Employee morale is yet another issue that is talked about a lot, but rarely addressed effectively. Organizational culture plays into morale and engagement so deeply that the process of improving morale can be a long, tough road.
Here are just a handful of things that should be considered in trying to elevate morale:
- Create an environment that's fun and lively. If your work environment resembles a prison more than a theme park, employees probably aren't excited about their surroundings.
- Carefully evaluate your management style. Is it facilitating in nature or is it dictatorial or overly assertive and direct.
- Encourage employees to come forward with problems, suggestions and issues. Listen carefully and acknowledge their concerns. Follow up on them and communicate results of your findings back to them. Don't leave them hanging.
- Address compensation and benefits to make certain that you're at least competitive with the market.
- Be consistent in how you administer rules and policies.
- Be fair and reasonable with all employees.
- Set expectations for employees about team work and working cooperatively. Let it be known that you expect employees to get along while on the job. Morale can be impacted heavily by fellow employees who don't work and play well with others.
- Be clear in your expectations and follow up when they aren't met.
- Don't ignore low performers. If they can't become good employees, terminate them. Bad employees affect those around them.
- Don't allow double standards. What's good for one employee is good for all of them.
- Eliminate a punitive mentality. Don't make employees feel that they will be punished if they make mistakes. Accountable, yes. Punished in some manner, no.
- Encourage innovation and creativity.
- Show employees that you care about them. Taking an appropriate personal interest in employees lets them know you care about them as people and not just as worker bees.
- Communicate as much as possible to all employees. Keep them well informed about what's going on in the organization.
- Look at the work environment. Is it light and airy or is it dark, dreary and counterproductive? Does it seem lively or more like a morgue? Don't underestimate the impact of decor.