You’re holding another team meeting, and half of your employees look like they’re about to fall asleep. People are showing up late and calling in sick more often than normal. They’re doing what they need to do to keep their jobs – no less, no more. Your team is in a funk, but what can you do about it? How can you push everyone to re-engage and get motivated?
Choose to take action
If you’re reading this article, you’ve already taken the first step toward overcoming engagement issues: recognizing that you have a problem. The next step is taking action. Too often, leaders are frustrated that they need to spend time and energy dealing with performance issues and fail to act, hoping the problem will sort itself out in time. Ignoring the issue will only bring added stress in the form of higher turnover, unhappy clients and loss of revenue.
Figure out the real issues
Understand the gap between what management is thinking and what your team is thinking. Consider an anonymous survey to collect honest feedback. People who believe their ideas contribute to improving the future of the company will get fired up to engage and work hard. So, take the time to listen and act on the suggestions you receive. This will build trust with your employees.
Check your own attitude
If leaders arrive at work stressed out and grumpy, they can bring down the rest of the team. It takes only a few minutes for your attitude to set the tone for the rest of the day. Enter your workplace with an upbeat outlook and high morale will follow.
Individuals don’t leave companies; they leave poor managers. Good employee/employer relationships begin with simple and direct communication. Set the example by keeping the conversation flowing. Ask questions and communicate your feelings. Schedule monthly one-on-one meetings with your employees so you know how they’re feeling and how you can help them perform at their best.
Have weekly, team-wide huddles where you share the actions and progress you’re taking to make things better. This will give your team an energy boost better than coffee and donuts ever could.
Each week, your employees invest 40 hours or more of their life in your organization. Their salary should not be their only reward for that investment. Individuals desire recognition for good work. They’re just as likely to remember a compliment or commendation on a job well done as the percentage their salary increased last year.
Schedule team building time
A team is only a team if they feel connected to each other. Schedule team building time monthly or quarterly. But think beyond awkward “trust falls,” dull company picnics and activities that overtly try to impart leadership lessons. Choose something unique. Attend a concert, go white water rafting, host a baking contest or volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. Many exciting and unusual team building activities can help your team form a strong unit.
Employee morale can quickly make or break your company’s success, so it pays to invest in a positive community and individual job satisfaction. Small efforts can go a long way towards improving your company and its numbers. It also pays to invest in their salaries, and our 2019 Salary Guide can help.