Build Your Team Morale When Things Get Tough

From layoffs, to an executive leadership change, to company buyouts, all kinds of circumstances can cause employees within a company to go through stressful times.

While a staff going through rough times may still work hard, they’re likely motivated by anxiety and concern rather than enjoyment or passion. Eventually, some workers may lose their motivation and let productivity drop off.

When times get tough, it’s critical to confront the situation swiftly and effectively before permanent damage is done to the company. Below are a few suggestions on how to ride out the storm successfully.

Lead by example

If your own morale is sagging, then you will have a hard time boosting the spirits of others. Figure out any specific reasons why your mood might be down and address them. Think of as many ways as possible to give yourself a little mental boost.

It’s important to realize that your team will naturally be looking to you during tough times. If you exude positive confidence, they will as well.

Find teachable moments

If the rough patch you are going through could have been foreseen or prevented, bring your team together and to discuss if anything could be learned from the situation. Figure out what went wrong so you can steer clear of it next time. Then, come up with forward looking questions and measures to right the ship, or prevent it from taking on water in the future.

Communicate more than ever

Generally speaking, spirits are higher when employees feel close to their manager. Times of crisis are perfect for building and fostering relationships with your workers. If you haven’t already, make a habit of walking around your department or company regularly and connecting with employees.

In tough times, don’t attempt to shield your staff from bad news. Rumors will undoubtedly spread about any situation, so give people correct, timely details about what is going on. Coordinate with others in company leadership to make sure everyone in the company finds out the same information at the same time.

Finally, it’s important to listen – and it’s especially important to listen when times are tough. Realize when to listen and when to speak. Make sure workers find you when questions or concerns arise. Reply promptly and discuss any issue that comes up right away.

Recognize and empower

Not enough appreciation is normally cited as being a root cause of low morale. Regularly, thank your workers for their hard work and give sincere compliments when you think of them. Offering rewards for both high achievers and steady contributors is another great way to boost morale. Furthermore, learning and career development opportunities can make team members feel more confident and dedicated to your business.

In particular, cross training is a great way to empower employees. It can be an excellent morale booster, and create much more flexibility in your organization. If you are going to cross train your staff, be sure you explain why you’re doing it. If you don’t, it may be misunderstood as a move that precedes layoffs.

At LTI, we know that a manager is only as good as her or his employees. If you are looking to support your staff with a custom talent acquisition solution, please contact us today.