Rebuild employee morale
by Catherine Welborn
Problem: One in three employees hopes to be working elsewhere within the next 12 months, according to a recent MetLife study. Satisfaction and loyalty are dwindling throughout the country, and you are beginning to see the signs that it’s happening on your own team. Creativity and innovation are flat-lining. Absenteeism is up. Even watercooler conversation isn’t as upbeat and jocular as it once was. What can you do to raise employee morale?
Solution: Ensure that your best employees won’t be walking out the door the first chance they get. Follow these tips to raise your team’s spirits and keep them up:
- Increase employees’ autonomy. Offer them more control over what they do, how they spend their time, whom they work with and how they complete their assignments. Encourage them to pursue their ideas. Your employees will be more satisfied and productive.
- Celebrate successes. Show that you value your employees by praising them—privately and publicly—when they reach a goal or exceed expectations. Don’t praise the same one or two employees over and over; spread the compliments around. Keep your expectations high, though, and offer recognition only when it’s deserved. If everyone receives praise for the smallest things, it will begin to lose its power.
- Fight for your employees. Your team might want things that are outside of your immediate control, for example, increased funding for professional development, stock options or childcare. Don’t dismiss those requests as “out of your hands.” Listen to your employees to discover what’s most important to them, and take those requests to your supervisors. Even if you can’t win employees everything they ask for, your team members will remember that you’re in their corner.
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