Maintaining workplace morale has always been a challenge. With the recent remote-friendly decentralization of the workplace, the task of keeping morale high has become more difficult than ever.
As the world is constantly navigating new changes daily, leadership also means being attentive and aware of your team’s needs. While there are new tools on the market for more effective communication and productivity, sometimes team morale can take a dip.
If you’re leading a struggling team—either in person or in a virtual workspace—here are some ways to boost workplace morale as a leader on a daily basis.
1. Measure Workplace Morale
It’s difficult to know how to boost morale in a workplace if you don’t know what is holding your team back. The good news is that you can keep your finger on the pulse of your team’s needs in multiple ways.
For instance, you can:
- Request open-ended employee feedback (either directly or by offering an anonymous option) regularly.
- Create questionnaires that ask pointed and direct questions about the current morale of your team.
- Utilize exit interviews to gain valuable, unfiltered insight into your team’s workplace deficiencies.
Use these tools and your general observations as a leader to identify what it is that is hurting your team’s ability to stay positive and productive.
2. Improve Communication
Communication is critical in the workplace. It doesn’t just boost productivity and keep remote teams, in particular, closely connected. It can also keep everyone on the same page—something that is critical for good workplace morale.
If you have team members that are working remotely, they can become isolated in their own workplace silos. Gallup reports that even in offices, as much as 20% of workers report feeling lonely.
An isolated and lonely team cannot thrive together. Make sure to keep open lines of communication available, no matter what work environment you’re operating within.
3. Empower Your Employees
If your employees feel insignificant, it’s hard for them to feel positive about their work. Evaluate how your team functions and consider if, as a leader, you’re truly entrusting your employees with the responsibility to do things on their own.
This impacts every area of work. The obvious one is actually assigning responsibilities to employees and then trusting them to come through on deadlines and other expectations. But the trust should go further.
When you need to come up with an idea, be purposeful about inviting others into brainstorming sessions. If you know someone on your team who has knowledge of a certain subject, ask for their input. Always look for ways to make your team feel included, valued, and empowered.
4. Recognize Good Work
As you trust your employees to come through on their tasks more often, it can lead to another powerful morale-boosting tool: recognition.
Analyze your own interactions with your teams and consider where you’re recognizing good work. Consider a few key points:
- How frequent is your praise?
- Is your praise unconditional or does it always come with a counterpoint or correction?
- Do you try to praise everyone on your team?
You can recognize good work in a variety of ways. Anything from a kind word all the way to a juicy promotion can send the message that you see your employees are contributing.
5. Work on Transparency
There are proactive activities that can help you cultivate positive work morale, and then there are the workplace morale boosters that come from simply running an ethical business.
One of these is being transparent, both as a leader and as an organization. When you’re hesitant to give your employees important information, it can undermine their trust in you. If you want to increase work morale naturally, try trusting your employees with more information.
You don’t have to tell them every piece of sensitive data. All it takes is putting some effort into showing them that you want them to feel included and aware of what’s going on with the business that you all invest in together.
6. Incorporate Team Building Activities
Sometimes, all a struggling team needs is to spend some time bonding together. Team building activities are a great way to do this, and this includes a wide variety of options, such as:
- Asking icebreaker questions
- Playing a fun round of trivia
- Having your team share work hacks with one another
- Doing an escape room together
There are many team-building activities out there. Pick one that suits your needs, and use it to bring your team together in the name of better workplace morale.