Most people have at one point in their career. If you have, you can probably remember exactly what it felt like and what the obvious signs were. Yet more often than not, no one openly discusses or acknowledges that something is amiss.
Like a contagious disease, it’s pretty toxic and can spread fast. Symptoms of low morale include negativity, high staff turnover, malicious gossip, silos, negative conflict, lack of motivation and co-operation. All of these can result in heightened emotions, stressed individuals and poor performance.
Studies done by the Queen’s School of Business and the Gallup Organization estimate that disengaged workers have 37 percent higher absenteeism and 18 percent lower productivity.
So…not only are your people negatively impacted on a physical and psychological level, your bottom line is severely impacted.
A quick Google search brings up numerous articles featuring ‘7 (or 5,6,10 or even 25 depending on which search engine you use!) 'guaranteed ways to boost team morale', all of which have some good suggestions. But, I know that this box-ticking ‘one size fits all’ approach doesn’t work.
When I work with teams (and their leaders) I know that to get real, tangible, long lasting results it’s ESSENTIAL to get right to the root of the problem by learning about the company’s people, culture and unique set of challenges.
Often what leaders think is the main problem might just be the tip of the iceberg. This is why it's important not to take a ‘cookie cutter’ approach and believe that all the morale problems can be solved overnight by taking your teams out for a drink or a ‘team-building’ day out paintballing. These are just plastering-over-the-cracks solutions and have no long-term impact what so ever!
In order to create a positive work environment where people feel valued, a company and its leaders MUST work from the foundations up AND from the top down.
As someone who has worked with hundreds of leaders and teams over the years, I can vouch for the positive change that happens when leaders let themselves be vulnerable enough to ask their people what the cause of the low morale is, and what they as leaders can do to improve things.
Once you, as a leader, take that small first step and commit to the process, it’s awesome to see what’s possible. Your business will thrive once your people feel valued and you commit to creating a culture that encourages your people to grow into their potential.
You’ll have team members who are happy, committed, and productive and who are prepared to go the extra mile for you.
If you’re a leader who’s committed to your business and to the well-being of your employees and you’d like to discuss how I can help you build team morale, get in touch.