As I have alluded to previously, I was recently interviewed on Professionally Speaking TV – you can find a copy of the interview video at the bottom of the page here.
I was asked during the interview on exactly how to build morale in a team environment, and I thought the points were important enough to share here:
1. Invest face time to build stronger relationships. I am shocked at how many companies believe instant messaging is an effective communication tool. It is one way only, meaning you are sending me a direction or information, but you are not engaging me in a conversation. Invest face time to build a relationship.
2. Involve employees in decision making. Don’t make decisions in solitude, or worse yet in the C Suite. Seek input from those actually performing the work. Not sure why productivity has decreased, ask the employees running the line. You will be surprised at how quickly you can identify problems when you ask those actually doing the work!
3. Communicate frequently, but keep it brief. I prefer using the term huddle here, but finding a method to share information frequently, with making the team members wish they were anywhere but in your meeting requires that you keep information brief, to the point and frequent. Holding a 15 minute “breakfast briefing” at the start of each day is a good start.
4. Stop telling me and let me try. Provide individuals with the opportunity to demonstrate their strengths, regardless of what the talent. I recall I had an employee once that loved to speak for the group, and they loved letting him. I asked him to attend a meeting on my behalf and guess what? He did a great job, and he enjoyed the opportunity. What are your employee’s strengths and how are you engaging them in demonstrating them?
5. Keep rewards frequent and full of variety. Rewards come in many flavors, from verbal recognition to written recognition, lunches, awards, or just a simple thank-you. Don’t make a big “to-do,” just provide a means of thanks and your employees will be thankful they have you as a leader. Variety here is the spice of life.
Lastly, the most important thing to remember when managing teams is that each person is an individual; with their own set of beliefs, views, perceptions, personality and personal life. Spending time getting to know people is the best way to learn how to motivate and build their morale.
© Shawn Casemore 2013. All rights reserved.