Navigating mental health in the workplace
The focus for Mental Health Awareness Week this year is loneliness and the impact negative feelings about being alone can have on our mental wellbeing.Read more
Although this is true across all business sectors, it is particularly true of services-based organisations.
At a time when many businesses are capping pay increases and some sectors have been forced to implement a four-day week, how can you ensure that you operate a happy, motivated workforce that continues to deliver great service?
Communication is a two-way street and forms the foundation of high staff morale. Employees need to feel that their ideas are not only being heard but valued too. Employers should encourage their staff to voice their opinions and be involved in matters such as their own goal setting. Regular, honest communication about the business as a whole and any potential changes to the running of the company is imperative to engender the feeling that employees are playing an active role in the running of the business.
Believe that your employees can grow and progress within the business and encourage them to push themselves in order to exploit their full potential. If you believe that they are capable of greater things, they will too.
However, whilst it is fine to have high expectations for your staff, you need to provide them with the tools they need to succeed – whether it’s adequate staffing levels, training and continuing development, support from other departments or the latest technology.
Further education and training is an excellent way of improving staff morale and encouraging your employees to adopt new skills and update existing ones. This will help them to realise their ambitions and promote an environment in which they can develop and continue to grow professionally.
Insecure employees won’t have the courage to share their ideas, nor will they have the confidence to thinking creatively in challenging times such as these. Whatever the circumstances, employers should continue to display confidence and work hard to provide a nurturing working environment that fosters a feeling of self-confidence amongst its staff too.
Although trading conditions continue to be tough, try to reward employees who have reached their targets, put in an outstanding effort and have fostered team spirit. A little bit of appreciation goes a long way towards improving staff morale and inspiring others to emulate them.
It sometimes seems easier to micro-manage and do the job yourself, but this type of management doesn’t create a workplace where employees will feel empowered to think for themselves. Try to empower staff to think through important decisions for themselves by providing them with the support they need.
An employee who feels that they are playing a key role in the business is more likely to derive fulfilment and job satisfaction.
Encourage an environment where employees feel that they can laugh at work. Your staff spend more time at work than at home, so try to ensure that they can enjoy their work time. Organise social activities outside of office hours and provide impromptu rewards for good work.
A balanced employee who has time for family, friends and outside interests are more likely to remain loyal to you and be focused at work. Wherever possible, provide flexible working hours and show an interest in your employees’ lives outside of work. This will show that you value them not just as employees, but as individuals too.
Create an atmosphere where your staff feels that they are part of a work ‘family’. Recruit positive and like-minded people and remember that, if you create a happy working environment, your employees are more likely to be productive.
Implementing just a few of the above strategies can have a significant impact on improving staff morale. Happy staff will work to their full potential and deliver first class service, which will result in happy and, ultimately, loyal clients. Satisfied customers are much more likely to act as brand ambassadors and spread the word about the great service that your business provides. And the ultimate outcome should be what all companies are seeking to achieve: An increase in their bottom line.
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