Employee morale is a fickle thing, going up and down seemingly without reason, a rollercoaster ride of emotions and profitability. Of course, you can’t control people’s emotions, but with the right approach, you can steer company morale consistently in the right direction. Here are a few tips to do just that.
1. INITIATE A DAILY HUDDLE.
The stories we tell ourselves have more impact on our emotions than perhaps anything else. But by holding standing mini-meetings of no more than 10 minutes every day, you can spark a new, authentic story in your work community. Let people share their challenges, the actions they’re taking to overcome them, and their victories.
One thing, though: if you do start doing a daily huddle, make sure you keep it consistent for the entire life of your company. Leaving huddles hanging is a surefire way to plummet morale.
2. CHANGE UP THE WORK SCHEDULE.
When people fall into an emotional rut, they’re often in an action rut as well. Let your employees switch up their daily work schedules, and it will help jar them out of sluggishness. Letting someone start late on Monday to allow them to clear up some personal baggage can go a long way.
3. REMIND THEM OF THE “WHY.”
People tend to get fixated on the “what” of your business, and the day-to-day grind begins to cause fatigue. To stir up passion and purpose among your team, direct everyone’s attention to the deeper meaning behind the work they do. The more compelling and fleshed out your company mission is, the easier it’ll be to stick to it and stay happy.
The first thing many customer service reps learn is that angry people need to vent before they are open to change. Meet with disgruntled team members individually or in small groups to learn about the problems they’re facing. However, avoid big groups — these tend to spawn soapboxers who will bring more problems forward than you can fix.
5. LET THEM TAKE NAPS.
Seriously! Ever had a critical conversation with your significant other when you were both exhausted? I’m guessing it didn’t go too well. Well, it’s the same thing with your employees. Giving your team a “dark room” to take a 20-minute power nap shows that you genuinely care about them, not to mention boosting their productivity when they return to work.
6. TAKE ONE FOR THE TEAM.
When your people are facing a particularly nasty obstacle and morale is sinking, be the ultimate leader and shoulder the burden for them. Take on the dirty work, handle the confrontation, and show the team you’re there to serve them.
Once you’ve taken action and morale is lifting, it’s your job to keep the momentum going. With regular communication and authentic leadership, you can keep mood dips brief and keep everyone working together for a common goal. Don’t blame your team — it’s your responsibility to maintain positivity, trust, and cooperation in the office.
MIKE MICHALOWICZ (pronounced mi-KAL-o-wits) started his first business at the age of 24, moving his young family to the only safe place he could afford – a retirement building. With no experience, no contacts and no savings, he systematically bootstrapped a multimillion-dollar business. Then he did it again. And again. Now he is doing it for other entrepreneurs. Mike is the CEO of Provendus Group. He is also a former small-business columnist for The Wall Street Journal; MSNBC’s business makeover expert; a keynote speaker on entrepreneurship and the author of the cult classic book The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur and the instant new classic, ClockWork, his latest book. For more information, visit www.mikemichalowicz.com.