Are you noticing a decrease in energy and excitement among your team? Hearing more sighs and seeing more rolled eyes than usual? Are your team members taking a sloppy approach to simple tasks? If you’re answering yes to any of these questions, your team might be suffering from a lack of drive. You might also need to think about ways to boost morale.
If you’re answering yes to any of these questions, your team might be suffering from low morale. More than just a passing bad mood, low morale stems from a waning sense of job satisfaction. It can be due to any number of factors. Increased pressure from management, a round of lay-offs, a particularly miserable client, and more.
No matter what the cause, low morale requires a proactive response. While you may not be able to change what’s going on in the broader organization, you can foster an environment that’s more productive and rewarding for your own team. Get started with these tried-and-true tactics.
1. “Good Job” Goes a Long Way
Busy days turn into busy weeks, which turn into busy months and years—which means we often forget to stop and celebrate small successes. But taking a moment to recognize your team members for a job well done in their day-to-day work is the easiest, cheapest, and most effective way to boost morale.
it’s important to recognize people the right way—you shouldn’t just hand out meaningless compliments. Take notice when someone has improved or gone above and beyond and tell her that you were genuinely impressed with the particularly good work she did. Authenticity rules.
2. Set (Fun) Team Goals
Setting team goals is the backbone of every good management strategy. Project goals, yearly performance metrics, and department-wide deliverables are all great motivators. Although, they can also be hard to relate to on a daily basis.
Work with your team to determine some immediate goals! They can be work-related, or they can even be goofy things like reaching a team bagel consumption goal or competing to find the weirdest daily news story. Giving the team something to work toward in the short-term (and rewarding them with prizes) is a great way to build excitement.
3. Learn From Each Other
When managing a group of people, it’s crucial to remind your team that it’s made up of individuals who bring diverse skills to the group. This, of course, applies to workplace skills—Excel, PowerPoint, public speaking—but don’t forget about the perhaps underutilized creative talents of your employees.
Every few weeks, try hosting a rotating “skillshare” (you can base it on the Skillshare model of learning anything from anyone) where a team member presents an untapped skill to the entire group. You never know—you might have a secret wine connoisseur, art history buff, or mini-golf champ among you!
Encouraging people to share their talents and interests will give them a chance to work on something they’re really excited about. In addition, it’ll also help the group to unwind together.
4. Go for Random Acts of Kindness
When new hires join the team, ask them to fill out a short questionnaire about their “favorites” (favorite candy, favorite flower, favorite magazine, favorite sports team.) Keep this information on file and use it when people could use an extra pick-me-up.
5. Lead by Example
It’s impossible to be cheery 100% of the time, but stress and negativity are incredibly infectious. If your team is headed into a busy season or tough project, it’s important to come to work with a good attitude every day. Be diligent about minimizing your complaints in front of team members.
Finding ways to boost morale should be a top priority and be consistent and strategic with your efforts. One-off pizza parties are not the ticket to good morale—but regularly communicating with your team, actively responding to feedback, and recognizing accomplishments will go a long way. After all, boosting morale will ultimately create a fulfilling and challenging work environment. This will benefit not just your team, but for you too.