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4 Jul 2016

Still 2 More Morale Builders for Work That Don’t Cost a Cent

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series 10 Morale Builders That Don't Cost A Cent

Morale builders for work don’t need to cost much. The best ones don’t cost anything. They lay a strong base to motivate employees. They make organizational cultures more adaptive. Implementing strategies is easier.

Two previous posts covered these four morale builders for work:

  1. Remember and use employees’ names
  2. Shake employees’ hands
  3. Thank employees
  4. Hold small group update meetings

As with these four, the next two don’t cost a cent.

1. Ask for Help, Don’t Order

Ordering people around tends to increase resistance. This harms morale. At times it is necessary. Urgent situations are one. A lack culture needs it at times.

How we ask is key too. There are two parts:

  1. The ask itself
  2. Tying the ask to us
These 2 morale builders for work make 6 that don't cost a cent.

Asking versus ordering and making ourselves visible and accessible are two morale builders for work that also prep employees to implement strategy better.

For instance, “Would you do this?” is different from “Would you do this for me? Tying the person to the ask and to us personalizes it. It makes a bond.

We can make the tie stronger by showing how the ask helps us or others:

  • Your help would help me make this project successful.”
  • You would really be helping Jacob and Sandra?”

We should avoid using the generic “we,” “them,” or “the company.” People relate more to individuals than they do to groups. This works because it helps people feel helpful. They feel more powerful. They do better.

2. Be Visible and Accessible

This is management by walking around (MBWA). Employees like to see their leaders. This works well if the interactions are mainly positive. If, though, we only visit or contact them when we need something, they will begin to avoid us.

Interactions should be focused, light and positive. “I just wanted to touch base and see how things are going.” We mainly listen. We ask about family. We ask how we can help. Planning for these interactions helps too.

MBWA is a very effective change tool too. It works like a teachable moment in school. People are more receptive if they initiate the question or interaction. This exchange has seven basic phases:

  1. They see us.
  2. We approach them.
  3. We say something informal or business-lite.
  4. The conversation stays light for a bit.
  5. They then bring up something more business related.
  6. We discuss, answer, coach or model it.
  7. We thank them for bringing it up.

Prepping with Morale Builders for Work

In painting it takes time to prep the surface. It takes more time than the painting does. Yet, it makes the paint stick better. It lasts longer.

These morale builders at work take time too. They take more time than painting a strategy. Yet, they make implementing the strategy go better. Employees are more receptive. They are more motivated.

When the strategy or change fails, it’s usually because the prepping was bad. It’s rarely the paint.

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