Poor attitudes in the workplace are annoying, but also pose a risk to a workplace. A poor attitude is a sign of a lack of morale, which can lead to lower productivity, lower sales, increased accidents and injuries, and increased turnover. It pays to prevent poor attitudes in the workplace, but this is often easier said than done. Here are ten tips for keeping attitudes positive and employee morale high.
1. Recognize and Celebrate Accomplishments
It is natural for people to feel worn down when they are constantly meeting goals and then moving on to new goals without even a pat on the back. Rewarding accomplishments doesn’t have to come with a huge price tag, however. Publicly announcing a significant achievement or exceeded goal takes only a few minutes and tells staff that their efforts are appreciated.
Supervisors can celebrate achievements in a variety of ways. A public announcement, a congratulatory email sent to all staff, or even a simple thank you card are all great ways to recognize routine accomplishments that too often get missed. Employees won’t feel appreciated if no one pauses to express appreciation, and that’s when the bad attitude starts.
2. Give Back Together
Working together on a positive goal is one of the best ways to build relationships. While this may not seem like it would affect attitudes, consider that employees who have a relationship with you and your business are more likely to feel good about their jobs. Many major corporations have programs encouraging employees to volunteer together at local charities while being paid their normal wages. A few lost hours are quickly made up in higher productivity and lower staff turnover as employees feel the bond of a common positive goal.
3. Train for Promotions and Promote from Within
One of the best ways to improve poor attitudes is to make employees feel that they have a future with your business. One powerful way to create dedicated employees is to train them for the next step in their career and then promote them when a position is available. If a business is small, it remains important to create an atmosphere of personal and professional growth. Allow workers to learn new skills and take on new responsibilities as they prove capable. Eventually, even a small business will have a need for someone in a higher position; when this happens, you will have a well-trained candidate who is already familiar with your policies and procedures.
4. Recognize Milestones
Every person has milestones: birthdays, births, marriages, and more. We form social bonds by celebrating these milestones together. Even a cupcake and a quick Happy Birthday song will show an employee that their personal milestones are important to the company and to you. It’s hard to have a bad attitude when management takes the time to be a part of your life.
Most people feel better about working toward goals they have helped to set, and also about working in an environment that they have helped to design. It doesn’t cost anything to involve people in some of the decisions that must be made. Whether it is setting the goals for a new marketing campaign or choosing new office furniture, let employees have a say. They will feel more ownership and might bring a valuable perspective that you hadn’t considered.
6. Be Transparent
The more people feel informed about the way decisions are made, the better they will feel about those decisions. Management decisions should never be a mystery or a surprise; this authoritarian style of business management will create poor attitudes even if all other factors are perfect. When decisions are announced, give the costs and benefits that were weighed; invite employees to ask for more information. Even better, let employees know when management is making big decisions and ask them to give input if it is appropriate. Create a workplace culture of transparency and respect for the people affected by decisions.
7. Have Fun as a Group
Office parties are not a bonus, but rather a necessity. Fun should be a part of any workplace, both in small daily ways and larger, more momentous ways. When people are not amused and engaged at work, they turn to office gossip and complaining. All of these can be highly destructive to workplace morale and contribute to a culture of negativity. Betting on favorite sports, hosting chili cook-offs, and other cheap fun will keep the bad attitudes at bay.
8. Listen and Respond
Unspoken and unresolved complaints kill attitudes and moods. Employees should be expected to speak up when they have an issue without repercussions and they should also expect their concerns to be recognized. Many offices deal with this by having town hall-style meetings with management periodically. Alternately, buy a box for anonymous feedback. Encourage employees to state not just their concern, but their proposed solution. Work together to make the workplace better and friendlier for everyone.
9. Change Up Routines
Nothing is worse for an attitude than doing things the same way, day in and day out. Unfortunately, many employees feel that management wants them in their rut. Dispel this myth by changing routines occasionally. Go for a walk or sit outside during a meeting rather than staying in a stuffy meeting room. Bring in gourmet coffee to enjoy instead of the usual Folgers. Small changes add joy to daily life and help employees to think outside of the box when it comes to their job duties.
10. Emphasize a Sense of Purpose
Every business has a purpose. Identify the ways, big and small, that your company is changing lives and share these regularly with your staff. No job is meaningless, but sometimes we all get too bogged down to remember our higher purpose. Good leaders inspire employees by helping them to remember just how important they are to both their company and their community.