Dear Feeling Their Pain:
A department or business unit that has a morale problem has issues that are special and separate from the rest of the company. Most likely, the source of your morale problem may be a small group of employees, with an informal leader, who believe they are not receiving the recognition they deserve. Because the workplace also is a social environment, employees have the opportunity to share their discontent and compare their situations.
Determine whether feeling like “children of a lesser God” is the problem or is a symptom of a larger or different problem. Depending on the size of the group, this may be best determined by an employeesurvey or focus group. If self-esteem is truly the problem, then you must develop goals and plans of action to change the image of your business unit.
Whether self-esteem is the problem or symptom, you should address the social climate in your workplace. The grumbling of informal leaders and dissatisfied employees can be minimized with timely and meaningful communications from the senior management team.
Consider ways to make your business unit attractive to employees who wish to advance their careers, especially high-quality employees who could rise to management and leadership roles.
Use success stories of internal promotions to recruit new employees. Provide an opportunity for employees to participate in their career growth by focusing on what they are working toward, rather than what they don’t have.
Given the opportunity to consider other options, some of your employees will determine that the work they are performing in your business unit is their true passion. They will then become advocates for your business unit.
Meet individually with your employees two to four times a year to discuss their performance and the progress they are making on their goals. Consider conducting an annual off-site retreat with your staff to develop a strategic direction for your business unit and staff.
SOURCE: Lonnie Harvey Jr., SPHR, president ofthe Jesclon Group, Rock Hill, South Carolina
LEARN MORE: 12 Questions to Measure Employee Engagement.
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.