When it comes to getting the best out of their staff, some employers choose to focus on how to stop them doing what they shouldn’t at work – such as internet shopping or chatting on social media. More forward-thinking bosses, however, will look more closely at how they can support their staff’s motivation and morale.
Motivated employees who are committed to their job and their employer are more likely to be high performing, loyal and happy in their work. As well as being more productive, motivated staff will also be your best ambassadors.
Motivation and team morale walk hand in hand – individuals who are motivated can help build the morale of a team, but they can’t do it alone.
What is morale?
Morale is the confidence, enthusiasm, and discipline of a group. By engaging with your staff and getting them more involved at work you can boost each of these:
- Confidence – build understanding of how the company is performing
- Enthusiasm – build a team spirit
- Discipline – help staff understand why discipline is important and why things are done the way that they are.
As with most plans to change or foster certain behaviours and attitudes, you can’t make a difference overnight. While team ‘away days’ could be a good way of starting to build relationships at work, you really need an ongoing programme of staff support and communication.
A regular staff newsletter can be a great way of developing these building blocks of good morale.
By informing staff openly and honestly about how the company is performing you can increase their trust and confidence in the organisation.
A staff newsletter makes an ideal vehicle for updating everyone on new contract wins, compliments from customers, progress towards targets and so on. To build real trust you should also keep your staff informed when the news isn’t so good. The impact of rumours can be high, and ongoing updates mean that when staff chat about any issues, they will at least have all the relevant information.
The more facts they have to hand, the more your team will trust in the company and their own security.
Having a constant ‘Monday morning’ feeling in the office can drag everyone down. By building team spirit you can help staff enjoy working together towards the same goals.
A newsletter can help foster team spirit through features focusing on team achievements, competitions, ‘day in the life’ articles to help people understand each other’s roles, and light-hearted pen portraits to welcome new staff members.
Build the team spirit and people will no longer drag their feet as they walk through the door into work.
Discipline is all about day-to-day behaviours such as being punctual, answering phones in a timely manner, ensuring value for money on purchases and always acting professionally.
A newsletter can help underline why such professional discipline is important to the success of the company. Features on efficiency drives, company values or why certain rules are in place can all help to build discipline. Your business may also lend itself to articles which help your staff understand the impact of their actions, such as highlighting the revenue lost through absenteeism.
The aim is to make sure your team understand why the company rules and professional behaviour are important; rather than punishing them for misdemeanours. A newsletter can help you flip the issue round and focus instead on how much better the company will perform with disciplined staff.
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A ‘can do’ culture
When staff understand their role in the business’s overall success, they will be more willing to play their part to the full. By supporting morale you will build a ‘can do’ culture, with everyone pulling in the same direction with shared aims and ambitions.
A team with high morale is more likely to see potential problems as challenges to overcome; a team with low morale will see them as stumbling blocks to fall over.
Your best ambassadors
All your staff will come into contact with potential customers – whether that’s directly at work or in their personal lives when they discuss their job with friends and family. If they aren’t happy in their work that will come across to anyone they speak with, which could have an impact on your company’s prospects.
Turn that around into staff who think that yours is a great place to work, and customers will have faith that you will deliver on your promises.
Engage your staff and you’ll go a long way towards improving morale. But remember, this doesn’t work as a one-off; try to schedule a newsletter on a regular basis to keep your staff up to date and involved.
You can also ask your managers to use the newsletter in team meetings and briefings, to make sure everyone understands the content and to generate two-way communication.
Asking your staff to contribute articles for a newsletter is also a great way to increase their involvement.
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