How to boost staff morale when things get tough
Every company hits a rough patch occasionally; it’s a natural part of growth.
In fact, there’s an argument to say that, if you haven’t experienced an extremely challenging situation as a business, you’re probably not trying hard enough.
As Thomas A. Edison once said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
The biggest challenge often relates to raising staff morale when things get tough. It’s natural for teams to become despondent and lacking in motivation during tough times.
However, the best teams have the best leaders; the people who pull them through and inspire them to get back to their best.
Here are six super-simple ways to boost staff morale in the toughest of times.
Show that you care
Showing that you care as a boss is often about doing the little things.
Think about the time a previous boss took you to one side and said “thank you” for a job well done. There was no pay raise, no bonus, no name-in-shining-lights presentation at an office meeting – just a simple “thank you”. And it worked.
You can offer the same level of care by recognising everyone’s birthday and making each team member feel like a member of a family, rather than a bunch of employees.
Remember – the employees you have are the lifeblood of your operation. Show them you care every single day.
Let them in
Do you hide revenue figures? Are the company’s goals and future plans completely shrouded in mystery unless you sit at the board room table?
If the rest of the team has zero idea of where the company is headed or how successful it is, what reason do they have to stay and invest a significant portion of their lives into it?
Let employees into your plans and give them the chance to contribute. You don’t have to show every board-level detail, but you should give them a reason to come to work each day.
Allow lateral movements
Not everyone wants to move upwards in an organisation. Some people are happy to simply flourish within their current position, while others look to move sideways.
Who says that, for instance, if you work in sales, you can’t find a career opportunity in software development?
Make it clear that there are opportunities for growth throughout the business – even if that means staying on the same pay grade and simply shifting into a different department. You never know what desires people are harbouring to explore new roles.
Recognize every win
Whether it’s a small step forward within a larger project or the biggest new client win your company has ever experienced, the person behind it deserves equal praise.
Tell them how happy you are and shine a light on them throughout the organisation.
By demonstrating that their efforts are being recognised – no matter how big or small each win is – you’ll inspire not just that individual but the entire company to go above and beyond.
Have some fun
Think about how much time people spend at work. For many of us, we spend more time with our colleagues than we do our loved ones.
That’s why it’s vital you mix some fun stuff with work duties. Staff days out, the addition of a pool table in the staff room, ad-hoc quizzes, random pizza days; do whatever it takes to make your workplace somewhere people want to visit and in which they enjoy spending their time.
There are some common themes above: compassion, recognition, appreciation and reward. It’s simple stuff, but so easy to overlook if you’re in the midst of challenging market conditions.
The good news? Your team is still capable of amazing things, and our tips above will ensure they reach the performance levels of which they’re capable.
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