Whether you’re into it or not, the footy season is upon us and new teams have been formed, existing teams re-jigged, new members joined and established members have departed… not much different to the world of commerce really but how does that leave you especially if the morale of the team has taken a knock?
“Morale is the capacity of a group of people to pull together persistently and consistently in pursuit of a common purpose” is how sociologist Alexander Leighton puts it so it’s critical to invest time in developing good morale for your organisation to flourish, those that do experience much higher productivity, profitability and staff retention, decreased level of absenteeism and turnover of employee numbers as well as producing an amazing place to ‘want’ to come and work in!
So what are some common factors to cause morale to dip, check off those you feel within your environment…
- Dismal communication.
- Difficult co-workers.
- Heavy workloads and/or stress.
- No recognition or reward/gratitude.
- Restructure or Layoffs
- Deplorable leadership.
- Inflexible working conditions.
- Loss of contract that’s had a lot of time/resources ploughed into it.
- Cancellation of team benefits.
- Lack of enablement or autonomy.
And how frequently do Managers or Leaders turn a blind eye, or not even realise the state of morale by just putting it down to workload pressure. How often can the following clues be overlooked…
- Increased absenteeism.
- Increased staff turnover.
- Lack of enthusiasm by not only individual members but groups too.
- Obvious despondency.
- Decreased productivity.
- Increase conflict between team members.
- Increased complaints about work, or other team members.
You don’t have to be an Associate, Partner or Director of a firm or company to be a leader but whatever your role, Lead from the front and build your own positive attitude or outlook. See what difference this has on those around you. Understand what’s affecting your morale and then ascertain means by which you can address this to create positive affirmations even through the quagmire of assumed despair. Self-confidence inspires others, ‘Positive’ thinking encourages positivity around you (negative has the same effect but in the wrong direction), Quick wins results in improved morale with confidence flourishing in your team as well as yourself and understanding of the reality of the situation not just the emotive shackles we often tie around our own ankles.
Some other tips to consider:
- CONNECT WITH YOUR TEAM – Avoid hiding behind a desk with closed doors. Get out there, speak to the team, find out about personal as well as work subjects and show interest. Show presence by walking around and being approachable, keep communication channels open and get to ‘feel’ what’s happening around you, this is ‘emotional intelligence’ and don’t run from it, embrace it and show empathy with commitment to deal with issues arising. Remember earlier the ‘No recognition’ comment, reward your team/members and this doesn’t have to cost a penny, simply making an announcement to all how well a member or team have done builds positive feelings but physical rewards work well when they’re due or even awarding time off.
- CLARITY OF DIRECTION – Set ‘Clear’ goals. This way members ‘know’ what they should be doing or aiming for. SMART goals, yeah, I know, business spiel but it works!
- COMMUNICATION – The mother of all problems! Without clarity, rumours start and with rumours come the segregation within any organisation even if it’s sound as a bell, so it’s imperative that timely and accurate information is given. If there are changes being made, keep those around up to date so they can’t make their own ‘assumptions’. Express how things will affect them but remember to ‘Receive’ as well… after all, communication means “the activity of conveying information through the exchange of thoughts, messages, or information, as by speech, visuals, signals, writing, or behaviour”
- ENVIRONMENT – You’d be surprised to what a lick of paint, new air-conditioning, personal storage facilities, cooking equipment etc etc may have. Bright airy rooms to work in have extremely positive outcomes, tidy environment brings order both physically but mentally too.
- DEVELOPMENT – Regardless of managerial belief, people generally want to improve their lot, as it were. Find out what needs for development exist in your team(s), especially if there have already been lay-offs. By offering this, a better sense of security in what they do can be seen
- MAINTAIN MOTIVATION – All too often there’s a positive ‘get up and go’ approach and the following month, life’s back to normal! Know what makes your team members tick, it’s not always financial! (look into Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs). Keep up with SMART goals and stay ‘Connected’ with your team(s).
Coaching to Success understands where individuals and groups can suffer from the drop in Morale and how to help those leaders develop a positive environment and helps keep you motivated to succeed through these times as well as supporting you along this path. If this is an area you feel you, your team or firm/company would benefit from, take that first step by speaking to someone who can help you improve morale whilst keeping you on track to reach them, after all, that’s what coaching is all about so pick up the phone to arrange a free consultation on how we can help, contact Neil (07761 187238) or throw us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org… We’re here to help.