When employees begin to feel overworked and underappreciated, they tend to fall into common negative habit pattern, and then you're on the road to low morale and low company productivity. And, in the end, it is going to cost you.
Once you've built trusting relationships and developed a foundation of respect, employees will automatically respond with more creativity. The best way to nurture and benefit from their new-found creativity is to adopt the philosophy: there are no bad ideas, only undeveloped ones.
Trusted and respected employees who have the flexibility to try new things will surprise you with the creative ingenuity that they bring to their work.
Build Effective Teams
Team building is a more complex challenge than fostering high morale in individual employees. Following are five problems many teams develop that keep them from being as effective as they can be in accomplishing company goals:
- Absence of Trust-due to invulnerability
- Fear of Conflict-artificial harmony
- Lack of Commitment-ambiguity
- Avoidance of Accountability-low standards\
- Inattention to Results-caused by individual status and ego issues
In the absence of trust, morale is at its lowest and self protectionism becomes the rule. It doesn't take a Ph.D. in psychology to realize this will limit productivity and make work a lot less rewarding for both employees and their managers. This 'every man for himself' attitude destroys teams and makes it impossible to optimize goal setting and achieve corporate objectives in a timely manner, if at all.
By learning to communicate more effectively based on honesty, consistency, vulnerability, and respect, teams will be able to focus unselfishly on common results. This in turn keeps individual egos and agendas in check.
Make It Real
One of the first things to stress with the management team is "Making It Real." This means being genuine and believable when interacting with staff. The end results of being be more open and vulnerable with staff is more trust, respect and improved communication.
"Making It Real" is the answer to the question, "What is the root cause of low employee morale?" Because it is such a simple concept, it is often missed. But, without staff believing managers are genuine, honest, and practicing high levels of integrity, any effort made to improve morale will be suspect.
Keep this idea in mind when dealing with employees and you will be surprised how easy it is to improve morale and enjoy the benefits of higher productivity, better retention, lower costs, and an overall happier, more satisfying workplace.
Source: John Schaefer is a consultant with more than 20 years of experience helping companies realize and react to what he calls, "The Employer/Employee Disconnect." He is the author of The Vocational Shrink -- An Analysis of the Ten Levels of Workplace Disillusionment, as well as training program "Why Should Supervisors Care."
Posted on Tue, March 16, 2010
by Kurt McDowell filed under