Happy employees are the cornerstone to a successful business. Most business that are faltering have people problems not product problems. Good morale comes from an environment where the bosses are interested in building relationships with those they manage and among their team.
Whenever we speak we send two messages – content and relational message (for more information watch my video). Relational messages are the ones that broadcast how we feel about others and in the workplace are the ones that inspire or destroy morale. If the relational message being sent is one of respect, trust and appreciation morale soars. If it is the opposite, you can find employee moral is circling the drain. Here are 5 surefire ways a boss can kill morale on any team:
1. Mandatory fun
Required parties. Top down enforcement of dressing up for Halloween to impress the big boss. Mandatory fun is not fun. It’s a fascist regime. It doesn’t bring the team together. It’s just another less pleasant form of work. Fun events that promote team cohesion come from the team. When employees are giving the freedom to plan fun events, cohesion grow. As the boss, stay out of the merry making!
2. Punch the clock
Butts in the seat 8 hours a day. A dirty look when you make a Starbuck’s run. No one likes punching a clock. Why? It screams “I don’t trust you to get your work done.” Employees want to be trusted and valued. Punching the clock is a surefire way to undermine both.
3. No gratitude
Ever do something awesome at work? Save the day. Went above and beyond for a client so much so they were singing your praise. However, your boss barely mentioned it to you. No good job or way to go. It super sucks and makes you less likely to go the extra mile the next time. A simple thank is sometimes all you really need to make morale soar.
4. Make a big deal out of a small mistake
I make mistakes. You make mistakes. Leaders and bosses make mistaks. We all do it. It’s part of being human. The boss who makes a big deal because you missed the typo on slide 147 of your 200 slide PowerPoint deck is being a nit-picky jerk. I had a manger once who reviewed my work using a red pen. It was like being in grade school all over. When this happens, the relational message being sent is “I have the power and I am right.” Lording being right over growing an employee and building morale results in unhappy people who leave.
5. Don’t listen
You are tying to tell your boss about a problem. The whole time you can tell he is in his head and not listening. Every want to yell “Get out of your head and listen!” Everyone just wants to be heard . Even if your boss doesn’t go with your idea, if you feel like he or she listened, it makes you feel valued.
What did I miss? What other tactics do you see in the workplace that cause morale to falter? Leave a comment below.
photo by: CarbonNYC