How to Boost Team Morale and Inspire Coworkers for the Year Ahead
The workplace has a changed a lot in the past couple of years. 2020 was a year of dealing with the stress of a pandemic and the many changes in life and the workday as we once knew it, while 2021 was a year of getting used to workplace shifts and strategies as a result of that previous year.
Let's face it, it's been a challenging couple of years for us all. As a result, it's no surprise the employee morale within many companies has suffered along the way.
With a new year just on the horizon, now's the time help your employees and coworkers prepare for the year ahead—and to encourage and inspire them to feel a renewed sense of purpose, productivity and satisfaction within their team and the company.
Easier said than done though, right? Maybe. While you aren't in control of anyone else's feelings toward their job or the company at-large, there are ways you can contribute to bolstering morale whether you're a manager, team leader, or an employee. Here are a few tips on how to do it.
✓ Assess Company Mood & Morale
You can't change what you don't know. This is particularly important if you're a manager or team leader, but fellow employees and coworkers should (and usually are) aware of their team's mood and morale and work to improve it. Talk to individuals and teams to get feedback on how they're feeling about the workplace and about their job position—and then collaborate to work toward positive change. Another successful strategy is providing an occasional employee survey to get a better feel of the company morale from time to time.
✓ Celebrate Your Team
Take the opportunity to focus on the people that you work with and what they each bring to the team. Each employee is unique and has strengths that can and should be celebrated every now and again. Your team as a whole probably has had times of great synergy which helped to achieve a certain task or goal. Celebrate that and acknowledge those times of triumph. Everyone wants to feel valued and appreciated no matter their role or position within the company. Organizations that understand the importance of recognizing employee achievement often have high team morale.
✓ Communicate Well & Often
There is nothing more frustrating than poor communication within a team or company. Communication is usually the first thing to break down when work gets busy or a lot of change is happening. LIttle things begin to slip through the cracks that then become big things resulting in confusion, conflict, and even complacency. It takes all of the team members to contribute to better communication, but it starts at the top with leadership that values and models it. If you're in a role where you have the opportunity to provide training on better communication skills for your fellow employees, then by all means do it.
✓ Focus on What Matters and What Motivates
Take time to understand what matters to your fellow employees and use that as a foundation for growth and positive change. Employees and team members will feel more empowered to perform well and have an intrinsic motivation to do their jobs if they are finding the satisfaction, incentivisation, and compensation they desire from the workplace where they are dedicating a great deal of time, energy and commitment.
✓ Look to the Future
Looking ahead to the future, setting goals, and being transparent with your team about what lies ahead builds trust and gives perspective on what's to come. This can be a time to renew, recharge, and rebuild momentum among those you work with. Talk about the future, make plans for growth, and inspire positive changes that will lead to your team's success in the long run.
✓ Strengthen Managers & Team Leaders
Managers directly impact morale and engagement in the workplace. More often than not, managers and leaders are not given the support, tools, training, or people they need to do their jobs well. Whether it's constantly being understaffed and overworked or simply not having the encouragement and freedom to focus on developing management skills, this is a typical challenge that is often left unaddressed. Managers and team leaders are in crucial roles that affect the overall performance and production within the company. Get their input on what they need to do their job better—and then if at all possible give those things to them. It's an investment a company can't afford to neglect. And managers, don't be shy about expressing your needs to those above you. You deserve support, too.
✓ Verbalize the Positive
This sounds like such a simple thing, and it is! Each and every one of us has the power to encourage someone else on a daily basis by taking this one, incredibly easy step. We often think about these things in our head, but how often do we take it to the next level by verbally telling the person directly the positive things we have seen and taken note of? Not often enough. Whether it's a simple "thank you" for a job well done or appreciation for someone's time and dedication to a project or task, saying it out loud absolutely makes a difference.
✓ Work on Wellness and Life Balance
Everyone wants to work for a company that values their wellbeing—and showing it's important to your organization may be simpler than you might think. Providing employees with the tools they need to work flexibly as part of a hybrid team could help them better manage their work/life balance. Encouraging vacation time, promoting "real" lunch breaks away from the desk, and leaving work at a decent hour are all things that contribute to work/life balance.
If you work in an office setting, invite others walk with you on your breaks or before or after work hours or suggest having meetings outdoors for a chance of pace and some fresh air. If you work from home, set a reminder to get up and move if you've been sitting for a long time. Separate your work life from your home life as much as possible so the two don't get too intertwined.
And by all means, if your company offers any health incentives, be sure to take advantage of them!
Here at VRM vacation rental software, we wish you a happy and successful year ahead both at home and at work. Cheers to health, happiness, and a new year with new opportunities ahead. Best wishes in 2022!