Builiding a High Morale Workplace – Anne Bruce

The Big Idea

As a manager, it is your job to ensure that your employees consistently display high enthusiasm, energy and morale. After all, employees with high morale perform better than their counterparts who force themselves to go to work every morning merely because they have bills to pay.

To build a high-morale workplace, you need to be able to create a fun work environment that can inspire your employees. Author and keynote speaker Anne Bruce shows you the easy way how. You will learn how to build quality relationships with your workers, how to give and get valuable feedback, and how to help employees regain lost morale. If you are a manager who continuously seeks ways to improve your company’s bottom line, this is the book for you.

1. Business on Planet Earth, No Longer as We Know It

Managers are finally realizing that a high morale workplace is just as important as great customer service and superior products. Unfortunately, that task has become even more challenging as we live in a world where change is constant and job security is a thing of the past.

Morale can only exist when people feel special. Therefore, you should be able to establish a group identity that can make people feel good about themselves. You should also provide your employees with sufficient training as this will increase their job confidence. Another way to increase morale is to share positive experiences and feelings.

Here are other ways to build employee morale:

• Reward workers when they exceed your expectations.

• Empower your employees.

• Listen to employee grievances and settle them as soon as possible,

• Tune into the emotional needs of your employees.

• Generate a spirit of gratitude.

• Spread contagious enthusiasm.

• Treat employees as humans, not just workers.

• Foster a community and not a corporation.

2. The Effects of Globalization on Morale

Globalization is upon us and it is affecting employee morale. If your employees are spread out all over the world, it might be a bigger challenge to increase their morale.

Here are some tips you can use to build a high global feeling among your workers:

• Explain to your workers the value of what they contribute to the company.

• Communicate frequently and find ways to foster enthusiasm no matter how distant your employees may be.

• Use humor.

• Encourage global innovation.

• Do not tolerate complacency.

3. Keeping the People Who Keep Your Business in Business

Workers in their 20s and 30s are not looking for an office where they can retire in. They will not hesitate to seize better opportunities that pass by. As a manager, the only thing you can do is to try to hold on to your key employees for as long as you can.

By holding on to star performers, you are keeping workplace morale on an optimum level. Here are ways to keep your key employees longer:

  • Explain clearly and teach employees how the business is run.
  • Treat people the way they want to be treated.
  • Mentor everyone.
  • Join employees in their after-work get-togethers.
  • Make sure your employees are having fun.
  • Know everyone’s names.
  • Be clear about your expectations immediately.
  • Conduct exit interviews and use the information to improve.

Four Steps to Smarter Hiring

Naturally, hiring the right people is as important as retaining your star performers. Here are the four steps that can help you:

1. Hire for attitude and train for skill.

2. Don’t hire thinking that your candidate can be changed.

3. Let past behavior be a gauge for future behavior.

4. Simulate the job.

You should do all you can to enhance your company’s work environment. Don’t worry because this does not involve heavy spending. The best way to alter your work environment for the better is to change workplace behaviors and improve the way your leaders communicate and treat their employees. In other words, you must love your people. If you do, they will love where they work.

Here are some suggestions on altering the environment for your workers:

  • Treat workers with respect and dignity.
  • Show care and concern for their families.
  • If you don’t know what your employees need, ask.
  • Provide sufficient training for everyone.

Redesign Jobs

Remember that employees want interesting jobs that can maximize their talents. You must, therefore, help them find jobs that can help them meet their full potential. Jobs can get stagnant so it is your duty to redesign these jobs to suit the needs of your employees.

Here are some tips and techniques you can use:

  • Keep jobs multi-task and multi-talent driven.
  • Explain to your employees the pride and purpose associated with the job.
  • Give people more responsibility and notjust more work.
  • Encourage your employees to get close to customers.
  • Give your workers the freedom to care and to grow.

5. Putting the Kibosh on Negativity

You can measure employee morale. In fact, the best way to find out if morale is positive and strong in your company is to ask the people who actually work there. The best way to measure employee morale is to provide a survey to your employees. This way, you will immediately be able to detect any red flags that may surface.

Top Three Negativity Invaders

The top three things that can undermine workplace morale are:

1. Fear.

2. Dreaded performance reviews.

3. Cynical attitudes.

Seven Steps to Building Highly Effective Performers

1. Define clearly what performance means.

2. Stretch employees and get them to buy into the idea of improving their performance.

3. Be explicitly clear about each employee’s scope of responsibility.

4. Document everything that is agreed on and create a course of action.

5. Observe what people are doing and give immediate feedback.

6. Be specific about what the employee can expect when goals are met.

7. Help people plan their careers and give them what they need.

6. The High Price of Low Morale: Six Morale Challenges and Six Toolkits

When morale hits bottom, the organization pays a heavy price. You must be prepared for the six most common morale problems and deal with them accordingly.

