Low morale can sneak into your workplace and become an insidious drain on your productivity and your bottom line. But if you know how to recognize the early signs and squash this expensive problem before it starts, you’ll avoid countless headaches and lost revenue in 2017. Here are a few tips that can help you keep an eye out and take quick action before a small dip in morale becomes a thorny and complicated hassle.
Don’t let it start.
When morale drops and workers dial out, they don’t typically come to your door to announce this. Nobody ever says, “Hey, my morale is low and it’s making me less productive. Can you help?” In fact, most employees who feel this way believe that they’re alone, and they work hard to hide the issue instead of seeking outside support. Don’t wait for an announcement; just watch out for subtle signs of disinterest and a disconnect between effort and reward. If employees are no longer giving their best efforts and they seem unconcerned about the long term, it’s because they’ve done a kind of cost-benefit analysis and they’re reallocating their energy and attention to other aspects of their lives. That’s when it’s time to step in and take action.
When you see the signs, speak up.
During the cold winter months, employees get sick, their family members get sick, gloom takes hold, once-exciting projects feel like drudgery, and daily challenges become daily chores. If your teams seem slower to react to new assignments and they don’t rush to contribute during meetings, ask what’s wrong. Ask how you can help. If you don’t get a concrete response, you can act on your own initiative. But ask first; the answer your receive may provide a shortcut to the solution.
Make a decision.
If your employees won’t tell you exactly what they need, take action on your own. Schedule team building and leadership workshops to break up the monotony. Shift assignments and responsibilities to encourage teamwork. Provide fresh new incentives for excellent work. Foster a culture of encouragement and support instead of depressing internal competition and backbiting. Find ways to make dull responsibilities and goals into games.
When in doubt, offer food.
Nothing tends to boost a gloomy, disengaged team like free food. Something as simple as a box of donuts in the break room can lift some spirits and show your teams that you care about them. A more elaborate gesture, like sandwiches or a pizza lunch, can take the message even further.
For more on how to boost morale and encourage employees to stay focused amid the distractions of the season, reach out to the Cleveland County staffing experts at PSU.