In a tight labor market, workplace morale is a critical aspect of any employer’s recruiting and retention strategy. If you worry that you are losing qualified employees to competitors known to recruits as employee-friendly employers, you may wish to implement these six simple leadership changes to boost your team’s mood.
- Be Quick to Praise Employees for Jobs Well Done
When your employees deserve praise, give it freely. Be sure to make any compliments you dole out as specific as possible, as this increases the likelihood that the recipients will repeat the welcome behavior in the future.
“Generic praise is nice, but specific praise is wonderful,” says Inc editor Jeff Haden. Devise a systematic workflow for delivering praise: for instance, official letters of commendation in employee files or a private sit-down in your office.
- Do Right by Your Customers
Your customers deserve respect every bit as much as your employees. Lead by example with a customer-first approach to your products, services, solutions, and support. Geeks on Site, a nationwide computer repair business owned by Miami entrepreneur George Otte, commits to “stay[ing] flexible and adaptable for all customers, from residential customers to small business owners” while “protect[ing] our customers’ confidentiality, information, and privacy.”
- Keep Lines of Communication Open at All Levels of the Organization
Maintain robust lines of internal communication throughout your organization, regardless of role or seniority level. Be sure that your most junior employees have direct access – if need be – to senior executives. When communicating new initiatives and directives to your team, use engaged employees as your heralds.
“Find the nodders, smilers and note takers, then focus your attention on them,” writes business coach Michelle Riklan.
- Allow Employees to Work When They Want
The pace and nature of work have changed dramatically in recent years. Many employers now allow employees to work on their own schedules, provided they are able to accomplish the tasks assigned to them. If you have yet to implement flexible scheduling at your enterprise, consider doing so in the near future. You may find that it has a positive impact on your retention efforts.
- Open Up Your Office Layout
Not every employer is in a position to change offices at the drop of a hat. If you do have such flexibility, however, look for open-format spaces with a variety of work environments that accommodate a range of functions. If your team is growing, consider a short-term suite lease or month-to-month coworking space that facilitates scaling.
- Boost Benefits and Incentives
Survey your closest competitors to determine what unique benefits (if any) they offer their employees. Then, poll your employees for input about the benefits and incentives they would most like to see. Tying a greater portion of employee pay to performance can substantially boost productivity, for instance.
There’s Always Room to Improve Workplace Morale
If implemented with confidence and consistency, these six strategies will improve morale in your workplace. However, they are not the only tips and tricks that you can use to boost your workforce’s mood. More than anything else, you need to preserve open, robust lines of communication with your employees and respond to legitimate concerns that they bring to your attention. They will reward you with their loyalty – and productivity.