by Laura Gibbons
It is not uncommon for even the best of teams to struggle with low team morale at one point or another. There are many factors that can contribute to a team’s attitude such as office politics, an especially tough project, changes in the business culture, poor management, and understaffing. These are just a few examples of what could be impacting your team’s attitude and performance. It is crucial to your company’s bottom line and overall success to keep your employees happy and engaged. Happy teams are more productive, creative, and deliver a higher quality of work than those struggling with low team morale. Here are 5 simple ways you can boost your team’s morale right now.
1 – Take the time to listen. You can’t make positive steps to improve your team’s morale if you don’t know what is contributing to their negative feelings. Ask the team for feedback. Find out what they believe is working/not working. You could set up a drop box in the office where every team member could anonymously drop off suggestions or feedback for the management team to review. You could also create an anonymous survey for the staff to fill out. Either way, ask the team to provide real feedback and take the time to actually listen to them. Stephen R Covey once wrote, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Don’t make this mistake. Read through the feedback and suggestions with an open mind, pay attention to patterns, and use this information to create effective solutions.
2 – Clearly define job roles, responsibilities, and expectations. Team morale can really suffer when people are unsure of their roles and responsibilities at work. Stress increases when expectations are not clearly defined. Make sure everyone knows exactly what their role is in a project, in the company, and what you expect from them.
3 – Celebrate Accomplishments. One of the easiest ways to boost team morale is to focus on the positive accomplishments of the team and of the individuals. Take the time to celebrate the wins, such as whenever someone lands a new account, makes a sales goal, or solves a difficult problem. Recognize the accomplishments of the team or individual and let them know that all of their hard work is appreciated. Simple phrases such as “good job” or “thank you” can make a big impact on the team’s morale.
4 – Focus on team building. Participate in some fun team building exercises that improve communication and promote team work. There are many low-cost team building exercise options available. Here are a few of my favorite ideas.
5 – Learn from each other. Everyone has a special skill or talent. Someone in your group may be a fantastic cook, great salsa dancer, speak a 2nd language, paint, tell funny jokes, great public speaker, or enjoy writing advanced excel formulas. Celebrate what makes the people on your team special by hosting monthly workshops. Each month, someone from the team could sign up to showcase their skills and teach the team the basics. No one should be forced to participate however this a great way to learn more about your team members, enjoy spending time together, and learn new skills.
What factors have contributed to low team morale in your past? What are other effective and low cost ways to boost team morale? Write your ideas and thoughts below in the comment section.
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About the Author:
Laura Gibbons is the founder of 9to5SurvivalGuide.com. Laura has survived 12+ years in the corporate retail environment. She has dealt with difficult co-workers, impossible bosses, and stressful work environments. She now shares her insights and expertise on career advancement and 9 to 5 survival through her website.