You may have worked in an office with clock-watching, foot-dragging employees. Yet at other companies, perhaps you’ve found that team members are cheerful, productive, and eager to work with management and ownership. Cultivating a positive and productive work environment requires investment—not necessarily of money, but of some time and attention from leadership.
If your staff seems unhappy, or if they just aren’t reaching their full potential, consider some of these strategies to improve morale:
- Promote collaboration and teamwork
- Foster open communication
- Encourage employees
- Provide benefits employees appreciate
It may take time to cultivate a cultural shift at your company, but if leadership takes charge and is willing to look at the work environment in a new light, your business will reap the benefits. Team members in a positive work environment aren’t just happier—they’re more productive and likely to stay and lend their experience for many years to come.
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Promoting Collaborative Teamwork
Look for ways to encourage your employees to work with their colleagues. If they only feel accountable to themselves or their supervisors, they may not try as hard as they do when their peers are relying on them. This teamwork can foster mutual respect that leads to tight bonds of camaraderie, which will make your staff happier. Unity also leads to a more tolerant workplace — even a more appreciative one – composed of people with different skills, styles, or approaches to work.
Close colleagues can also request and give help to each other, lightening the load on management. Just make sure the team doesn’t go overboard and indulge in groupthink. Individual employees should have space to voice their own concerns and ideas. It’s more important to respectfully discuss a variety of options and strategies rather than maintain group unity at all costs.
Fostering Clear Communication
Clear, open communication starts at the top. Ownership and management should make sure employees know and understand the goals towards which they’re working. Sure, your staff wants and expects their paychecks, but make sure that everyone understands how the work they perform contributes to your company’s mission, goals, and values. Doing so shows each employee how they are valuable and involved in a combined effort.
On a day-to-day basis, encourage staff to seek out advice from team members if they’re facing a tough problem or launching a new project. If someone on the team is struggling, management should provide constructive feedback that helps the employee improve. The employee’s supervisor can follow-up to offer additional guidance or, if the employee has made a successful correction, thank them for taking direction and noticing their improvement.
Developing a Productive, Encouraging Work Environment
Bonuses, promotions, and raises are clearly popular incentives. You may consider other perks like buying a team lunch if they hit a goal or providing a reserved spot to a staffer who has gone above and beyond. However, it’s also vital to demonstrate appreciation every day.
Management should acknowledge and praise good work from team members. When employees feel like their supervisors value their contributions, they are more likely to push themselves harder and shoot for higher goals. Make sure you notice. A grateful boss can set the tone in an office and encourage other workers to appreciate each other’s contributions.
At the same time, leadership should make sure that employees maintain a healthy work-life balance so that they don’t burn out. Managers or owners can model good behaviour by working efficiently through the workday but heading home at a reasonable hour to take care of themselves and their families. That way, they will return to the office the next morning energized for another productive day of work.
Taking Care of Your Team and Their Families
Think of other benefits you can offer your team. For example, a robust employee training program can help your staff members learn additional skills, stay up-to-date on new equipment and technology, and further their careers. Training in interpersonal skills like conflict resolution can also allow your team members to communicate more effectively and respectfully with each other.
It’s also important to show employees that you value them even when they are off the clock and that your company wants to protect their families in the event of an illness or emergency. A good way to demonstrate this is by purchasing a comprehensive group benefits plan that provides additional coverage beyond the bare legal minimums.
Group Enroll is an experienced insurance brokerage firm that has helped many Canadian companies secure group benefits for their employees. When you contact Group Enroll, a broker will work with many leading insurance providers to find competitive quotes so you can offer an attractive benefits package to your staff at a fair price.
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