Does Your Workplace Have A Morale Problem?
Even the most mindful of managers can deal with the occasional morale problem at the office. Low morale can quickly affect workplace dynamics and negatively impact your bottom line. But, how do you know if you have a problem? What actions can you take to increase morale? Hint: It’s not just about money.
Warning Signs of Low Morale
Some of the classic signs that there might be a problem brewing are:
- Increase in errors
- Increase in absences or tardiness
- Customer complaints
- Increasingly disorganized/messy work areas
- Lack of enthusiasm
- Unwillingness to cooperate or participate in group activities
If you notice any of these warning signs cropping up, take action immediately!
Ask For Feedback
It may seem like opening the flood gates, but avoiding the issues will only make things worse. It’s hard to address a problem if you don’t know what it is. Set up a system for gathering feedback like an online survey. Employees can channel their frustrations in writing while remaining anonymous. It’s a good idea to ask for feedback regularly, and not just when you notice a problem. Implementing quarterly surveys can head off problems before they start. When employees feel that someone cares about their input, they are less likely to “act out” in the ways listed above.
One of the best ways to encourage and support your staff is to recognize their achievements. This simple concept goes a long way to making someone feel valued. Make a point to congratulate employees who achieve a milestone, like a sales goal for example. Did someone go back to school and get their MBA? Take notice! You can show appreciation with verbal praise, or with a more formal system like certifications/rewards.
Communication between management and staff is critical. Any breakdown can leave both parties frustrated. If your old methods stop working, try something new like a regular newsletter, email, or meeting to keep everyone up to date. Employees want to feel well informed and that communication is two-way.
Workplace morale can ebb and flow, but recognizing the early signs of low morale can save you time and money. Staying a step ahead of these common issues will keep your employees happy and engaged at work.