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Are you noticing a decrease in energy and excitement among your team? Is morale flagging?

This can happen for a number of reasons but no matter what the cause, low morale requires a proactive response from you, as a manager. While you may not be able to change what’s going on in the broader organization, you can foster an environment that’s more productive and rewarding for your own team. Here are 6 strategies that work to increase team morale.

1. Make them feel valued and valuable

We often get caught up in the job at hand, working to tight deadlines and forget to celebrate achievements and small successes. Rather than just moving onto the next job, take a moment to recognize your team members for their contributions. Eg. The fact that they stayed late or put in a special effort to help a colleague. It’s the easiest, cheapest, and most effective way to boost team morale. Make sure you also feedback some of these contributions to senior management or clients. 

2. Introduce some fun

The daily slog can be draining and monotonous. Introducing some fun and light heartedness can make the work environment a more convivial and productive place to be. Ideas like having a team donut eating challenge or competing to find the weirdest daily news story may work for your team. It might be posting funny quotes or having a travelling team mascot with photographic evidence. It doesn’t matter how the fun is arrived at, it’s the fact that fun is being had at work that raises team morale.

3. Learn From Each Other

When managing a group of people, it’s important to remind your team that it’s made up of individuals who bring diverse skills to the group. Every week or two try to highlight a skill or work area that someone, ideally within the team, but not necessarily, is really good at. Then give them an opportunity to share their skills and expertise. This might mean sharing a couple of shortcuts in Excel or giving some pointers on preparing for meetings or public speaking. It doesn’t have to take long but learning from one another helps the team to bond.

4. Have a daily ‘huddle’

Spending 5 minutes at the beginning of each day to allow people to share their priorities for the day, challenges and schedule can be highly beneficial. It provides a opportunity for everybody to appreciate what their colleagues have on their radar’s, avoids duplication of effort and allows people to ask for support and/or solutions to issues they’re currently facing. This promotes teamwork, connection and results in increased team morale.

5. Take one for the team

Teams that are told what to do and expected to get on with it do not perform as well as teams where their manager takes an active role and steps in to help during peak periods or challenging times. Taking one for the team means sacrificing your goals, in the short term, for the good of the team eg. Volunteering to organise an event or standing in for someone on sick leave. This kind of behaviour shows that you care and are partof the team not just the leader ofthe team.

Remember, your behaviour sets the tone. Others will look to you to see how the team works and whether you put your money where your mouth is or just pay lip service to teamwork.

6. Remember why

In order to feel good about our jobs we need to know we’re contributing, we’re working for something larger than ourselves. Ensure that as the leader, you have a clear goal/vision for your team to create commonality and give your team members an understanding of the bigger picture.

Above all, remember that you, as a manager, need to make your team’s morale a top priority, and you need to be consistent and strategic with your efforts. One-off pizza parties do not promote good long term morale, but regularly using these 6 strategies will go a long way. If you’d like more information or training on this topic contact jill@jemtraining.com.au