Article Posted by Charlie Harris in All-Rants,
Boost Employee Morale
is an important part of being a good boss. The more enthusiastic your employees are about their work, the more productive they’re going to be. This also goes for the quality of work, since whenever an employee is invested in what they’re doing, they care about the outcome. Overall, anything you can do to improve employee morale will only benefit your company in the long run. However, you also have to watch out for doing the opposite, which is lowering employee morale
with the wrong approach. The common thread when it comes to criticism and rewards at work is that human beings thrive off of being appreciated. If your actions and policies show that your employees are unimportant, then you’ll see the result in bad attitudes, low quality work, and poor output. Here are three behaviors that all managers should avoid.
Coworker Antics That Go Unaddressed
Don’t Antagonize Your Employees.. It Will Backfire
Employees who cause disturbances and problems need to be addressed. The problem with allowing a rowdy presence to go unchecked is that it demoralizes all their coworkers. For example, if someone is constantly showing up late but never gets in trouble, then all of your other employees will think that you’re showing favoritism. This in turn demoralizes their efforts to come to work on time, and will result in one of two outcomes. The first is that they start to resent you and their rule-breaking coworker. The other is that they also start to approach timeliness with a lazy attitude, and begin showing up late, too. If you criticize one employee, but never addressed the lateness of another, you’re going to have a major staff morale problem
on your hands. The best way to approach problem employees is to address the issue quickly, professionally, and by the book. The employee handbook and rules are there for a reason, and you should use it to your advantage. You don’t have to approach the offending employee scathingly, since perhaps there’s a reason they’re coming in late, but you need to address the issue immediately.
Longer Hours Without Reward
Overworked Employees Tend To Suffer From Burnout Syndrome
Making employees work longer hours without any incentive or reward is a huge source of low morale. Free time is something that’s highly prized, as well as predictability. Workers plan their lives around work schedules, so you don’t want to interrupt their routine or plans. It can mean the difference between going to a job that’s enjoyed and doing slave labor. An employee needs to feel like their work is valued, and that means you should set hours as consistently as possible. If you need employees to work longer hours, explain why. You should also ask, rather than tell, while still making clear that it’s mandatory. Don’t expect someone working for you to simply keep their mouth shut and happily nod along. Even if you have yes men working for you, rest assured that if the complaint doesn’t come out of their mouth, it will come out in their work. This is an even worse scenario than insubordination, so handle the necessity of longer hours with tact and professionalism
. It also helps your case if you make clear that the hours also effect you, so that it puts you on the same level, even if you’re a manager.
Don’t Rush Them Unless It Is Completely Necessary
Putting restricting deadlines on employees is a hazardous practice that should only be used when absolutely necessary. If you need something done faster than you first stated, explain why. You don’t need to answer to your subordinates, but allowing them to get onboard with the situation you find yourself in will make them feel valued. When you stress employees out by being unpredictable, it makes them disengage with any investment they have in a project. It’s also frustrating for someone working under a deadline, to then have the rug pulled out from under them unexpectedly. Working within confined
, spelled out timeframes is something that allows employees to maximize their efficiency. By inspiring frustration and insecurity with unreasonable deadlines, you’re sure to notice a decrease in enthusiasm and overall morale amongst your employees. There is something to be said for leveling with people, because it makes them feel like they’re part of a team. If you simply spring a new expectation on someone that’s not only unexpected, but also extremely demanding, they’re going to check out eventually. Too much stress without explanation will crack a worker. If you want to retain their loyalty and energy, you need to make clear that you’re not intending to be unreasonable, and that you’re asking for support. Being a tyrant won’t get you anywhere, but being a team player with your team will.