The six most common morale problems and their solutions are:

1. Rumors. To combat rumors, you should:

a. Get information to your employees fast and frequently.

b. Ask your employees what they want to know and tell them.

c. Minimize the damage.

d. Use wit and humor to fight rumors.

e. Correct incorrect information and support your claim with facts.

2. Resistance to change and authority. To solve the problems of resistance:

a. Deal with the issues openly and honestly.

b. Try to understand your employee’s views and feelings.

c. Share your perceptions.

d. Listen and answer any questions.

e. Never argue and don’t oversell your viewpoint.

f. Let your employees know exactly what they expect.

3. Whiners and chronic complainers. Here are some tips on how to deal with whiners and chronic complainers:

a. Be an empathetic listener.

b. Treat complainers and whiners like adults.

c. Let the employee know that you intend to look into the situation.

4. Personal problems. Here are some suggestions when dealing with employees with personal problems:

a. Express your personal observations.

b. Remember that personal matters area very delicate area.

c. Be clear and honest on why you are holding the meeting.

d. Help uncover options.

e. Be honest and direct about consequences that may occur if poor performance continues.

f. Give your employee the chance to save face and bounce back.

Defensive attitudes. When employees are defensive, you should:

a. Start by evaluating yourself.

b. Sharpen your own interpersonal skills.

c. Work on building strong individual relationships with your employees.

d. Seek to find common ground with a defensive worker.

e. Remain in control and stay calm.

f. Encourage accountability.

Fewer resources and/or more demands. If your organization has to cope with fewer resources and more demands, you should:

a. Listen to your employees.

b. Get people to think forward and move forward.

c. Be realistic in setting performance and productivity goals.

d. Celebrate every success and achievement.

e. Expect more from every employee and give more in return.

7. Hard-Core Morale Cases

In a lot of low morale cases, the managers are the problem. The good news is some managers have realized the importance of instilling meaning and value to their employees.

If you want to be the solution and not the problem, you must acknowledge that every worker defines his or her level of success differently. You should respect these differences. After all, not everyone wants to be in a position of greater responsibility.

Here are other tips and techniques to help you along the way:

  • Create a feeling of belonging.
  • Provide your employees with the tools they need to do the job.
  • Remember that corporate values can drive and maintain morale. • Give positive feedback during moments of employee success.
  • Explain to employees the direct impact of their efforts on the company’s

Do not assume that you know what your employees want and need. You must first assess the situation by asking your employees directly or through a questionnaire. Believe it or not, an employee needs assessment will save you a lot of time, money and turnover.

There is one thing, however, common to all employees. They need a manager who cares. Employees need to know that they matter to you. Here are some ways you can show your workers you care:

  • Listen.
  • Reward, recognize, and praise.
  • Give and appreciate honest feedback.
  • Instill confidence.

9. Winning Back Morale in Emotional Times – What to Do When Tragedy Strikes

In great crisis comes both danger and opportunity. When tragedy strikes, you have to be able to win back employee morale as soon as possible. You must be prepared (ahead of time because you never really know when you will be confronted by a workplace crisis.

The three-step recover program is an effective tool used by Crisis Management International.

  1. 1. Tell stories and share your feelings.
  2. 2. Create “normalization.”
  3. 3. Provide information and education.

10, Engendering Hope, Trust, Faith and Belief in a Better Tomorrow

In the past, the importance of hope, trust and faith in the workplace was never acknowledged. Today, managers have realized that by nurturing the above, they are drawing employees closer to the organization and inspiring better performance.

Hope can be your best weapon when fighting low employee morale. It is through hope that you can get your employees to persevere even if the future may seem bleak.

You must also treat trust as a primary management concern. You must tell your employees they are trustworthy and mean it.

Here is the Manager’s 12 Tenets of Hope and Trust to guide you:

  1. 1. Show your respect.
  2. 2. Think before you speak.
  3. 3. Don’t break promises.
  4. 4. wear one face, not two
  5. 5. let go
  6. 6. Never make a point at someone else’s expense.
  7. 7. Dig for the gold in every person and reward the positive.
  8. 8. Value other perspectives and views.
  9. 9. Acknowledge that hope and trust flow both ways.
  10. 10. Keep the faith in yourself and in your people.
  11. 11. Believe in the possibilities and keep hope alive at all costs.
  12. 12. Be authentic and act human.

Faith is another thing that you need to foster in your workplace. Employees must have faith that the time they spend at work goes to a greater cause and mission. Your workers must also have faith in their leaders and trust in their word.

Through all of this, a belief in great possibilities can be developed. You can inspire your employees to look forward and see a brighter future. As a manager, you can assist your workers into seeing how much better their lives can be.

Every week, it sends


Building a high morale workplace – Anne Bruce – McGHraw Hill