Bad Morale in the Office? Turn It Around With These Tips
Ah, the dysfunctional office environment. Who hasn’t experienced this case study in behavioral psychology at least one time in their professional life? You know all the symptoms–the eye-rolling in meetings, the lack of communication between departments and just a general sense of bad morale throughout the organization.
If your current work environment looks like an episode of “The Office,” what can you do to turn things around? Below are three tips you can use to help boost morale in your workplace, without resorting to embarrassing Michael Scott-style tactics.
- Take time to show appreciation.
Many times we can get so wrapped up in achieving our next major goal that we barely notice the progress we’ve already made. One thing is for sure: Whatever progress has been made required a team of people to get there, so it’s important to take the time to say “thank you” to those who have impacted the success of the organization.
And when you do it, don’t just give a generic “shout out” to the team in a meeting; instead, name something specific that each employee or co-worker did to make an impact on the company’s progress, and call them by name when you do it. When it comes to boosting office morale, a little appreciation–sincerely expressed–can truly go a long way.
- Let your team members talk.
There’s a lot to be said for simply allowing people to get things off their chest; in fact, customer service agents are regularly taught that if you allow an angry person to vent their frustrations, they’ll often come around in short order, and the problem can be resolved amicably.
Be willing to meet with your team members, either in small groups or one-on-one, and allow them to express their thoughts and feelings about the different challenges and problems they’re dealing with in the office. Most people are well aware that the issue probably won’t be fixed overnight, but they can at least get some temporary relief by being able to vent their frustrations.
As you’re listening, resist the temptation to get defensive or protect the status quo; many times, the best solutions will emerge from the most hard-to-hear complaints.
- Try a team building exercise.
A particularly cynical team of workers might not thrill to the idea of doing a team building exercise, so you’ll need to make it a good one in order for progress to really happen. One of the most popular and well-received team building activities to emerge in recent years is the escape room experience.
For the uninitiated, an escape room is a real-world adventure game in which you and your team members are locked in a themed room, and then challenged with a series of puzzles and riddles to solve in order to escape the room before the 60-minute time limit runs out. It is not uncommon to see even the most stoic colleagues come to life when participating in this exhilarating experience, so it’s definitely worth your while to book a Cincinnati escape room (Houdini’s Room Escape is a top choice) for a unique and unforgettable team-building experience.
You don’t have to resign your workplace to living under a dark cloud all the time. Use the tips outlined above to help turn the morale of your office around, so that your team members can enjoy a new level of enthusiasm, encouragement and productivity.