Creating a Happy, Committed Workforce
Ted's organization has just gone through a round of layoffs, and his department has lost five team members.
His team's morale has taken a big hit – rumors are flying around about further layoffs, conflict is frequent, and everyone's energy is visibly reduced. Although people are still working diligently, Ted can sense that much of their activity is driven by fear: excitement and enthusiasm have just vanished.
There are many different factors that can affect team morale. When morale suffers, it's important that you take steps to rebuild it quickly. But what can you do, as a leader, to rebuild the morale of your team? And what exactly is morale?
We'll examine both of these questions – and more – in this article.
According to sociologist Alexander Leighton, "morale is the capacity of a group of people to pull together persistently and consistently in pursuit of a common purpose."
For your organization to thrive, it's essential to take the time to develop good morale.
Almost by definition, organizations with high morale experience higher productivity and staff engagement, they show lower employee turnover and absenteeism, and they have a happier workforce. What's more, they find it easier to attract and retain the best talent. While "raising morale" can seem to be a nebulous goal, many of these other effects are measurable, and directly affect the bottom line.
Last but not least, it feels great to work in an organization where morale is high!
Why Morale Suffers
There are many things that can cause team morale to dip. For example:
- Layoffs and restructuring.
- Poor leadership.
- Poor communication.
- Lack of empowerment or autonomy.
- Inflexible working conditions.
- Cancellation of team benefits.
- Damage to the organization's reputation or public image.
- Losing a big contract or client.
- Difficult co-workers.
- Heavy workloads or stress, with no reward or gratitude.
- No sense of social value to the work being done, or a negative impact on the wider society.
Signs of Low Morale
Too often, managers don't realize that morale is poor. Whether or not your team or organization is facing any of the scenarios above, watch out for the following clues that morale may be slipping:...