Any leader worth their salt understands the importance of morale in employees. From being able to measure it effectively, to improving it in difficult times, morale can have a massive impact in the role of managers.
However, it's the small things that can have the biggest impact when it comes to how employees feel about their job. Though lavish all-expenses-paid parties and mega bonuses are impressive, they're not realistic for many businesses and can have a disappointing impact if leadership aren't making it their job to boost morale every day.
Here are five simple ways that managers can prioritize their team and ensure they feel motivated to realize their potential:
1. Say thank you
It may seem like a small gesture, but vocalizing your gratitude to employees can make a massive difference for how they feel. Even if you acknowledge the work they've done in your own mind, it's important that you communicate this appreciation to them. Whether you want to use a company-wide scheme like an 'employee of the month' or 'Champagne moment' to celebrate the achievements of people on your team or just say a simple 'thanks', showing appreciation can have a big impact on morale.
2. Define success
There's nothing more demoralizing than working as hard as you can but feeling like you're making no progress or having no real impact. To prevent this from happening to your team, make sure there are clear goals in place, as well as metrics and KPIs to monitor development. This will allow employees to not only work more collaboratively towards their shared objectives but also to be more motivated because their work - no matter how small - is being recognized.
3. Take an interest in their workload
Great leaders understand the pressures on those around them. This means talking to employees about their workload and empathizing with them as well as offering support if necessary. Having a manager who acts like this can be a massive morale booster for professionals as they know they're not isolated and have someone who cares about their wellbeing, not just whether they're getting work done or not.
4. Promote work-life balance
Traditionally, a lot of workforces encouraged staying in the office past clocking off time, coming in early to finish off a project, and replying to emails from home, but this will lead to burnout and low morale. Instead, managers should motivate employees to do a hard day's work and then relax when 5pm comes around. Working longer than the dedicated office hours should be discouraged in all but extreme circumstances. Having leadership prioritize a work-life balance over work progress tells employees that you care about their wellbeing more than how profitable they are.
5. Boost company culture
The company culture of where a professional works can have a significant impact on their morale. This should aim to make the workplace a pleasant place to be, with staff that truly appreciate each other, while still getting the job done. Social events, benefits packages, childcare support, and initiatives like reward schemes can all help to boost the company culture of any organization.