it really needs to start from the beginning. If someone joins your organization and they are put off from the start because they are just thrown in at the deep end, or they realize that no one really feels comfortable in their jobs, there will be very little morale around. These new employees may even feel so uncomfortable that they leave very soon after being hired, meaning all the time, effort, and expense to find them is wasted, and you’ll have to start all over again.
When it comes to the onboarding of new employees, it’s crucial you set the right tone from the start. Have a set of processes in place so that everyone who joins gets the same training and information and is taken care of in the same way. This will help them get settled in and ensure that those around them who have been through the process before can help them if they have any questions (which will help to foster a sense of team immediately).
The onboarding process is not something that you can make up as you go and it’s worth taking the time to think it through and put the right systems in place. From a tour of the office to a physical handbook as well as plenty of training, it all needs to be in place from the start.
Have Regular Team Building Activities
You might not think that team building activities are a great idea. After all, doesn’t it mean everyone will be out of the office for the day and no work will get done? Although that is accurate, the results you get from the activities you all participate in will be worth one day of unanswered emails and calls to be returned tomorrow.
Note that we said these should be activities you all participate in. This means you as well as your employees. If you can be as involved as possible, your team will look on you more favorably. You don’t have to be everyone’s friend (and it’s often best to stay a little apart because discipline and an objective view are all but impossible when you’re friends with someone), but joining in and being part of the team does mean a lot, and it is something that can help with morale.
Team building in general is a great morale booster. Spending time with colleagues away from the office gives everyone the chance to get to know people better. When this happens, they will be happier at work and therefore more productive, which leads to better morale.
On top of this, you can use the opportunity to look at people’s strengths and weaknesses which, as we mentioned above, will help you challenge them in the right way. Doing this in an office environment is not always easy, so taking everyone out of that environment and looking at what they can do and, perhaps more importantly, what they are willing to do, is a great way to help yourself help them and boost morale at the same time.
Pay Attention To Their Physical And Mental Wellbeing
Morale is directly linked to how an employee is feeling. If they are unwell in any way, morale will be lower – they’ll just want to get their work done and get home. Or they might not come to work at all.
Of course, you can’t control whether they get sick or not, but you can do things to take care of their physical and mental wellbeing to reduce the chances. At the very least, it will show that you care, and this can be enough to boost morale anyway.
It may sound like a good idea to push your workforce as far as they can go, but this is not good for anyone, and is more likely to lead to burnout than to good work. It certainly won’t improve morale. The best thing you can do is take care of your team by offering things such as a nice break room, free coffee and healthy snacks, duvet days when they are needed, and other incentives. Your workers will do the hard work needed without being pushed, and you can ensure they don’t go too far.
Communicate Your Vision
If you want your workers to do their best and to understand what you need from them – and to do so with a good level of morale – you’ll need to communicate your vision to them. You can’t expect them to work hard and push forward happily if you don’t let them know what the ultimate goals are for the business. How will they know what to work towards if you don’t tell them?
Not only will communicating your vision help you team understand what they are working towards, but it will boost morale because it proves you trust and appreciate them enough to tell them your goals and dreams. No matter what those goals and dreams might be, informing your employees about them is a sure way to boost morale quickly.