In my research on the topic of employee morale much of the focus I’ve seen is employee driven. By that I mean the attention leans toward what can be done to make the employee happy (perks driven), motivated, etc. I see little on what I consider to be the root of the problem which is leadership driven.
In Gallup’s 2013 State of the American Workplace Study, as reported on in RYOT 70 percent of those who participated described themselves as “disengaged” from their work. Only 30 percent admitted they honestly enjoy their job and bosses. Interestingly, the study revealed that workplace perks which have been popular approaches to boosting
workplace morale, “do not compare to the employee enjoying and feeling engaged in their work.” Here’s the takeaway — employees and employers desire the same results, but often have two distinctly different means of getting there.
Strong morale is essential to your success as an organization. Leaders need employees who are engaged on all fronts. Employees need strong leaders to show the way. The last thing you want to do is kill employee morale by ineffective leadership. Here are six ways it could be happening. You kill employee morale when you ignore input.
A leader who won’t listen to his or her people is a leader who is out of touch. If you are out of touch with the people that make your business work then employee morale will suffer. If your people attempt to be engaged and offer their input only to be ignored then you are killing employee morale. A smart leader will make it a priority to listen and to invite feedback from team members. Buy-in begins when you invite them in.
Killing morale happens when leaders hoard the decision making process and by-pass those directly affected by the decision. The most successful teams are those whose people are engaged and invested in the well-being of the organization. They are the ones who have bought in and go all out to be successful. A smart leader won’t hoard
You kill employee morale when you keep people in the dark Communication is the life-blood of any organization, but if you keep your people in the dark; especially with things that directly affect their performance, then you are killing employee morale. This weak leadership style not only builds walls but it tears down trust. If you want your people engaged and enjoying what they do then make open communication a practice and a priority.
You kill employee morale when you play favorites.
While responsibilities may differ among departments and personnel, it is important not to play favorites with your people. While not everyone’s role is the same, the way you treat them should be. As a leader it is important to understand the basics of good social skills.
The amount of time you spend with the people in your organization will vary depending on assignments, responsibilities, skills, etc., it’s a variable. But not the way you treat your people. If you are perceived
as playing favorites you will kill employee morale. Be nice to everyone.
You kill employee morale when you lead from behind.
Successful organizations have strong leaders who are not afraid to
lead. Employees respect a leader who will confidently lead his or her team. A leader who is perceived to be weak, indecisive, reactionary, or uncertain of their role will kill morale. How can an employee confidently follow a leader who is unsure of himself? Leaders who lead from behind can’t possibly know what direction they are going, the pitfalls in front of them, and how to stay relevant. Leaders; be out front, lead with confidence and with clarity, and you will have
employees who will go the distance with you.
What do you say?
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Doug Dickerson is a syndicated columnist. He writes a weekly column for this newspaper. To contact Doug Dickerson, email him at ddickerson@ lasvegastribune.com.