Diane has a master's degree in Human Resources Development (HRD) from Villanova University and is a SHRM Certified Practicioner.
According to a 2017 Gallup poll, only 33% of Americans feel engaged at work. Unfortunately, this is a step up from the worldwide average of 15%. That means that 70% of Americans and 85% of workers worldwide do not feel engaged at work. It is no wonder that productivity has decreased and recruiting and retaining talented individuals has become frustratingly difficult.
Most indicators point to flawed management, with 44% of workers revealing that they left their current role due to a horrible manager. This brings me back to the age-old question: Do managers always make good leaders? And, do good leaders always make good managers? While I leave you managers out there thinking about your role as a leader, here are some easy ways to improve your team’s morale.
1. Set Clear Goals and Expectations
According to statistics, only 50% of employees know what is expected of them at work. Simply put, managers cannot expect their staff to hit performance goals if they do not know what is expected of them. Job satisfaction for employees comes from knowing that their work has a direct impact on the organization’s bottom line. Without clear expectations, ongoing feedback, and well-defined direction, workers will never feel engaged.
2. Show Appreciation
Say “thank you.” Workers want to feel valued and desire recognition for a job well done. A simple verbal acknowledgment, handwritten note, or small gift are all appropriate ways of saying “kudos.” Get to know your staff—does Sally love coffee? Get her a gift card to Starbucks the next time she excels with a project. John can’t live without his morning doughnut? Buy him a dozen for a job well done.
One note of caution: Not everyone is an extrovert. Prior to making a public show of appreciation, make sure your employee will be more pleased than panicked.
3. Think Outside the Box
Not all rules are black and white. Consider allowing your employees time to “unplug” during the day, explore new work environments, or partake in a training outside of their vector. Allow your staff to make changes to their routine, work altered hours, or take a paid day off after a grueling project. Organizations embrace employees who are innovators and adapt to change; allow this culture to thrive by providing for experimentation. Catch yourself the next time you are about to say “no.” Could saying “yes” lead to a more meaningful outcome?
© 2019 Diane Abramson