A vital ingredient of any successful business is team morale. It becomes of paramount importance if your business is going through difficult times, and we don’t just mean “hard times”.
Difficult times come in many shapes and sizes. The difficulty could be caused by cashflow restrictions or a downturn in business, or the difficulty could equally be of the opposite kind – more business than you’re geared up to cope with. Either way, there’ll be a fall-out on your team and you’ll want to keep a close watch on the morale in your business workplace.
5 simple ways to keep morale right where you want it:
- Check The Mood
A morale problem is impossible to fix if you don’t know about it. Maintain an open door policy. Make it clear your team is always welcome to raise concerns and ask questions. Don’t forget for every team member that comes to you, there are others who are less vocal. They have issues too but aren’t so upfront about expressing them. You can help by being proactive and keeping in tune and in touch with individual employees.
- Don’t Keep Information To Yourself
It pays to be sharing information with your employees - not just at the weekly staff meeting, but all the time. Tell your team as much as you can, as soon as you can. Keeping your team in the loop with business information as it happens will build trust. It will also increase your team’s engagement and boost motivation on a day to day basis.
- Watch Out For Conflict
Address any conflict in your business fast, and fix it quickly. Ensure that when you resolve the conflict you address the problem, and not just the symptom. Otherwise you run the risk of putting a bandaid on an issue that will raise its ugly head again. When this happens it’s often larger and more destructive than the first time.
- Be Aware Of Burnout
Pay attention to the needs and workloads of your team members. In particular the most productive ones are apt to suffer from burnout. Are they receiving the support they need from other team members? Or are they carrying most of the burden themselves, and bearing the brunt of the pressure? If so, redistribute some assignments. You could also consider bringing in interim contractors to help with the current overload.
- Take Care Of Your Employee’s Aspirations
Perhaps you’re not in a position right now to make promises about raises or promotions. This should not stop you talking to your team about their career paths. Taking on difficult responsibilities may interest them. They may like to pursue different training or educational opportunities. What if you can’t deliver on everything on their wish list right now? Give them assurance that you’ll be looking to make their roles more rewarding as the business outlook improves.
If you can take these 5 easy steps you’re well on the way to maintaining an energising and uplifting morale in your business ... and well on the way to coming through your “difficult” phase – on top!
This article was first published in the September 2016 edition of Trial Balance - read more here