When are you most productive? When you’re down in the dumps dreading that Monday morning alarm clock, or when you sincerely look forward to a day at work?
The answer is pretty simple. Happy employees are productive employees. So what can you do as a leader to positively impact office morale and ultimately reap the results when it comes to overall team effectiveness?
Four-Step Plan for Success
When it comes to morale building, the key is to make your employees feel valued. The following tactics go a long way toward achieving this ongoing goal:
- Good morale – like good leadership – starts at the top.
Your attitude and daily demeanor will rub off on your employees, so keep it positive. Treat your staff members with respect, give them compliments, practice basic courtesy, and take a sincere interest in projects they’re working on. If it’s necessary and appropriate, don’t hesitate to roll up your sleeves and help. Be supportive, even in situations where you have to step in and manage conflict on behalf of your employees.
- Walk a mile in your employees’ shoes.
In other words, be considerate of each staff member and his or her individual lives, needs and concerns. That single parent may need more flexible scheduling or the chance to do some work at home now and then. And back at the office, a meeting or work session held outdoors or off site may boost everyone’s enthusiasm. Be aware of and inquire about employees’ families, hobbies, interests and plans for their weekend or upcoming vacation.
- Celebrate milestones and successes.
Never underestimate the power of employee recognition. Incentive and rewards systems – whether it’s something as formal as an Associate of the Month program or as simple as a birthday cake during a staff meeting – have proven return on investment. Recent studies by organizations including Gallup and the Corporate Leadership Council have shown that recognition is highly correlated with enhanced employee engagement which, in turn, boosts job performance and overall business value.
- Perk things up.
Employee perks – those discretionary, optional benefits that make life just a little easier, sweeter or more fun – can go a long way towards boosting morale. Company logoed apparel, movie passes, or a few hours off to make it to the school play will tend to pay for themselves many times over in terms of enhanced performance and productivity. As you select these perks, consider the unique characteristics, interests and preferences of each individual employee. Don’t give the logoed golf tees to someone, only to find out she spends her free time at the bowling alley. With just a little thought and consideration, you can ensure that your perks are right on target.