15 Proven Ways to Improve Your Team Morale
Team morale is a crucial ingredient for a successful company. It predicts success and failure better than any other factor, including recruiting quality employees. High morale is the sign of a healthy team, and low morale indicates something is going wrong on the inside of the organization. Good managers know this as well as anyone else does: To keep their teams happy and productive, they need to work on building morale by taking care of some important factors that influence it.
Here are ten techniques for improving your team morale:
1. Know your team
Make sure that you and the team know your employees’ names. Reconnect with them. Make sure you all know what to do if a task needs to be done in a hurry and who should do it. Don’t ignore obvious problems, such as someone who’s missing two days of work without explanation or an employee who has been consistently late to work without being fired (or, if you have an HR department, reporting him or her). Take care of those who have not lived up to their expectations.
2. Focus on the team
Meetings are an opportunity to reflect on how you can improve communication between you and your team members. No matter how many times you’ve done the same meeting with the same people, you must meet regularly because no one will remember all of your instructions, so it’s good to remind them. Meetings should be productive, not be a place where people go to discuss things they have already discussed in smaller groups or when they had a problem with management.
3. Be consistent
Consistency is key for you to get cooperation and loyalty from your employees. Your word is your bond, so make sure that their word is also strong. Be consistent, even if you’re tired or if you are in a bad mood or want to go home early. They need to know that they can count on you and that if they treat your request seriously, then you will do the same.
4. Be transparent
Don’t get involved in politics or act as though everything is a secret. Be transparent when it comes to who does what and why decisions are made, both for the benefit of the entire business and for morale purposes. When you make a decision, tell your team about it as soon as possible so that they can support it and make sure that everyone knows what’s going on from one moment to the next.
5. Encourage personal development
Encouraging your team to develop their skills is a win-win situation. Your team will be motivated because they feel valued enough that their employer supports their growth. As a manager or employer, you will benefit from a team that is motivated and stays up to date with the latest trends. Options include studying for a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) or even a Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA). It is now possible to study for a online DBA.
6. Be a role model
Your employees will learn from your example. Don’t always be rude or criticize individuals in front of your team. If you do, then your team will lose respect for you as a person and their leader.
7. Be fair
Be fair in how you deal with your team. If one employee is doing something wrong, don’t ignore it. Talk to that person about it, but also talk about the behavior with the whole team so that they know what is expected of them.
8. Be a good listener
Be sure to listen to your team and take their ideas seriously. Listen to the concerns they have about their work and allow them to speak their opinions on how things can improve. Your attitude will be reflected in theirs and will lead to a happier work environment for everyone involved.
9. Behave ethically
Don’t run down your employer to other team members. Don’t say one thing and do another. Be trustworthy. Be honest, not only towards them but also with yourself, by sticking to a decision once you’ve made it.
10. Give praise and recognition
As a manager, you must acknowledge your team members’ efforts. A pat on the back or a ‘thank you’ goes a long way. Nothing is small if it comes from you because you are the boss, and your words are powerful. People want to be appreciated for the work that they do and the effort that they put into their job, so don’t make them feel like they’re wasting their time when they work hard for you. Thank them for a job well done, even if it is only to say something like “you did great!” or “job well done.
11. Keep an open mind
If you are open-minded, then your team will be too, which will make sure that everybody feels comfortable working with you and that there’s no hierarchy in the office environment as everyone feels valued.
12. Be kind
If you are kind to your team, then they will be more open and accepting of you. People want to work with someone who is nice and treat them with kindness in return. Everybody wants to feel happy at work, so if you can make this happen, then they will be much more satisfied in their jobs and much happier workers.
13. Praise the competition
One way to increase morale is by praising your competition while also praising yourself in front of your team members. This may sound strange, but people are indeed a lot more motivated when the boss shows confidence in them without belittling others but also without putting themselves down either. Tell them that others are good at something and that they too should be to keep up.
14. Be creative
Be original and creative with your team. Not everyone is the same, and people will feel a lot happier if you treat them as such. Work on what they are interested in, not just what drives you or your company forward, and people will work harder for you because they feel valued and supported in their interests.
15. Get personal
Make sure that you get personal with your team members so that they feel as though you really know them personally and care about what happens to them outside of the office environment, no matter how busy you are or how much responsibility is on your shoulders.
A lot of creating a good team is by treating team members how you would like to be treated. Give real responsibilities and opportunities. Finally, give credit where credit is due.