Morale is one of those intangibles that can make or break any operation. Low morale leads to top talent leaving, and also means more resources spent on recruiting, onboarding, and retaining employees. The issue here is that with a constantly rotating revolving door, your workforce becomes less efficient and starts to rely more and more on established employees, which can start chipping away at their morale in the process.
You are now left with a completely exhausted, demoralised, and inefficient workforce, which is a sure recipe for disaster for any business. However, low morale is often a result of poor management and mistakes, which can be corrected once they’re identified and acted upon. Here are some sure-fire ways to destroy your employees’ morale.
Never Express Appreciation
You have to find ways to give your employees a good balance of positive feedback and constructive criticism. If you only talk to them when you have something bad to say, they will feel unappreciated and will be filled with stress every time you want to have a talk with them.
One thing you have to do, however, is make sure that you don’t make it too public; beware of favou ritism. Let the employee know that they’ve done well in private, and make sure that you praise them about something specific. Thanking them for staying late to finish the days’ production or for helping the team get through a rush job will do much more than thanking them simply for a good job. You also want to encourage teams as a whole, not only individuals.
Never Ask for Feedback
Another mistake many organisations make is not bothering to get their employees’ feedback. Or they might ignore a whole class of employees. However, poor morale is a disease that can destroy your organisation from the ground up, and if there’s dissent or discontentment on the floor, your whole operation will end up suffering.
This is why we strongly advise that you survey your employees at all levels – and do it often. Software like Inpulse, for instance, will allow you to build surveys made to measure morale and engagement. If you want to learn more about it, visit inpulse.com.
Tools like these will not only help you gauge the general mindset of your employee but will also allow you to compile and compare historical data to spot trends. You could then pinpoint moments when morale started dwindling, and associate it with particular events, like changes in management and procedures, new equipment, increased workload, or the general climate in the industry, among other things. That will allow you to possibly revise decisions or realise when the situation is due to circumstances out of your control.
Take Credit for the Positive and Blame Others for Mistakes
This is one of the worst traits any leader can have. If you want your employees to lose all sense of loyalty for you, single them out in front of everybody for mistakes you were partially or totally responsible for. Instead of blaming, good leaders regroup and try to find solutions that will include all team members. Good leaders are also the ones ready to take responsibility when something goes wrong and will let others praise them instead of boasting their own achievements.
So, if you want to alienate your workforce, decrease turnover, and build your organisation on shaky ground, make sure that you do all of these. If you want a fully engaged team, however, make sure that you get them involved and allow them to express their thoughts while constantly working on improvement.