Many workplaces today are fraught with stress and tension, especially when tight deadlines are a regular problem and seem to always be looming overhead.
Low employee morale may be a common problem, but it doesn’t have to be one that affects your team’s productivity, and it doesn’t have to be a constant issue in your work environment.
When it comes to boosting employee morale, it’s really the leaders of the workplace and those with organizational leadership skills and degrees that need to step up and work to fix things. Boosting morale can seem difficult at first, but there are a variety of methods that have been proven to work that can be employed, all of which are simple and easy to implement.
Leadership Skill 1. Recognize Special Events
Special events in your employees’ lives like birthdays, weddings and children being born are major events in the lives of your staff members. To boost morale and keep it up, celebrating these special events in their lives is incredibly important. You don’t have to go nuts, but something as simple as a celebratory birthday cake or making a display of presenting a gift to an employee who just got married will show that you care about your employees and value them as more than just cogs in the business machine.
Leadership Skill 2. Reward Your Employees for Hard Work
Like recognizing special events in the personal lives of your employees, it’s important to reward your team when they work hard and meet goals set out for them. The way you reward your team is really up to you and what you think is appropriate. Ordering pizza might be appropriate for one office, while taking the staff out for an expensive meal or surprising them with tickets to a sporting event or show could be more appropriate for executive teams that perform at a very high level. The exact reward doesn’t matter as much as the fact that you’re letting your employees know that appreciate their hard work, even if it is their job to work hard for you.
Leadership Skill 3. Keep an Open Dialogue
Perhaps the most important thing any team leader can do, making sure your team has the ability to speak their mind all the time is essential. Once your employees know they won’t be ridiculed or put-down for “bad” ideas, you might be surprised how employees that were once somewhat quiet become vocal, valuable members of your team. You’ll also likely see a decrease in infighting among small teams that regularly work together to get projects done on a tight schedule.
Along with keeping an open dialogue, it’s also important to let your staff members know that putting other employees’ ideas down or being negative in an inappropriate manner simply won’t be tolerated in your workplace.
Leadership Skill 4. Listen to Your Employees
Most leaders claim to listen to their employees but are often just waiting for their turn to speak. Actually listening to your employees is a must. You may be the boss, but workers notice when you aren’t paying attention, and over time, it can be demoralizing.
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Nice article Zack. The 4 leadership skills are simple, but sometimes easy to forget. Great reminder.
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Empathy. I do not believe there should be a limit or wall on empathy in leadership, because the best leadership comes from the deep understanding we call empathy. However, the trap and the warning is while empathy is good, taking on the others problems is bad. Never make another persons problems your problem. Help and support – sure, but empathy should not be a door to become a “Fixer”. This is unhealthy for all parties and will generate resentment.