Boost Workplace Morale
Being a team leader in any industry requires being attuned to the thoughts and feelings of your staff. Individuals work on their own specific tasks, while everyone, in general, strives towards a common goal. You need to be sure everyone is on the same page in order to be as efficient as possible.
It is important to regularly ask team members’ questions. Feedback can be solicited during an employee performance review, in weekly check-ins, or in an informal setting will all help boost workplace morale.
The examples below will help you better understand your employees’ perspectives and goals, making it easier for you to adjust your management strategy effectively.
What are your three major priorities for next week?
Staff need to be able to prioritise. Each step in the process builds on the step that came before it.
Checking in with your staff at the end of the week to see what their goals are for the next week is a smart idea but can often result in vague answers. Asking them to choose their top three priorities gives you a chance to assess whether or not management is effectively communicating the company’s overall goals.
What thoughts keep you awake at night?
Sleep deprivation leads to an overall decline in cognitive function. This will obviously have a negative impact a team’s performance. Thoughts that keep people awake at night are often related to their jobs.
As a leader, you should make sure no one is ruminating on unnecessary thoughts about job security, work performance, or similar worries. If you run a smaller company, you may also need to reassure employees that your start-up is doing well in general.
How is your behaviour impacting others around you?
Not everyone is self-aware enough to realise their behaviour could be making it difficult for those around them to feel comfortable. A well-meaning employee might be making other team members miserable. Give them a chance to reflect on this topic.
Research shows that many people aren’t self-aware at work. Cultivating personal awareness can reduce friction between team members. After all, developers need the ability to focus; this can be difficult if another employee is distracting others.
Do you feel appreciated in your team?
Experts agree that recognition and appreciation are essential if you want to keep employees motivated. This is especially the case for top performers. Ironically, those who are the most devoted to their jobs tend to be those who benefit the most from having their efforts praised.
Make sure your staff feel like they are truly valued and find out what you can do if they feel overlooked. Remember, although many different people contribute to, say, developing an app, every single person’s role is important. A recent study showed that 43% of UK employees feel undervalued.
What are your personal goals, and what can we do to help you achieve them?
It’s no secret that employees aren’t always naturally passionate about their daily tasks. That’s why you need to support their “side projects,” the ones they have more genuine enthusiasm for. CEOs who adhere to this principle find that team members’ enthusiasm for these projects carries over into every aspect of their work. An employee may have a passion for a side project that fundamentally enhances a product.
Having a title that indicates you’re a team leader isn’t the same thing as truly being one. Find out what qualities your employees admire in others and make it clear that they can’t simply tell you that you’re the only person they look up to. It always helps to learn new ways to boost your own leadership skills.
What can we do to make meetings more effective?
Employees often find meetings waste time, taking them away from important tasks pertaining to prototyping, product development, etc. For obvious reasons, though, they’re reluctant to say so. Make sure they have a chance to voice their opinions on this subject. Ask them what you can do to make meetings as effective as possible, and don’t be afraid to investigate new research on the subject.
You might also be holding meetings too frequently. When you’re in the middle of something important, meetings can disrupt the flow of work. Once everyone knows what they need to accomplish, it can be helpful to get out of their way.
How can we improve as a company?
There’s always room for improvement within your organisation. As a leader, you may be focused on the major changes you can make, while your employees might pick up on the smaller, but no less important details. Perhaps you can invest in more useful software, or maybe there’s a simple way to reduce daily operating costs. Let your team members weigh in on these issues. Major companies like British Airways have benefited from this: the airline saved $31 million thanks to an employee suggestion strategy.
How would you rank your energy level?
Research indicates that when employees feel happier and more energetic overall, their performance improves. Too often, team members looking to make a good impression will exhaust themselves. Your staff can spend literally all day in front of a computer screen, but this behaviour is neither sustainable nor optimal. They may appear to be more productive, but in reality, they’re sowing the seeds of burnout.
Luckily, there are many simple ways you can help employees increase their energy levels. Maybe they need more exercise: you could arrange for brief “walking meetings” throughout the week. Sometimes all they need is a little more coffee, something that’s easy to provide. Some studies indicate that a lack of resources, and not just high job demands, plays a key role in burnout.
You can get to know your employees better. By asking them questions, you’ll learn what you’re doing right, where you can improve, and how each team member feels about the overall organization.