8 Do's and Don'ts for Effectively Managing Team Morale
A happy team is a productive team, and for business leaders and managers the tasks of maintaining morale, building ream relationships and encouraging collaborative working play a huge part in the continued smooth running and success of a business. Help is at hand for leaders and managers who may be inexperienced or new to team management: business skills training specialists Maguire Training offer Teams & Team Working. This two-day course gives delegates a comprehensive overview of the way teams are formed, interact and work and how best to manage them and effectively deal with any barriers to team productivity.
One of those barriers is poor team morale. Morale can be infectious; it only takes one team member to be unhappy, dissatisfied or stressed for the problem to begin to affect other members of the team. By the same token, high spirits, a positive attitude and a feeling of job satisfaction can equally be nurtured and shared. As a manager or team leader there are right ways and wrong ways to approach team morale building. Here, Maguire Training gives you 8 do's and don'ts for effectively managing team morale.
DO be open and honest with your team
If there's bad news to be given don't be tempted to spare your team's feelings but be honest and tell them everything. Hiding information or, worse still, being economical with the truth can eventually create barriers of mistrust or cause morale-sapping negative rumours to spread through your team.
DON'T air grievances with team members in public
If you have an issue with a team member's attitude or performance don't raise it with them in front of the rest of the team but take them aside for a discreet one-to-one chat away from the workplace.
DO give praise publicly when it's due
Whether it's for the efforts of an individual or a group 'thank you', giving praise where it's due is a good all round morale booster and demonstrates to your team that their efforts are acknowledged, valued and rewarded. However, given too often in an attempt to maintain high morale, praise soon becomes accepted as the norm and loses its value.
DON'T assign ambiguous or incomplete tasks
A great deal of morale stems from the satisfaction of completing a job well done. For team members to achieve this they need clearly defined and realistic tasks and access to the resources needed to complete them. Constantly having to ask questions about a task or being unable to finish it satisfactorily lead to frustration which in turn damages team morale.
DO set realistic individual and team goals
Another morale-busting source of frustration is setting goals which are simply not suited to the capabilities of an individual or team, or which simply cannot be achieved no matter how hard they strive. Ideally a goal should be explained in terms of the desired outcome and the individual steps that must be completed to reach it. Tasks should be delegated in accordance with the individual strengths of team members and feedback should be encouraged to flag any issues which may prevent a team member or the team as a whole achieving any particular goal.
DON'T deflect blame or responsibility for your team
Ultimately, as a leader or manager, responsibility for your team and its actions, mistakes, successes and failures rests with you. Finger-pointing, undue criticism and passing the buck in order to protect your own interests ahead of those of the wider team will ultimately destroy morale and may call into question your integrity and ability as a team leader.
DO empower team members to think and act for themselves
If not strictly required, over-attentive 'micro-management' can be bad for morale, whilst entrusting your team to take responsibility for their own decisions and actions and allowing them to complete tasks in their own preferred way demonstrates a level of trust in them that can elicit the feel-good factor.
DON'T dismiss your team's ideas and suggestions
Brainstorming solutions to a particular problem or situation or encouraging your team to come up with ideas as to how working practices may be improved creates a sense of inclusion and can often elicit useful suggestions that might not otherwise have been considered.
Correctly managing morale is an important aspect of the leader or manager's role but there is much more to learn about teams and how they best perform. To obtain an invaluable grounding in this diverse subject, Maguire Training's Teams & Team Working course is highly recommended and, for managers on the go, is available as an online training course delivered by Maguire Training's E-learning platform and accessible via any internet-connected computer or smartphone.