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Managing Morale in Uncertain Times

Managing Morale in Uncertain Times

Sybil F. Stershic

November 12, 2008

With the current economic turbulence, employees are walking on egg shells wondering about their jobs. Fears about job security abound, and managers in almost all economic sectors are grappling with the question: How do you bolster employee morale and confidence when the future is so uncertain?

I found some great management advice that addresses this question. According to Melcrum’s Source for Communicators, there are a number of ways you can help lift employee morale. Here are three of my favorites:

1. “Encourage people to recognize their own achievements and then to go public.”
The reality is managers are not always proactive at catching employees doing something right. And if we have to wait for others to recognize our accomplishments, we may be waiting a long time. The Source shares a story about a manager who created this special sign for her employees to use to get her attention: “I just did something wonderful. Ask me about it!”

2. “Create small victories.”
Since stretch goals may be overwhelming, build in progressive smaller goals that can be achieved and recognized along the way (i.e., “small wins”). This also keeps employees focused as the larger goal becomes more attainable in the long run.

3. “Prepare for the future.”
Carve out time with staff to consider and discuss contingency planning. We spend so much times putting out office fires that we forget the importance of preventive firefighting.

Poll: How do you feel about crying at work?

Poll: How do you feel about crying at work?