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We are entering the age of the Millennial, called the Job-Hopping Generation by Gallup. As such, discussions in employee development are having to shift beyond just turnover and focus on how in increase performance. After all, if you can build up your employees, your business will benefit and it could even help with turnover rates. Win-win.
The solution is surprisingly simple: you need to boost morale. If your employees are unmotivated, they aren’t going to do their best work or have much desire for improvement. The goal, then, is to build up a work culture and environment that motivates employees and encourages growth. Easier said than done, right? Well, maybe not. There are several things you can implement tomorrow to boost employee morale at your company:
It can be draining and highly unmotivating if an employee feels they are doing a good job but is never recognized for it. We’re all human; we all benefit from praise now and then. Knowing they’ve done a good job can give an employee the boost they need to keep up the hard work.
Sometimes companies can fall into a rut, following the same routine day in and day out. You don’t have to do anything big, either; bring in donuts or breakfast for your employees once a month. Take the office out to lunch every now and again. A little break in the workday can help employees reset and renew their vigor (as well as look at projects with fresh eyes).
Employees with families often forgo company activities held outside of working hours because they cut into “family time.” If your company makes some of those activities family-friendly (and encourage employees to bring their families), more employees can attend and use it as a chance to bond with their coworkers.
Maybe you have an employee who wants to come into work two hours early and leave two hours early. If it’s feasible (a.k.a. The employee’s presence isn’t absolutely necessary during those last two hours), allow them to make their schedule. As long as work performance holds steady and projects are completed, encouraging your employees to adjust their schedules can actually boost morale. After all, your employees are adults; they don’t want to be treated like children. In the same vein, avoid micromanaging. Trust your employees to do their work until they give you a reason not to trust them.
Your employees are people, not drones, and you need to remember that when providing feedback. Build appropriate relationships with your employees and get to know who they are on a personal level; this builds trust and will make them more receptive to any feedback you provide. After all, who are you more likely to listen to: a higher-up you never speak to and feel you don’t know, or someone you do know? Feedback should be detailed and precise. Vague platitudes like “Good job on this project!” or “This needs more work” are unhelpful. What part of the project was done well? What area needed work? What specific advice or praise can you give your employees on the matter? Precise feedback will encourage good behavior and give employees a clear direction for improvement. And, of course, be kind in feedback and constructive criticism. People rarely respond well to rudely phrased feedback, or criticism that hurts or embarrasses them.