What to do when you have to repair morale
Don’t be discouraged or intimidated by the task of turning around low morale in an existing workplace. Negative morale is possible to improve and shouldn’t be ignored as it can lead to high turnover, unmotivated employees and damage company culture. A few signs of low morale include lack of enthusiasm, an increase in complaints, uncooperative attitudes and an increase in absences.
According to a report by O.C. Tanner Learning Group, 79% of people who quit their jobs cite “lack of appreciation” as their reason for leaving.
Repairing negative morale within an existing team can be daunting. Getting to the root cause of the problem is the first step in correcting it. If there are multiple factors impacting the morale of your team, focus on the areas over which you have control. Acknowledge that the problem may have been brewing for a while and easy fixes may not exist. Be patient. Meaningful change doesn’t happen overnight. When the atmosphere begins to improve, do periodic check-ins or anonymous surveys to identify weak points and ensure attitudes are creating a stronger, happier team.
Some considerations that will be helpful in repairing broken team morale include:
- Be transparent and flexible.
- Encourage teammate connection.
- Organize teambuilding activities.
- Ask for anonymous feedback until trust has been built.
- Recognize the work teammates do — not just for going above and beyond, but for consistently doing their best despite hardships or distractions they may be facing.
In a Forbes article, writers David Sturt and Todd Nordstrom explain: “Recognition is the number one thing employees say their manager could give them to inspire them to produce great work. Global studies prove that when it comes to inspiring people to be their best at work, nothing else comes close – not even higher pay, promotion, autonomy or training.”
Creating positive morale in the workplace and across remote teams becomes a reality by trying putting these strategies and techniques into place. Watch your team transform into a happy, high-spirited powerhouse ready to go above and beyond by committing to new approaches.
Whether the team is creating, building or repairing its morale, keeping a close pulse on individual and group needs is imperative for building an encouraging, high-performance environment — resulting in positive ripples throughout the organization as a whole.