In the not so distant past, few people would have believed that particular jobs could be done by robots. With changing technologies and improvements to machinery and equipment, machines and computers can now do the work that required specialized human labor just two decades ago. As the job landscape changes, employees and bosses are evolving as well. Business leaders do not have to worry about the morale of a machine. However, when real employees are treated as if they were robots, the company suffers. Many business leaders today have a one-track mind, focused on success and profits. They might think they have done everything they can to bring the company to the top of the food chain and are perplexed when the numbers don't come out the way they want them to. If you are in that position, take a step back and look around at who you're treating as "robots," employee morale might be the problem.
Employee morale can make or break the success of your company. Are you focusing on the right issues? Are you committed to keeping your employees happy?
Your Employees Are Real People
It may sound too simple to be true, but the first step in boosting employee morale is to treat your employees with respect. Real respect, not just "keep up the good work" respect. Do not ignore your employees, do not swear or yell at them, especially in front of co-workers. Do not send them a to-do list without showing appreciation. Instead, get to know them. Ask about their family and their hobbies. Recognize birthdays and all other significant milestones, such as anniversaries, weddings, births, or even the completion of a marathon. Show them true appreciation with a card, gift certificate, or even a simple face-to-face thank you and handshake, or public recognition. Employees will be more productive when they feel appreciated, respected, and unique.
Take Breaks, During Office Hours
Corporate picnics are stereotypically every employee's worst nightmare. Although employee bonding is essential, encourage it during office hours, rather than interfering with personal and family time on the weekend. Promote short breaks that include walking around the block or just getting fresh air. It may be cheesy, but set aside time to celebrate birthdays or other events with cake. To avoid the deficit of a costly corporate getaway, rent the go-kart track on a Friday, as if it were a fifth grade field trip. These breaks will not only rejuvenate employee productivity and improve communication within the office; it will show that you know your employees are not robots.
Since many businesses rely on technology, keep your employees trained and informed on the latest innovations and techniques. Pay tuition for a training course at a local university or send them to conferences. This will show that they are an important asset to the company and will also keep your business ahead of the game. Providing resources can also be as simple as leaving the office door open for questions or concerns or scheduling regular team meetings.
Employee morale falters when an employee is replaced by a machine, but it is even worse when they are treated like one. The driving force behind a company's success is the accomplishments of the employees. When employee morale is low, your company will struggle to reach the top. Make your employees feel important, give them higher responsibilities, and develop them into great leaders. Provide a comfortable atmosphere of camaraderie and communication and your company will go much farther than it would if it employed just robots.