Developing and Maintaining Workplace Morale

Nothing tears a team apart faster than low workplace morale.

Peoples' attitudes are contagious, good attitudes spread, bad attitudes spread faster.

As a leader you need establish, develop, and maintain a team with a good attitude.

But is it realistic?

Here we describe a few solid strategies to establish and maintain a better team attitude:

Do the research. Examine what causes the poor morale.Do you see a sense of confusion? Do you have clear goals? Are people stepping on other peoples' roles? Does your team meet objectives? Does a specific person or issue cause the heartburn?

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Write down what you find in your journal. Try to be as objective about the facts as possible. As you flesh out the details a larger diagram of the team dynamic emerges.

Communicate your findings. Nobody is comfortable when there's a white elephant in the room. If your team suffers from low workplace morale, then obviously you have unhappy people.

Address the Attitude Problem. . .

But don't go in with your guns blazing. Try not to pass blame. Be clear, state the facts of what you see. State the fact that morale is important to the overall health of the team, and that you're looking for solutions to the problem.

Observe Your Team's Reaction. Who gets defensive? Who tries to pass blame? Who attempts to align themselves with you? Who stays silent? Who gets loud? Who says they have a solution?

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Create Alignment:

Your team wants to succeed. But a team struggling with poor workplace morale has a hard time figuring out how to succeed.

As a leader you must devise a game plan (however simple) to capture peoples' attention and abilities, while minimizing their liabilities and the current poor attitude of the team.

Develop simple action steps and milestones to create team alignment. observe: who follows directions, who resists?  Find momentum with the people you have (however small) and get rid of the people who refuse to play nice.

A little momentum now becomes a lot of momentum later. The trick is to get the people you have going in the same direction.

Remember: Others constantly observe how you communicate and act. On a team struggling with low workplace morale, when you exhibit a poor attitude you lose your team as they pick up and exhibit your behavior

Obviously, this is often easier said than done.

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Look for the winners:

In every group, good people stand out. They either produce more, or work harder, have better ideas, communicate well. . . Whatever it is, these people are your "A" players, they make up the core of your team even if you don't know it yet.

These people become the agents of change on the team struggling with low workplace morale. Make sure to establish quality relationships with these people, start with the most effective people first.

Hone Your Vision:

As your team builds some momentum with small victories, you begin to see how a bad attitude can transform itself into something else.

Positive side effects of a winning team include pride, confidence, and direction.

When people win, they continue to expect to win. Now is not the time to rest on your laurels. Leverage winning attitudes by establishing, maintaining, and rewarding winning behaviors on your team. This keeps  morale high.

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