Have you noticed a shift in the air? Is your workspace feeling flat and is the team falling behind on work quality? Your business just might be suffering from an insidious little condition known as low morale.
Sometimes triggered by a rough event such as a bad client interaction or work pressure, low morale is a direct result of job dissatisfaction and should be swiftly dealt with to prevent its further spread into all corners of your business.
The dangers of leaving low workplace morale unchecked are: High employee turnover, poor customer service, tense relationships and uninspired results. Many good businesses have contracted low morale, and some have never recovered.
The good news is that you as manager can nip it in the bud with a few small actions and changes, to get back the motivated, energetic team you originally hired.
1 – Confront it head on. Don’t write off small niggles and complaints your people have as insignificant, your staff want to feel heard. If you feel the atmosphere at work changing, don’t stick your head in the sand and wait for it to pass, actively go out and ask your team what’s happening. They may not want to tell you at first and it may be awkward hearing it, especially if it’s about your management style; but it’s the best way to deal with situations as they arise.
2 – Show appreciation. Managers start forgetting to say thank you for jobs well done. Most of the time it’s not a mean spirited act, people simply forget to keep saying it. Absolutely nothing inspires esteem like a good genuine compliment for those who deserve it. For those with the school of thought that staff wages are their only needed reward… how is that working out for you? Just remember that they don’t have to be there, other jobs are available and you’ll start to feel it when your good people leave in droves.
3 – Check your attitude. Yes, you. It’s an old cliché that you should lead by example but it persists today because it’s true. No one expects you to come in everyday with a giant smile on your face, but remember that your staff looks to you for leadership and it’s your job to represent the attitudes that you wish to see. Leave your personal problems at home as much as possible, communicate effectively, listen carefully and be positive.
These three simple actions have been known to halt low morale in its tracks, but don’t forget to apply them frequently or you may just find symptoms re-emerging in the future. Keeping a healthy workplace environment is a must when maintaining energetic team members and happier customers.