The Astron Road Show
There’s one stop on the Astron Road Show coming up in early June! From June 5th – 7th, National Directors Mike Maciekowich and Jennifer Loftus will be exhibiting at Premier’s 2012 Breakthroughs Conference and Exhibition – a major event for those in the healthcare field. If you’ll be in Nashville, please stop by Astron’s exhibit booth at the conference and say hello! We’ll be in booth #561.
Building Workplace Morale
There are plenty of reasons why workplace morale needs a closer examination. A shaky economy, a wave of talent loss, the gain of new talent – any big change an organization is going through can result in the need for a morale boost. Most organizations have some programs dedicated to motivating employees to do their best and to feel valued. In this issue of Astronology, we’ll take a look at some cost effective practices you may want to implement moving forward.
Without workplace morale, an organization will not thrive for very long. That being said, morale begins the moment a person steps in the door. Smile when you enter the workplace. If you interact with anyone be pleasant and cordial. Spend that extra five minutes to show some personal interest. For example, Cassandra Carver, Astron Solutions’ Human Resource Assistant mentions, “Jennifer Loftus, our National Director here at Astron, does a great job showing personal interest in everyone here. I actually look forward to our brief five minute chats in the morning. They don’t always revolve around work…actually, she usually asks me how my previous weekend or evening went. Even when I don’t really have anything to share she’s always so positive and enthusiastic. To me it shows that she cares and helps me to understand that I do play an important role here at Astron.”
There is a very “me first” attitude prevalent in today’s workplace. Using polite words such as “please” and “thank you” go a long way when it comes to employee morale. These words can also be considered power words. The phrase, “you’re doing a good job” said sincerely will encourage an employee more than not saying anything at all. Publishing employees’ accomplishments in the company newsletter assist in demonstrating appreciation. Another way to say thanks includes creating an employee recognition program or employee incentive program. To keep things fair, make sure the criteria are clearly defined. It also helps to make the rewards tangible and appealing for the employees. An effective employee incentive program should have different reward choices, such as cash, time off, travel, or merchandise, as employees have their own ideas as to what constitutes an appealing incentive.
Employee feedback is another approach to consider. Part of learning what will make an employee feel happy is to ask him or her. Then, try to give the employee what will help encourage top performance. It may seem too intimidating for some to come right out and say what interests them. To make this research less invasive, try to make it anonymous. Feedback boxes are a classic example of keeping things anonymous while being open enough for employees to feel free to say what they want. The important part of receiving feedback is to take the constructive criticism and make adjustments accordingly. When employees see that their input is being put to use, it spurs them to be more vocal and contribute more in all areas of the organization, namely in the quality of their work. Scheduling one on one meetings is another form of employee feedback that can be used.
Never forget to leave room for socializing amongst each other. In addition to leaders demonstrating personal interest in their employees, it’s important for employees to be concerned for each other. Knowing each other is also important. Besides the usual employee celebrations, another small step towards promoting workplace morale is to play games! Maybe not literally play games, but rather small team building exercises that are fun can definitely help. It’s good to take a break from the usual humdrum of work and have co-workers relax and get excited while building camaraderie. A small business website listed the following morale boosting “games”:
- Trivia Game – A classic exercise…breaking into teams, each member takes turns answering trivia questions. The team with the most points wins a prize! Prizes could include an organization sponsored lunch or a paid half-day off.
- What If – “Each person writes down any living thing or object on the paper. All of the pieces of paper are then placed in a box. The manager then pulls a piece of paper out of the box and asks the question ‘What if you were a,’ ending the question with the object on the paper. Make sure no one can see the object written on the paper. Then, have each person describe a typical day as the living thing or object that the manager chose. For example, if the word ‘horse’ was pulled from the box, then each player would describe what their day would be like as a horse.” Besides helping colleagues to learn more about each other, this exercise is a fun activity in flexing our mental muscles!
Positive employee morale can propel organizations to new heights. If you haven’t examined your morale building programs lately, now is the time! And if you don’t have any, be sure to put one in place. For little cost investment, your organization can demonstrate to employees that they truly do serve a valuable purpose in the organization and are important. This morale boost spills into the productivity of each employee and creates a happy, open environment for all to enjoy.Share the article: