Increasing Employee Morale

There are several studies done on workplace morale, but today let’s take a firsthand look at what affect morale has on performance. Being a coach and working in different environments, I believe it comes down to the following 3 factors:

1) Trust: The starting point for all relationships. I emphasize relationships because the shift has gone from company loyalty to personal loyalty. People are loyal to people, not jobs. As a manager, it is your responsibility to create and maintain trust with your employees in order for the morale to have a chance to increase.

2) Communication: A wise man once told me, “You can never over-communicate.” We often make the mistake of assuming and expecting others to know what we are thinking. Younger workers were raised differently, so be clear and specific with your instructions. Communication is a two-way street. Both parties need to participate. Try this for improving communication: set up a mentoring program pairing your older and younger workers together. The more experienced workers can transfer knowledge, while younger workers can teach technology.

3) Environment: Performance is a reflection of a worker’s personal life. Times have changed. When we hire workers under the age of 30 there is a blurry line between business and personal lives. Basically the problems outside of work are brought into work. That is why it is key to establish trust and communication immediately. Those two factors will reveal what environment is best suited for the employee. It’s those little things such as “perks”, positive feedback and work relationships that make the biggest difference in morale. Environment is all about how one feels or perceives the workplace. It doesn’t take a percentage raise (but that doesn’t hurt) to change the mood of a worker. Try rewarding someone with an iTunes card or call a worker into your office to let them know impressed you were with last week’s project.

If you forget everything else I mentioned above, remember this one quote, “Nobody cares how much you know, unless they know how much you care.”

Be proactive! Be part of the solution. Take small steps to improve the morale in your workplace. Take pride in making a difference!

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