5 Strategies to Bond with Your Employees & Boost Morale

05-27-2017  “Boost Morale, huh?  Don’t they have a job?  Why is it my job to boost their “morale” any more than that?”  creaked the old “line” Manager.

Well, it might be because it’s easier to work hard for someone when you genuinely like them!  But when you are an employer, there’s a fine line that’s all too easy to cross when professional relationships become personal ones. You want to bond with your team, but at the end of the day, they also need to respect you. Here are a few ways to bond with your team and boost morale all while crafting a company culture that can attract and retain the best talent:

Encourage Feedback & Implement Suggestions

People like to know that their opinions are being heard. Encourage clear, open communication by asking employees to make anonymous suggestions about ways that the work environment could be improved. Give employees an opportunity to submit suggestions on a monthly or quarterly basis to ensure growth and improvement and avoid stagnation. For your part, review the suggestions honestly.  Some may, in all honesty, be “off the wall.”  But at least your conscience will be clear if you do your best to make sure that all suggestions are put into action…..or at least addressed to show your team how much you value their input.  And you do value their input, right?

Trust Them to Get the Work Done

Treat your employees as you’d want to be treated. Resist the urge to micromanage and peer over their shoulders at their computer screens as you pass their desks. Encourage team members to work from home if you supervise employees for whom that is an option. Studies show that when employees are given the opportunity to work from home they are happier, easier to retain and more productive.

Trust your employees until they give you a reason not to.

Show Your Appreciation

When an employee goes above and beyond to identify or solve a problem, recognize their efforts in going the extra mile. Whether it’s done in person, via email or with a handwritten thank you note, or with a gift certificate from Starbucks, or a lunch at a fancy restaurant, an expression of gratitude helps your employee to feel like their contributions are meaningful and that you recognize their value and appreciate their time and effort. This simple act has been shown to increase an employee’s level of happiness with his or her role, according to recent research conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and Globoforce.

Take Interest in Their Lives

Learn what your employees like to spend their time doing outside of the office. Take time to find out each person’s hobbies and interests in an effort to find common ground so that you can get to know one another on a more personal level. Don’t quiz them like you’re giving them the “second degree”…just have conversations with them.

Perhaps you’ll learn that your kids are the same age or that you share an affinity for the same sports team, or that you both enjoy Scuba diving or riding bikes or climbing mountains….whatever the commonality, an external connection outside of the office can strengthen your working relationship. What’s more, by knowing what drives your employees and where their passions lie, you can better encourage your team to strengthen their work-life balance to help them feel more fulfilled in all aspects of life.

Host Offsite Team Building

Here’s a suggestion that may make even the oldest line manager wince.  It works; don’t knock it until you try it.  Take your team bonding to the next level by hosting an annual offsite event with team building as the primary goal. Your work culture will dictate the type of event that best suits your company. You could all go camping or spend the weekend at a nearby spa resort. For something even easier, spend an evening together barbecuing at a local lake or nearby beach. All you need is some burgers, beverages, comfortable seating and a firepit to gather around to help everyone get to know one another better in a non-work environment. Add in competitive team games, and everyone gets to know how to make teams work.  There is nothing like going home covered with mud to let a significant other know that you’re committed to your job!!     But hey…no matter what type of event you choose, there should be one rule: no shop talk allowed.

 

Some articles are written expressly for The Guinn Consultancy Group, Inc., and are posted to our website with links to other products and services.  Any hyperlinks are for the convenience of the reader.  The Guinn Consultancy Group, Inc., receives no compensation for these articles.

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