5 Ways to Keep Team Morale High
I was looking to write a blog post about this two weeks ago. It seems that it is more relevant now that it would have been then, maybe a little late but hey. This will give you something to think about.
Now is the time to look at how you can keep your team engaged and motivated with the changes happening. The dreaded ‘C word’ has hit most businesses (if not all) in a negative way.
Simple ways to keep your team focused through this time is quite simple – be HUMAN.
I talk a lot about not being ‘that client’. By that (in this scenario) I mean, the one that overlooks the way employees feel about a particular situation. If you work in a small company and an employee has received bad news about their health (cancer being one of the ones up there), majority of your workforce will hear about this. They will also find out how you dealt with this situation, good or bad. Did you provide guidance and support to your employee? How did you deal with it?
I can tell you some horror stories, but that’s for another day.
As well as providing support to the employee who is going through health issues. Those in the business will also be affected. You might not understand why, you might think it's strange, but they do. If you can relate to someone else’s pain, because you have been through it yourself at some point, or because someone close to you did, it brings memories back of how you felt as an individual. Your employees work for you, but they are people, not robots!
Providing support to your employees in times such as now even. The ‘C word’ has caused havoc among businesses. People are being made redundant or asked to leave as a temp/contractor. Those people have feelings, a mortgage/rent and possibly a family to support. How you communicated this and how it looks to other employees in the business will determine whether they look for work elsewhere when things pick up or not. If your employees are treated like another number and others around can see this, you can put money on it they will be looking at the job boards to see what is out there. Whether it is now or in a couple of months’ time, they will!
Just do the simple things! It makes all the difference. I promise you!
Here are some things to think about doing:
Communicate! – over communicate, there is no such thing as too much information. (I mean there is! But only if you are communicating about the changes to a layout in the car park every day for a week nonstop).
- Hold a conference call with management if it is a large company and feed it back down to the masses. But be clear about how they are to do this. Structure the communication for them so it is aligned with all those in the business.
- Record a video and release it to your staff. You can ask them all to watch it at a certain time. Technology is great! You can back it up with an email later that day. It allows employees to really engage. Even better broadcast it live to your audience from the comfort of your own office
- Communicate to those affected in the morning and then release the information across the business so all employees are aware, using any of the means above.
Provide guidance – if you are laying people off, guide them to where they can get support. Who to speak to? HR inhouse, or recruitment teams in house? Organise CV support/interviewing support. What can you do as a business to support these employees? You hired them because they bring value, right? Give them something back for the time they invested in you as a company (whether it’s been two weeks or two years)
Get in touch with agencies that you normally work with and ask them to come in (run workshops via Skype/Zoom) and help support these people. If you do not use agencies, ask others in your network who would be best placed to help these candidates. Ok, you laid people off. Do you really want employees to go and tell others that you did that and never followed up to support? Come on – reputation is everything.
I see it now on linkedin – I have been made redundant and looking for a new role. Can someone help support me with my search? ‘Current company’ are doing everything they can to try and help me secure a new position. If you can also help support or know of any roles, please do bare me in mind.
No tarnished brand! You come across in a positive light even though you have taken away their only source of income.
Put yourself in their shoes, would you appreciate it? If you are looking to hire someone new to a team and it is a small team – tell them before you are hiring. The worst thing is hiring someone no one had a clue about! You then inform the team someone is starting on Monday. 'Can you please arrange for training for 'employee' and ensure they are set up'. Urm, excuse me? This shows lack of empathy on your side. Is this person coming in more senior? OK, if so, why? Why was no one else considered? So many questions, such little time.
Coffee mornings – if you have HR on site, run one of these twice a week for an hour at a time. Employees can drop in and have a chat, have a coffee and catch up. For those that have staff who are on the clock (production etc), prepare the section leaders for this. Inform them of times and ensure they have the support so employees can also join in. I would not expect employees to be there for the full hour, 15 to 20 minutes would be enough.
Everyone in HR should get involved. If you have a large team, take it in turns to run. Get hiring managers involved (different ones across the business) for support and also to answer any questions.
This will show that you are being transparent and also provide a sense of security for these employees. It would be handy to book these slots out to each dept for various days. This is to ensure you are not overwhelmed by all employees attempting to join one coffee morning. Also providing cakes and biscuits would not be frowned upon!
It is the little things.Obviously during the 'C word' its a good idea to run these via Zoom/Skype or run conference calls.
Little things done well can have a positive impact on your workforce during difficult times.