No matter how wonderful the company, occasionally employee morale may sag and require a renewed effort from management to bring employee production back up to par. Fortunately, some of the best morale boosters are inexpensive, making them affordable to even the smallest business operation.
One of management's primary responsibilities is to encourage employees so they are able to ensure the continuing success of the business.
There are several strategies for how to boost employee morale. Here are some tips:
- Treat employees with respect, even when they may be disrespectful to you. Losing your temper, cursing, and reprimanding an employee in public affects more than just the employee in question. Every employee who hears (first or secondhand) of your inappropriate behavior will lose respect for you and wonder if he or she will be next on the receiving end of your temper.
- Show interest in your employees' personal lives leads to satisfaction. Asking about their families as you pass in the hall, empathizing with their hardships, and treating them as people rather than commodities gives them a feeling of worth within the company.
- Allow your employees to gain ownership of their jobs by being part of the decision-making process when it comes to setting position duties, deadlines, and goals.
- Create a pleasant work environment. Make sure the area is appropriately lit, the heat and air conditioning work properly, and the area, including the parking lot, is clean and in good repair.
- Remember the basic rules of polite behavior that you learned as a child. Remember to say "please" and "thank you."
- Establish an employee recognition program, which will allow you to publicly commemorate the efforts of those employees who go beyond the call of duty.
- Celebrate company successes! Whether you take the company out to dinner, pass around a newspaper clipping, or simply call everyone together and express your appreciation for the teamwork that helped you reach a company milestone, share the credit. This is one of the best strategies for employee motivation. Everyone loves to be recognized for a job well done.
- Stand behind your employees. Be their greatest advocate. While it is important to make the customer happy, if your employee lived up to company expectations, you take responsibility for giving the directive that prevented your employee from taking additional steps to please the customer. When necessary, act as the cushion between unhappy customers or suppliers and employees.
- Give clear direction and set priorities. This will help alleviate any misunderstandings between what you expect employees to do and what they perceive needs to be done.
- Avoid layoffs and cutbacks. Nothing will reduce employee morale like wondering whether they will have a job tomorrow. If you must cutback, communicate the reasons why and the depth of the lay offs up front. Clarify what steps you are taking to safeguard the employment of the remaining employees.
Motivating employees just takes a little thought and good manners, things anyone in a management position is able to do. If you still need assistance, consider enrolling in an online business management course to get some fresh ideas.