Many businesses consider employees as part of a community and they work hard to make sure the organization is a pleasant place for all. When the economy is on the upswing and the business is doing well, employee morale also seems to be high. But when the economy struggles and the business is negatively affected, employee morale often takes second fiddle to profits. Your organization doesn’t have to go down this path to destruction.
Improving morale with communication
One way to maintain good levels of employee morale, no matter what economic conditions are present, is to have an open communication policy with employees. Researchers Eric Eisenberg, from the University of Southern California, and Marsha Witten, from Princeton University; published a report that showed that when managers shared job specific information with employees and when they listened to employees with respect – a higher level of trust was developed and this improved morale. Any organization can create a culture of open communication, which supports positive relations with employees.
Creating a culture of open communication
There are many ways to create a culture of open communication between management teams and employees. In fact, communication can be one of the best ways to inspire employee morale and encourage employees to perform at their very best. Here are some simple yet effective methods to increase communication and feedback to support better employee morale.
24/7 communication channels
Managers should always have an open door policy when it comes to employee communications. But they cannot always be there physically. Therefore, have an open communication system available so that employees can ask questions and seek feedback whenever they need it. Email is not always adequate for this purpose. Use an internal feedback system that is part of your workforce management solution dedicated with an internal communication line.
Weekly touchpoint meetings
As a manager it is important to hold regular weekly meetings with your employees to support their career goals and job satisfaction. Schedule 30-minute sessions to focus on specific areas of each employee’s concerns and be supportive to solve any problems or overcome obstacles. Always ask how you are doing as a manager too. Communication works both ways.
Regular staff meetings
A large part of employee morale happens within team dynamics. Therefore, be sure to have at least a monthly staff meeting to bring all of your people together as a group. Use this time to talk about updates, changes in the company, internal promotions, and provide recognition to your employees who have done a great job. Making sure employees know that their efforts are tied into the success of the company is critical to employee morale.
Quarterly employee events
At least once per quarter make sure that you schedule an off-site event for all of your employees. This can be something fun like bowling, a field trip, or just at lunch outside of the office environment. Give everyone an opportunity to share something positive that they have learned or experienced over the last 3 months. This helps to raise the morale of the entire team and it gives people a chance to be recognized for their efforts. It also can help blow off some steam during hectic times at work.
Performance reviews and training sessions
Individual employees are very important to the success of the company. If even one employee is unhappy he or she can bring the entire team down. Therefore it is up to you as a manager to ensure that your employees have the individual attention that they need to succeed. This can come down to promotional aspects that are tied to their job such as additional training and certification that they may need to move up to the next level. During performance reviews, which should be held at least every six months, take the time to find out what the employees have for his or her goals and how the organization can support this. Gather feedback from the previous six months to find out how the company is doing and meeting the employee’s expectations.
Pulse surveys and crisis intervention
There will be times that are unforeseen that will require special communications to and from employees. During a perceived crisis, such as a series of layoffs or a new member of the executive management team, employees may feel threatened and start looking for work elsewhere. It is important to address this head-on and reassure employees that their best interests are in mind. Conduct a pulse survey using your workforce management solution and gather feedback from your employees in a confidential manner. Immediately respond to and address any questions or concerns that employees have with a singular meeting – so all employees are gathered together.
Employers can’t be everywhere at all times, therefore having a centralized workforce management system that includes an internal communication platform is vital for success. Educate employees on the use of this system and encourage them to share their concerns and questions openly and honestly without fear of losing their jobs. When you create a culture of open communication, this extends to everyone in the organization. Make communication and respect a core value of your company in order to maintain high levels of employee morale.