How to resolve the morale issue at work - part 2
Ending the morale issue is not easy but there are cures.
- Begin with talent acquisition – Start with the right people. No firm we work with ever hires on a proactive basis. Most firms conduct employment searches reactively. Seek employees that fit with the organizational culture and with the obligatory skills. Never wait!
- Hire for skill – Talent is innate. Organizations hire for personality and behavior first and skill second. Skill is not interchangeable, behavior is. A great hire might have a wonderful temperament and lack the skill to plug a socket into an outlet. I recall a five star hotel that sought advice to correct housekeeping flaws. After five minutes, it was easy enough to terminate staff and find those without flaws.
- Look at best practices from best people – Management focuses on “fixing those that cannot” rather than “improving those that can”. Icons of performance exist in your organization. Discover what they do right and encourage others to emulate it.
- Passion – In the 1980’s Sylvester Stallone appeared again as Rocky this time with a theme, “Eye of the Tiger”. What a great metaphor for valuable talent. Seek to acquire talent that truly loves work. Passion too is innate. Employees must love what they do and how they do it. When passion is high so too is morale.
- Focus on the Customer - Managers, the organization, and the employees must vehemently focus on the customer. Remember Winnie the Pooh, try finding Eeyore amongst staff at Disney; Southwest Airlines and FedEx, all intensely focus on servicing the client.
Lastly, managers must constantly strive to provide feedback to employees. Feedback is not an annual performance review event. It is imperative that daily communication exists for good information and improvement. Coaching, counseling, and mentoring are components of organizational morale. In addition, many attend church and hear the words, “It is right to give thanks and praise”. Many watch professional sports and view coaches coddling athletes. We can learn something here; simple words of thanks and praise constantly improve morale and employee relationships.
Finally, the first item terminated during economic volatility is training. Research finds that employees are assets and require that treatment. Never stop training; this improves productivity and morale at all times.
Issues of low morale and productivity are onerous, volatile, and difficult to control. There is a need for management, the organization, and the individual to assist with success factors. Much is dependent on the desire to change; methods chosen and consistent follow through. However, if you do nothing you still have a morale issue. Take the time, seek remedies, and keep morale high. Doing so, lowers attrition, improves productivity, increases profitability and most importantly- reduces stress.
Drew Stevens PhD works with organizations that struggle with productivity that effects profits. Dr. Drew works with senior officers and their direction reports to dramatically increase relationships that build higher morale. He can be reached through his website at www.stevensconsultinggroup.com. © 2008. Drew J. Stevens Ph.D. All rights reserved.