The economy has been a roller coaster the last couple years. Even when it seems to be going well, many of us are waiting for the next fall. When the economy is fragile, positions may be eliminated, and often, the remaining employees are asked to do more — without added compensation. During these times, morale is more important than ever. Improving morale when people are given more responsibilities, raises are non-existent or minimal, and many are concerned about their future, is tough, but it can be accomplished.

First, you must realize not everyone is motivated by the same rewards. Employees may be motivated by recognition, being part of a team, having a boss they can talk to, money, flexible schedules, benefits, etc. I suggest using a survey to find out what motivates your team. Remember, employees can be motivated during challenging times.

Where To Begin

You improve morale when you give direction to your team. For example, consistent routines with a clear vision, a meaningful mission statement, and one without revolving door changes, all improve morale. Show your team how to get things done, and they will cherish the feeling of accomplishment.

We all desire more recognition, yet we don’t always do a good job of giving recognition to our team. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard a manager brag on one of their people to find out they’ve never told the employee. Share the love.

19 Motivating Tips:

1.Begin a campaign of catching others doing the right thing, where employees “catch” and mention others, and the great thing they did.

2.Volunteer to support a charity as a team.

3.Involve team members in planning.

4.Supply employees with the tools they need to get their jobs done.

5.Have an open book policy. Honestly share the state of the organization.

6.Offer flex schedules, providing time to put the kids on the bus, time to take a class, etc.

7.Ask for opinions and advice from employees and use them where applicable.

8.Offer a performance bonus based on improving net profit — a win-win.

9.Recognize an employee in every issue of the company newsletter.

10.Start a newsletter focused on positives in the organization.

11.Instead of speaking from the cuff at any company function, prepare thoughts about who you want to recognize and why.

12.Start a “thank you” initiative where employees recognize and thank co-workers.

13.Leave a positive note on a team member’s check stub.

14.Take 18 seconds to leave an employee a short handwritten note.

15.Have an open door policy for your direct reports, then listen.

16.Send a card to an employee’s spouse or partner expressing the character trait you admire most about the employee.

17.Search for additional and non-traditional benefit options.

18.Hold occasional team meetings in an open, “let’s talk,” round-table forum.

19.Create a one-page handout titled, “Another Good Job” and recognize all departments and team members involved.

Call To Action

Pick one of the 19 tips, implement it, and let us know how it worked.

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