How to Keep Morale High and Your Employees Motivated

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How to Keep Morale High and Your Employees Motivated

Here’s a situation that should be familiar to anyone who’s ever had to manage other people. You’ve put together what feels like the perfect team of employees. Maybe things went really well at first, and your employees were hard-working and creative. Lately, things are different. Suddenly the work’s not getting done. The ideas aren’t flowing as freely and they’ve been bland or listless. All of a sudden, your perfectly crafted team of employees isn’t working together like they used to. What do you do?

This is an extremely frustrating position to be in, but luckily it’s also a completely fixable one. Your problem most likely lies in employee morale. If your team isn’t feeling happy and motivated like they used to, it’s up to you to figure out ways to get them back on their feet. How do you ask? Here are a few tips you can use to fix your employee morale problems and get your team running like a well-oiled machine again. How to keep morale high and your employees motivated.

Be Generous with Positive Recognition

Every manager is familiar with the best ways to hold their employees accountable for their mistakes, but often we forget that recognition can go the other way too. It can be extremely demotivating to feel like your employers aren’t paying attention or recognizing the good things that you do, so it’s important to make sure your employees feel seen. It doesn’t have to be something big, either. Even just a shout-out at the next team meeting or a note upon a message board in the break room can go a long way towards boosting employee morale and making your workers feel recognized.

Keep Goals Manageable

Another common practice that can demoralize your employees is placing huge or unattainable goals on them. This makes them feel pressured and increases employee stress, which is a recipe for low morale. This doesn’t mean you should lower your expectations, however – just rethink how to present things. Break large goals down into manageable chunks with shorter deadlines. This gives your employees more achievable goals, which helps them feel motivated and energized. The work still gets done, but now it doesn’t feel as crushing or overwhelming. This is especially useful if you consider the last point as well – be sure to congratulate your employees after they successfully complete each part of the task!

Keep Them in the Loop

This is a pretty easy and simple tip that can actually go a long way towards making your employees feel more engaged with the work they’re doing. When you give somebody a task to complete, just make sure to tell them the purpose of the task. Let them know how the work they’re doing fits into the greater goals of the business so they can understand why it’s important. Not only does this show them how important their work is, but it also gives them a feeling of ownership over the project. 

Trust Your Employees

This one might feel a little counterintuitive, but the truth is that you might actually be overmanaging your underperforming employees. Nobody likes to be micromanaged, and this can be a major source of demotivation for your workers. Sometimes the best move is to pull back a little and give your employees more autonomy. Letting your workers feel your trust in them can motivate them to work harder, plus they might be able to figure things out on their own that they wouldn’t under your micromanagement. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t keep an eye on them. If things aren’t going well, you should still be prepared to step in and take the reins when you need to.

Create a Positive Work Environment

Interpersonal management isn’t the only way to motivate your workers. Sometimes the best way to change morale is to change the physical environment of your workplace. Studies have shown that employees in spaces with low ceilings and loud AC actually experience more stress than employees in open workplaces with natural light, even if they’re doing the same work. Think of it this way: your employees are spending 8 hours a day at work. Shouldn’t it be somewhere they actually want to be? Consider adding more windows, bringing in new furniture, or providing a nicer kitchen or social area. If your employees feel more comfortable at work, they’ll also feel happier and more motivated.

Bring in Outside Help

If you’re at your wit’s end, don’t be afraid to bring in someone from outside the company to help. Sometimes your best play is to just hire a conference speaker to come in and sort out your employees for you. These speakers are highly knowledgeable and trained in situations exactly like yours, so you can be sure they know exactly what they’re talking about. Try asking around for recommendations and find a speaker who knows your industry and specializes in problems like yours.

Don’t Forget the Golden Rule

You can read books and websites and get all kinds of tips, but the best management technique is one you learned all the way back in grade school: treat others the way you want to be treated. This is really the core of fixing any motivation issues with your employees. Put yourself in their shoes and think about how you’d want to be managed. Treat your workers with the respect they deserve and make sure they feel seen and heard. Making sure your employees feel respected is going to be the first step to fixing any moral problem, no matter what it is.

At the end of the day, each of these ideas is ultimately just a suggestion. The only one who really knows your employees is you, so it’s up to you to figure out how to keep them engaged and motivated. Try out any tips and tricks you hear about, but you should also remember to trust your gut and work with what you have. 

Milla Jones

Mila Jones is a Senior Business Consultant, with rich experience in the domains of technology consulting and strategy.

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