One of the questions that more and more business professionals are asking themselves is, “How to improve employee morale?” When good employees go bad, due to personal problems, or are otherwise not motivated to produce, is the only option to let them go? When you have invested so much into your long-term and best employees, that option is not so easy to do.
First Step: Assess The Source
When determining the problem with morale, it is important to asses what is the source of lowered morale. We can place the source into two broad categories: The employee or the place of work. Many times, the problem is not with the employee, but organizational problems within the place that they work. So knowing how to improve employee morale must begin at the correct source. Often, it can even be a combination of both.
External Sources Of Low Morale
It is easy to state that we live in a world that seems designed to lower any high morale. Factually, there are a number of political factions on both sides eager to share with us how bad it is on the other side. The media makes money by selling a dangerous environment. Do-gooders are eager to tell you about disasters, the struggles of certain groups and how endangered species are dying. This is a crucial first step.
Often, the external problems are best handled by a life or executive coach if the problem involves drug addiction, marital problems or financial strain. Most employers feel like they are hand-cuffed as these are personal problems that are complex and very emotional.
Internal Sources of Low Morale
Although it is hard to admit, it takes a great business owner or management team to have enough humility that something is awry with the way employees are handled and/or organized. While there can be a myriad of reasons why the business can be the actual source of lowered morale, let us look to what I have found to be the 5 most common sources.
1. Lack of Employee Training – Employees who lack formal training for what they do make mistakes, complain much and get very little done. They are a fantastic source of confusion and frustration. More than just knowing their job requirements, it is important to train them on how to improve relationships, how to communicate, how to study and many other critical skills required to perform well. Our personal development courses address these very issues.
2. Internal Disorganization – Most employees’ complaints about disorganization are well grounded. Trying to perform in a chaotic environment is all but impossible. Organizational systems need to be developed, written as policy and enforced. I work with competent consultants that know how to develop and implement such systems for almost any business or corporation.
3. Weak Leadership – Strong leadership is such an important factor for a business to succeed. Weak leadership seems to be an ever growing concern, yet the corporate world does not really know how to improve it. A vital part of business coaching and personal development is the training of leadership skills and know-how. We offer several courses on leadership and management that elevate managers into true leaders that can inspire increased production and higher morale.
4. Inadequate Marketing – Most businesses that are under-performing are ones that do not market themselves well. This of course leads to a business being slow, and when production is low, so is overall morale. Nothing can pick up morale like an exciting marketing program that truly develops more clientele and profits. Marketing experts, like Edwin Dearborn, truly know how to develop a customized marketing program.
5. Lack of An Employee Rewards Program – The best way on how to improve employee morale is to reward good performance. We strongly encourage that employees are managed on individual performance, managed with statistics and production performance quotas. Without individual accountability, you cannot measure good performance or bad performance. When adding incentives and rewards for achieving quotas, employees feel compelled to reach them. The result is an employee focused on set performance standards, and this results in higher production, more profitability and higher morale on everyone’s part.
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