How important is employee morale in your organization? Loaded question? We assume every leader has a pulse on their organization’s morale because low employee morale can kill your productivity. Bringing an organization back from plummeting morale is a heavy burden for any leader.
The key to determine how to avoid lowering employee morale is to think of a top down approach. That means the one looking in the mirror is key in setting the example.
Often we see leaders that have their intent in the best places that produce some of the most demeaning regulations within their organizations without a mean bone in their body. This can send the employee an entirely different message than what was intended.
To create a great workplace you need to entrust on every employee and show them how they are valued. Doing so will enable your staff to increase their hard work and contribute to the company because they feel valued.
Don’t think you have to rewrite the employee handbook or start creating complex power point presentations to spell it out. Try just a few simple suggestions to get the ball rolling.
1. Make some up-beat assumptions
Assumptions can be the silent killer of one-sided communication. To build a great culture you have to have a positive view about people.
Are you a “glass half full or glass half empty” kind of person?
Just remember that the assumptions you make with your staff will initiate your own behaviors and therefore affect the behaviors of others.
Make the assumption that your staff is diligent, cares about their success, and has the up most integrity in their work and chances are they might just be all that and more.
2. Communicate with the highest of expectations
To assume the greatness in people you should also assume they will aspire to greatness as well. However, some of the way leaders can communicate under delivers and we end up only communicating to an audience perceived as incapable.
Learn to use words like “always” and “exceptional” to describe what you expect and always provide positive criticism in a reinforcing and nurturing way.
The other part of this is in your belief. You have to believe in your company, your employees, and the abilities in your staff. You will be amazed at how reinforcing this can be for a person.
3. Get rid of policies intended to control
Sometimes, organizations look to determine structure and in doing so set policies with controlling elements that attempt to control behavior. For instance, only certain people can access the internet or dress in a certain way and even limiting the number of bathroom breaks. No, really.
These policies deflate almost any morale bubble in your staff because it sets a negative perception from management and it says “I don’t trust you”.
A great workplace is not backed by legislation but rather by trust, loyalty, and expectations.
4. Develop a vision of success
In your communications to your employees, describe your ideal company as if it is already existent.
Make a statement and ask others to contribute to it. Ask them where they see the company in five years and keep evolving to meet those expectations.
Successful companies will show how much they believe in their employees reflected right in their vision statement. Look at GEO Specialty Chemicals, for instance.
“Employees are trusted and empowered to solve problems, take initiative, and be leaders in the organization.”
Or how about Burris Logistics. They remind each other to empower others and not underestimate anyone.
How will you implement your communication strategy to empower and eliminate low employee morale? Is it in statements like a vision statement, is it in daily communications, or will it be in team collaboration? Feel free to share with us any concerns or challenges you have right now in our comment section. We love hearing and giving feedback!