This is the time of year when everyone is taking inventory on their goals, plans, and objectives for the new year. While the focus tends to be on numbers and percentages, when is the last time you focused on your team and the quality of your work environment? Take a moment to check the pulse of your team's morale. Signs of low morale are increased turnover, rare personal initiative, and lack of team work, in addition to poor overall performance. If your team is showing any of these symptoms, consider some ways on how to improve office morale in the upcoming year.
1. Don't Micromanage
If you find yourself constantly checking in on your team and having endless meetings to provide "updates", then maybe you should take another look at your management style. Are you micromanaging and afraid to delegate tasks? Are you nervous that your employees aren't working if you're not standing over their shoulder? Well maybe it's time to reconsider your behaviors and see how they're impacting your team. In a recent study by Workfront, over 60% of employees blame an overbearing and demanding boss as having the most negative impact on their work-life balance. Don't be that guy! Instead of micromanaging, delegate tasks, give clear definitions of expectations and timelines, and then sit back and watch your team flourish. Properly delegating shows that you have faith in their abilities and motivates your employees to give their best performance, even when you're not watching.
2. Practice What You Preach
Your mission statement shouldn't just be a placard on the wall or an insert in a sales brochure; you should be living it every day as an example to your team! When you say that you value your employees and their success, your actions need to back it up. Align your values with what your employees value and you'll see employee morale improve dramatically. You set the tone as the manager, so if you want to encourage teamwork and a positive team environment, put some initiatives in place to get that going in the new year. Consider doing some team building activities like an off-site lunch, or start to recognize professional accomplishments around the office if you're not doing so already. People want their contributions to be recognized, and feeling undervalued is one of the top reasons that good employees leave a job. Keep the team you've got by practicing what you preach and show your employees that they matter.
3. Show Me the Personal Day!
Does your company give employees the chance to reboot and maybe take a day off to recharge? Personal time is important for all of us and one of the best ways to boost office morale is to provide a chance for employees to manage their work-life balance. Did you know that almost 40% of Americans have missed an important life event due to work schedules? Don't be one of those employers that prevents your team from participating in the meaningful events of life; it just builds resentment from your employees and results in low productivity. Try offering a flexible work schedule with the ability to log in and work outside typical business hours to compensate for time off during standard operating hours. Or consider adding in the benefit of a few personal days for employees to take charge of their time. Whatever option you put in place, your employees will feel empowered to make the most of their time at work, and their time away from the office.
While we're not recommending a total overhaul of your corporate culture, do a quick scan to see where you can make some quick improvements to give your employee morale a boost. Give your team the nudge that they need to get back on track for 2016 and watch performance and productivity soar!