<i>Dear Workforce</i> What Tools and Ideas Can Be Implemented to Improve Morale
March 10, 2006
Dear Lousy Attitudes: First, contrary to popular belief, you can't control how people feel. This is an important concept. If you accept and understand it, you let go of the notion that more control and manipulation will result in greater morale. You will begin to see how efforts to boost morale often become the cause of employee cynicism and resignation. Examples include management painting a rosier picture than what currently exists and withholding information about poor results. Despite that, the environment you create can greatly influence the choices people make in the workplace. Employees, for example, will usually choose greater optimism and commitment to the enterprise in an environment where management treats workers as equals: adults who are trustworthy, dedicated, well-intentioned and capable employees. Here are a few examples of actions you can take to create a workplace that fosters positive attitudes and choices. First, always tell it like it is regardless of how negative or positive the message. Don't try to spin the message or manipulate the reaction. When you communicate, make sure it is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth--something employees can take to the bank. Second, treat employees like they are yourtop producers and deal with the few disrupters. Don't manage the entire workforce based on the problems of a few. Clearly communicate what is required and why. Show you trust employees to do the right things by sharing information liberally and empowering them to act. Next, celebrate success as a group, even if it is a small thing in the beginning. Create understanding of what needs to be accomplished and why employee contributions are so important. Help employees see meaning in what they do each day and acknowledge accomplishments. Lastly, publicly acknowledge the actions people take to improve work processes and customer service, even if the improvements don't work out as hoped. Build a supportive, energetic workforce that resists inertia and strives to continuously improve. SOURCE: Kevin Herring, Ascent Management Consulting, Oro Valley, Arizona, April 27, 2005. LEARN MORE:Creating a Culture The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.