(DGIwire) — One of the most difficult things for a business owner to accurately gauge within his or her own company is also one of the most important: morale. When it’s good, it’s good but when it’s bad…let’s just say you want to work on getting things good quickly.
The reason it can be so hard to gauge morale issues is because often times employees won’t share their thoughts with their employers for fear of falling in their bad graces.
The conundrum is easy to understand according to Dian Griesel, Ph.D., a 20+ year market-messaging, PR and social media expert who is also founder and president of DGI Comm. “No employee wants to be the bearer of bad news or be viewed as a whiner or complainer. Most want to be seen as team players. But if someone is unhappy, resentment builds which certainly isn’t good.”
“Every wise boss is open to critique that includes a thoughtful suggestion for change,” she says. “Most employers are aware of problems, so it’s accurate that they don’t want to listen to whining because they are busy. Still, leaders rely on those around them to present their opinions along with proposed solutions. So opinions—even negative ones—offered with a plan for changing the status quo, are usually very carefully considered by smart managers.”
Want to keep improving your company’s morale? Wise managers carefully consider the following actions.
Comfort First. We’re not talking about anything fancy. Just the basics are enough to increase productivity. Suitably sized desks, ergonomic chairs, appropriate lighting, pleasant temperature, free water and coffee. A minimal investment in these essential basics will go a long way. If you wanted to take this a step further you could apply this to the office décor. Some plants and pleasing artwork have been shown to have a comforting affect on mood.
Time is Relative. Encourage employees to not only eat lunch away from their desk, but also to take short energy boosting breaks mid morning and afternoon. Provide a rebounder for them to bounce on for five minutes a day to get their blood and creativity flowing. Make sure they are also taking adequate vacation time to reenergize their mind, body and spirit. Everyone needs down time.
You Are How You Live. You can offer the perfect atmosphere for employment but it’s all for nothing if your employees are never there. Help them to cut down on sick days by instituting wellness programs. Have fruit delivered to the office once a week to help them appreciate the feeling of eating healthy. Purchase a corporate gym membership that will offer substantial discounts for employees. Do what you can to help each employee be the healthiest they can be. Any expenses you incur to promote wellness will be saved exponentially. And with less sick days, employees won’t always feel the stress of catching up on their workload.
No Strong, Silent Types! If you are happy with your employees, tell them! Two lines of praise that take you moments to say or write, will go a long way in the minds and hearts of your employees. Conversely, if you need to correct or critique an employee, express that as well. It’s equally counterproductive for someone to feel like they are doing a good job when they aren’t—as it is when someone is doing doing a bad job yet thinks they are employee of the month. Either way, communicate! Just remember to do so in a manner that affords each other dignity and the desire to want to improve. Convey your message without crushing their spirit. Encourage the same from them towards otehrs! Let them feel safe about coming to you with problems, questions or complaints.
Hallmark Moments. Keep an event calendar that lets you keep track of all your employee’s significant life dates. Birthday’s, work anniversaries, even marriage anniversaries if you attended their wedding. Small gestures like this help you show them how important they are to you and your organization.
Copyright-free content by DGIwire.