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6 Jun 2016

2 More Morale Builders That Don’t Cost a Cent

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series 10 Morale Builders That Don't Cost A Cent

The best morale builders don’t cost a cent. They drive relationships. Relationships get things done right. A past post looked at two of these. This one looks at two more morale builders.

The two previous ones were:

  1. Remember and use employees’ names
  2. Shake employees’ hands

What follows now are two more morale builders. They don’t cost a cent either.

There are many more morale builders that don't cost a cent.

Here are two more morale builders that don’t cost a cent: thanking employees and holding small group update meetings.

1. Thank employees

There are many ways to thank employees. This is about one-on-one thanks. It packs more power than generic group thanks.

No employee should go more than three to six months without a thank you. The basic thanks is simply for the employee’s efforts. The manager can do this. From a senior manager or executive, it is even better:

  • Jennifer, I just want to take a moment and thank you for your efforts here.
  • I just want you to know, Sean, that I appreciate the work you do for us. So, thank you.

Why thank an employee for simply doing her job? How can we expect her to do more than her job if she does not even get thanks for doing her job?

2. Hold Small Group Update Meetings

Having a senior manager or executive do a short update meeting with a small group is amazingly positive. Here are some key tips about the meetings:

  • Groups of 5-15 work best.
  • They only need to be at least 15-20 minutes.
  • Opening remarks are short, 3-5 minutes.
  • Rest of time is questions and answers.

Receiving questions can be tough. Here are some tips to get them:

  • Wait for questions and let silence do its work.
  • If no questions arise after 1-2 minutes, end the meeting promptly.
  • Thank the person who asks the first questions for “getting things started.”
  • Keep answer to first question very short (less than 45 seconds) and on point.
  • As a last resort, use junior managers, trainers, human resources or other such employees to facilitate the meeting and ask the first question.

The key is to show we are serious about answering questions. Enduring the silence and ending the meeting when questions do not surface do that. It sets the stage for questions at the next meeting.

Regularly Apply More Morale Builders

As mentioned in the last post, these morale builders work like exercise. They are not one shot applications. They work over time.

How much do we believe people drive our success? Two more morale builders help us answer that. They don’t cost a cent either. Why are they rarely used then?


NOTE: For more on update meetings, a colleague, Scott Boulton, has a great, very detailed post on this. It has been very popular on the web and on LinkedIn. I highly recommend it.

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