Morale in the Workplace

I’m sure at some time or another each business has witnessed a time of lowered morale whether it be from a valuable employee leaving the team or during times where production had simply lagged.  Anytime you hit a slow in production, for whatever reason, it can take its toll on the group’s morale.

How do you remedy this and maintain the morale of the group?

This is a small list of possibilities and options:

1) Ensure your Human Resources Department conducts regular individual performance reviews and remains as objective as possible on each.  Listen to your staff and help them with whatever may be needed to improve their performance.  Improved performance will improve production, which in turn improves morale.

Please keep in mind that each and every person could be a valid source of information that may save the company valuable time or money.  Treat them with respect and they’ll usually show a return with bettered performance.

Make sure you always cover both good and bad points and keep these two balanced.  It is always quite miraculous to see someone light up because you honestly cared, you listened, or showed your willingness to work to resolve some production problem.

2) Create some kind of bonus plan or game for each employee based on larger production targets being accomplished.  Reward the high levels with something as simple as a gift card to a movie or for their favorite coffee shop.

Fun games and rewards will usually increase morale as long as the targets are attainable targets.  Too large and the opposite effect is created; too small and it’s not a game worth playing. Push the games– sometimes it is fun to play one department against another department!  Be sure to announce that this is fun – cruel or invalidative remarks are not allowed.  Keep it upbeat!

3) Set a team outing once or twice a year, maybe for a weekend softball game or a beach picnic. Survey the staff to find what they would enjoy doing or what activities might offer the chance to unwind, socialize and have a bit of fun outside the workplace.

4) Do “team drills.” Stand in a circle with two small balls, or 2 highlighters, etc.; start passing these in opposite directions (one clockwise and the other counter-clockwise) from each person’s left to right hand, all the way around the circle as fast as possible – time them on each round and work to beat the previous best time, or, each time use slightly larger objects – this can add a lot of laughter to it! Employees will not only laugh but will also get the idea of moving quickly and the importance of teamwork; it may even blow off some steam.

5) Create a tougher group target than the group is used to every now and then such as: “if together we can sell 25 bikes in the next 3 days the entire staff will run off to the movies this next Friday afternoon.”  Something that everyone would look forward to and work hard for as a group.  This may sound a bit unusual to leave during a workday, but from my experience these types of small shocking things are usually the best!  Set your company apart from the norm – they love it!

6) Start an “Employee of the Month” game where each has the opportunity to show their feats of production and be validated for them by posting a notice for all other staff to see.

You may or may not make a reward for such; I’ve seen the best parking space allotted or a plaque purchased from an online awards store with small engraved tags, each inscribed with the winner’s name for a particular month. This not only validates the hard-working winners but also gives the remaining staff a good goal to shoot for.

Anything you do, or any game that can be played which promotes increased speed, production and efficiency will boost staff morale in the workplace.  Survey your staff on the various types of games, bonuses, validation, etc. as to what would motivate them and increase the spirit of teamwork within your company.  Have fun!

Craig Ferreira,CEO
Survival Strategies, Inc.