Do you love what you do and really appreciate the people that you do it with, but sometimes struggle with lack of teamwork and overall employee morale? This is a common issue in companies and the good news is that there are some things that you can do to help improve teamwork and morale. Many times in our work lives it seems like we are so busy already that you do not have time to put one more thing on your plate. But one thing to remember is that lack of teamwork and morale is an indication of your culture. And it will not likely improve unless a plan and action is put into place. So since this is so important in the growth and success of your company. I encourage you to make time to focus on your culture. Below are five ideas to help make improvements.
1. Training and education. Believe it or not, most employees want to learn, grow and contribute more to their company. Sometimes, when you have an employee that doesn’t seem to be engaged in their work, it could be that they might feel like their work isn’t meaningful or perhaps they feel that they are not contributing to the overall success of the company. One way to help them feel more important is by investing in them and their future. One of the best things I have done for my team is to bring in trainer every year to train, educate and inspire. An unanticipated result of this training was that my team became more team minded and more loyal to our company. I was touched by how appreciative they were that we cared enough about them to invest in them and their future. Not sure what to train or educate in? Find out what worries them or what stresses them. It doesn’t have to even be related to their work, perhaps they are worried about finances, bring in a speaker to teach money management. What I have found is that if people can let go of some of the external stresses outside of work, they become more focused on their work. Personal growth oftentimes leads to professional growth.
2. Do you have a corporate mission, vision, value and culture statement? If you don’t, you may want to consider having a corporate retreat and letting your employees help you craft them. They live and work in your corporate culture and in reality, they are the corporate culture. You might be a little hesitant, but will likely be pleasantly surprised at the amount of insight they bring to creating your company’s mission, vision and values. In creating these things together, they will feel an important part of the foundation of your company and this will likely improve morale and build a more loyal workforce.
3. Empower your employees to make improvements and necessary changes. Many times, if you have problems, issues or simply room for improvement, your employees have great ideas to make it better. In your company, do they have a way to make suggestions or improvements? Are their ideas seriously considered? If not, you might want to find a way to incorporate it into your operations. Take time to ask your employees what could be better, ask them if they have ideas on how to improve operations or processes. There are some simple ways to do this. It could be as simple as a rounding process where you regularly ask them or you could create an employee suggestion box. Or maybe it would work best for your company to dedicate time during a staff meeting to discuss. Be careful not to be defensive and strike down ideas too quickly. One important thing I have learned over the years is that when an employee brings me an issue, they know that I expect that they also provide an idea for improvements too. Oftentimes, the initial idea is not necessarily the best idea, but it generates great conversation and oftentimes leads you to a good course of action.
4. Don’t be afraid to have fun at work. Find reasons to celebrate and be together. Make it a habit to celebrate birthdays, important milestones and accomplishments. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Have a potluck or have everyone pitch in for take out. The important part is that everyone get together and recognize each person’s contributions and accomplishments. What you want is to create a culture where everyone feels like family. Imagine letting someone in your family’s birthday go by without acknowledging it, you wouldn’t do that. Well, you shouldn’t do that at work either. You will likely find that treating co-workers and employees like family will make them want to perform better and contribute to a better team environment.
5. Annual Celebration with team building events. Find a good time of the year, preferably around the same time each year, to celebrate your employees, your company accomplishments and show appreciation. Consider creating a venue by renting tables, tents and chairs. Invite family and promote fun and team building. Party rental items such as inflatable bounce houses or inflatable obstacle course rentals offer employees a chance to unwind, but still building teamwork. Fun activities help relieve stress, which lead to a more relaxed and more productive workforce. I encourage you to make it a big event. Consider inflatable rentals and team building activities. One of the biggest benefits of having a big event is that employees get to show off their strengths that they may not go use in the workplace. You may see hidden leadership and problem solving skills emerge.