So you want a stronger bottom line? Well, we have good news—you don’t have to shell out millions for marketing costs or hire a pricey consultant to improve business. Creating a more success at your company is an inside job. Here are five ways to improve workplace morale, rally your team and enhance the quantity and quality of work produced at your organization.
Discuss the mission.
Does your team know the “why” behind what they’re doing? If not, it’s time to bring them up to speed. As humans, we all long to be part of something bigger. To make a greater contribution to the world than punching a clock. The good news is that no matter what business you’re in, there’s a good reason for what you do. If you sell compost, you make it possible for people to grow their own food, you help parents teach their children about self-sufficiency, and you promote a connection to nature. If you repair cars, you keep little children safe on rides to and from school, you help people visit relatives across the country, and give community members the power of mobility. What’s the “why” behind your business? Spend some time reflecting on that and then make it part of the ongoing conversation in your workplace. The work that your team will be imbued with purpose and that will promote quality work, a sense of morale, and a healthier bottom line.
Look for reasons to praise.
Think about a time that you had a boss, or a parent, or a teacher that was always criticizing you? How did that make you feel? Did you want to work harder to please that person or did it feel futile? Like you’d never live up. We’re guessing the latter. When we’re constantly ridiculed, it feels useless to try. Take this knowledge to work with you, and start praising it up. Notice whenever a team member does something well and mention it to them. You’ll be reinforcing positive behavior, and that person will be more likely to repeat it. And, when you do have constructive feedback to dole out, your team will be more receptive.
Empower your team.
Would you consider your team members to be competent and self-directed? Or is there a lot of hand-holding required to get work done at your company? If it’s the latter, you might fall into the category of micro-manager, and it’s time to reevaluate your effectiveness as a leader. Micro-management breeds dependency. When people are constantly prodded, poked, and observed from over their shoulders, they don’t feel empowered and they don’t take the initiative. Instead, they wait for direction, and little gets done. Make it a point to hold a high bar and to stay out of the way. Expect your team to do their work and do it well, praise them for living up, and address it when they don’t. This practice will improve the amount of work that gets produced and the quality of that work ten-fold, and it will mean less work for you.
Goal-setting is a fantastic tool. It sets an expectation, stretches people in their abilities, and builds community by providing something to rally around. If there are no defined goals at your company, how do you know when you’ve been successful? How does your team know that they’ve done good work? Make it a practice to set S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-sensitive) goals for your team on an ongoing basis. Whether your goal is to go paperless in your office or to sell a million books, reaching that goal as a team will be invaluable for company morale.
When your team reaches a goal, celebrate it. Give everyone a half-day off, order in a big lunch, or send out a congratulatory email. Helping everyone feel like they were an essential contributor in achieving a goal will make them feel good, and that will make them more likely to rally when it’s time to reach the next target.