A work environment filled with dedicated employees all year around is a goal all businesses should aim for. When you have an engaged staff compliment, your business is a winning one. The truth of the matter is your employees are your business. Without them, you don’t have the hands, feet, minds, smiles, ideas and so much more, that execute the service or product you’re selling.
However, an engaged team doesn’t just happen organically. Management has to work at building a culture of engagement and success. The good news is there is much leaders can do to build winning business cultures. Small gestures such as organising branded embroidered polo shirts for the team, away days to build team relationships, and the occasional Friday afternoon drinks at the office, go a long way.
Want some creative ideas? Here are just 4 tips on how leaders can boost office morale.
- Branded Company Apparel
Some may say we are reverting to the days of school uniform but just like those outfits, there is value in branded company apparel. When you’re a part of a successful company you’ll want to show the world and share the experience with your colleagues. Branded company shirts and jackets are one small way of building the image of family.
If you or your staff can’t afford outfits for every day, start by creating a day in the week where the whole team wears their branded clothing. Use that same day to compliment people’s team spirit. For example, show how one person’s work affects the next person’s task. This starts to build a family narrative between the members of your team.
Remember, a team that functions as a family is a team that looks out for each other. It’s a team that wins together.
- Authentic Positive Affirmation
All humans have an innate need to hear that they’re doing well. A team that receives balanced feedback from time to time is a team that grows. As a leader, learn to acknowledge the wins the individuals within your team produce and how to give constructive feedback that builds.
Affirmations are the fuel of success. When your team knows that they did well last week and learnt from their mistakes, they walk into the office the following week with a greater desire to win. They may even make fewer mistakes. If you have a diverse workforce from different ethnicities and backgrounds, consider diversity and inclusion training for your team. It will lessen workplace issues and help everyone feel more welcome and understood.
Important tip: as a leader, make sure that your feedback is always authentic and not done for the sake of a tick box exercise.
- Work Life Balance
We all live busy lives with many responsibilities often demanding our full attention all at once. One of the most important messages you can share with your team, which directly leads to higher morale, is that work is important but life outside the office is as important.
Do you see that as a leader in your business, it needs to start with you. Show your team that work stops at a certain time of the day. Communicate that it’s important that the other parts of their lives continue once they leave the office.
An agile working environment also goes a long way in boosting office and team morale. Let your team know that the goal is completed tasks and that how it’s completed is in their hands. Empowered people always deliver. Don’t clock watch and watch how your team delivers.
Of course, all freedoms have boundaries. Make these boundaries known and allow your team to flourish within them.
If this seems daunting, allow your team to have a day in the week to work remotely and see how it goes.
- Open Door Policy
As a leader, the open-door policy means that you’re available to listen when asked to and constructively give feedback when needed. Gone are the days where important conversations only happened during the Monday morning planning session. Conversations that are allowed at any time and flow, produce a team that feels involved and heard.
Open door policies also bring everyone in the company into the inner circle. Though there are managers who look after teams, each person in the company should feel that if they have a brilliant idea, they can share it with the boss at the coffee station.
A leader that is accessible to his or her people, builds a strong and motivated team around them. A strong and motivated team is bound to succeed.
Boosting office morale and building an engaged team doesn’t always have to be an overwhelming task. When leaders start by understanding their teams and what is needed, crafting ways to connect with them aren’t difficult. Start off small and build from there.
Remember to always involve your teams when it comes to turning around any issues you may identify as a leader. When you involve them, you show a great sense of understanding and wanting to walk along with them towards winning as a business.