by Dianne Gubin
Executives and managers are asking what they can do to keep morale up in their offices. They are talking about combating depression and stress among workers during the current recession.
All companies are feeling the pinch of the recession. Companies have downsized, implemented pay cuts, stipulated mandatory days off, reduced benefits, and more.
What does this mean to employees? Many are stressed and depressed as they worry about keeping jobs; the pressure of higher expectations with less time and fewer resources; and, of course, the pressure to work at peak performance levels at all times.
What can executives and managers do to boost morale in the workplace?
1. Show more sincere appreciation for employees on your team. Look for the positive aspects and tell your team how much you appreciate each of their individual contributions regardless of job description. People who are just doing their job want to be acknowledged for their role, importance, and contribution to the company.
2. Everyone works best when passionate about new initiatives and challenges. For example, engineers at Google are encouraged to spend 20 percent of their time to work on company-related projects that are of interest them personally. The result? Google mail and other applications.
3. Hold weekly meetings. People worry the most and imagine the worst when they are out of the loop. Keep your team, especially remote workers, apprised of developments both good and bad as everyone needs to know what s on the corporate radar screen. Assure your employees that if there are changes in the work place you will inform them.
4. Consider implementing or updating Employee of the Month and other recognition programs.
5. Build a sense of team or community. Organize a social action activity within your organization for employees to give back. Participate in a Run or Walk for AIDS or cancer, volunteer at a food bank, support a local Little League team and more. There are countless organizations that would be grateful for your group s time.
6. Look for reasons to celebrate. Celebrate all company birthdays on the first Friday of the month. Celebrate the success of a great week for sales or hitting a deliverable milestone. Celebrate a higher ranking for your company on the Internet search engines. Look for reasons to connect and form strong teams.
7. Remember the adage, The way to a man s heart is through his stomach. This works for women, too! Feed your team. Keep coffee, drinks and healthy snacks available so your team doesn t need to leave the office to buy treats. Many employees just deal with work place stress for fear of losing a job and income. Create an environment where work/life balance is encouraged.
8. Employee anxiety and depression can cause lower productivity in the workplace.
9. Provide employee wellness programs to combat stress and significantly lower corporate medical costs. Consider providing on-site meditation or gym classes, support groups, and employee-assistance referral and counseling programs.
10. Ask the question. Many people will say off the record that they hate their jobs. It could be the boss. It could be the cleanliness of the break rooms. Create an environment where your people want to be. Take surveys and ask for suggestions on how to improve your work environment so your people the people you have trained and invested time and energy into will want to work there.
Work provides a sense of pride and accomplishment. Keeping up morale is absolutely the best way to boost productivity.
This recession will end. By implementing morale boosters today, you have a better chance of keeping key employees when the job market turns around.
From Sarah…I thought this was a great bunch of tips not just for an office team, but for, well…in general…it just solidified for me the idea of celebrating and acknowledging…yourself.
Here’s her actual bio:
Dianne Gubin has accelerated thousands of career successes by opening doorways to life-changing opportunities within Fortune 500 corporations, government, and fast-growth companies. She s worked with hundreds of hiring managers, thousands of candidates and seen countless resumes. Gubin knows what it takes to get someone hired into a company, as well as what it takes for a candidate to get a job. Dianne is a Recruiter and Career Coach, as well as a highly sought speaker and media expert on careers, professional development and workplace issues.
2009 Dianne Gubin.