Low productivity and morale can surface within any organization, and it’s really not that difficult to get everyone back on track. Every workplace is different, and there isn’t always a one-method-fixes-all solution. In this post I’m offering five great techniques to implement to get your organization from complaining to leading.
1) Show You Care: If you want to end morale issues in your organization and build leaders, then you need to build a rapport with your team. When you show your team kindness, that you care, and develop a genuine and consistent rapport, morale issues will fade. In its place, you will find team members looking out for one another, representing your agency with pride, and leadership at every transaction. Show you care.
2) Provide Leadership Opportunities: A lot of people read leadership books, watch clips on leadership, and talk about leadership, however, they don’t always put to action what they’ve read, heard, or discussed. If you want your organization to be full of solid leaders, you have to provide team members with leadership opportunities. That’s right, you have to give them the authority to lead. You can’t expect a perfect outcome either, and I suppose that’s why a lot of people are afraid to let others take the lead on a project, but that is what it takes to build leaders, genuine opportunities and responsibilities. You can always sit a distant second-chair or check-in and let them know you can mentor and counsel, but you have to allow real opportunities with real consequences. You will be happy with the short term results, and you will be elated with the long-term impact on your organization. Provide leadership opportunities.
3) Take Action: The biggest morale buster in any organization is when committees are formed, meetings are held, and surveys are taken and then there is no follow-up or action. It’s frustrating. You might as well send a handwritten note to each member saying, “I don’t care what you think.” Yep, it’s that bad. If you ask for someone’s feedback, honor it. Even if you can’t provide what they’ve requested, let them know that the feedback was important and it helped shape the outcome. Let them know they are important. When they offer feedback that you don’t like, don’t go to their supervisor trying to “get to the bottom of it” and smear some make-up over the blemish. Be thankful that they were honest and upfront. Don’t surround yourself with people who only tell you what you want to hear. Leaders take action.
4) Reward Solutions: You will find what you look for, and when you reward it, it will grow. If you look for team members leading and making solutions to problems you will find them, and when you reward them with praise and recognition you will see this type of behavior grow and spread. Recognizing others is one of the most important actions of a leader, and recognition is also one of the most fun. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to recognize either. A small personal touch can go a long way and screams, “You are awesome! We are so lucky to have you!” Others will notice and lead similarly. Reward solutions.
5) Fill-in the Moat: There cannot be a moat between administration and staff. There is no them. If your organization feels that there is a separation of employees, there will always be complaining and morale issues. Just because you say there is no separation, doesn’t mean there isn’t a separation. Get to know your team. Listen to them. Your organization needs to adopt a team leadership model that clearly outlines what everyone’s job is to benefit the team, not themselves. When everyone understands they are a contributor and feels like they are a contributor, and especially when they are recognized as a contributor, morale begins its upward swing and all areas begin to shine again. Shrink the separation between team members.
When you work with a team, and when you make building leadership a priority, you will see morale improve, productivity rise, and problems decrease. In times of accomplishment, leadership made the difference. In times of strife, a lack of leaders is the culprit. Always work on building a culture of leadership.