It appears that morale has fallen and it can’t get up. So what can leaders, supervisors, and employees do about this? It’s a classic opportunity for doing things well and making them fun. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Don’t pretend that everything is alright. One of the most frustrating things for employees is when managers and leaders appear to be unaware of low morale and stress in the work environment. Acknowledge that it exists and own the responsibility to address it.
2. Listen to employees. Create opportunities for employees to express their concerns in a supportive environment. You don’t have to respond to every complaint with major organizational changes but you do need to listen. Employees need to feel valued – and listening is the first step.
3. Create a cross-functional committee to explore the morale issue and to make recommendations to leadership. Included managers, employees, and anyone else who has a vested interest. Many times there are great insights from employees. Allow those champions within your organization use their skills to help the entire workforce.
4. Begin to schedule fun activities that include employees. Create opportunities for staff to have a good time outside of the work itself. Parties, scavenger hunts, pizza lunches, and other relaxing events can help to balance the stress of work. Make sure whatever you plan is something that the employees want to do. Imposed fun is not that, well, fun.
These are just a few examples of how you can address the stress of the work environment. Remember, employees are your greatest asset. If you can create an environment in which they want to work, you’ll attract and keep good people.