That Fresh, New Year Mentality

It’s the first work week of the new year and we’re guessing that as an employer, you’ve been taking a reading of your team’s motivation of late. And in spite of all the motivational noise out there about this time of year, we’re guessing there’s a chance your team just isn’t feeling very inspired. In fact, maybe they’re a little burned out.

There’s likely a lot of causes why this might be the case. The ambiguity of the past few years, the stress of trying maintain both work and family obligations, maybe even a touch of uncertainty around the purpose of their work, especially considering many small businesses have reported to be in survival mode for much too long. Which means that employees themselves have been in just as much survival mode, and the toll of that continues to show.

In this blog we’ll be addressing lackluster company morale, providing some easy ideas to not only inspire your team, but also to provide some reassurance that their efforts are not in vain.

Lighting the inspiration fire, and keeping it going

  1. Focus on the team you have. Sometimes employers look to replacement hires to solve issues with team morale and that might not be the best approach to take. We suggest looking at the team you already have in place and identifying the things they need to reach performance goals.
  2. Speaking of goals, set realistic ones. You’ve probably already outlined target goals for 2024 but take the time to give them yet another review. We’re all eager to bounce back to higher productivity levels, but keeping those goals attainable is essential. Strong progress can be made with ‘smaller’ achievements, as it gets the ball rolling. Another tip on setting goals: make sure the team understands the why behind them. What the company, and they themselves, can expect to receive in return.
  3. Train employees! This is so so important that we’ve talked about it numerous times in our blogs. Training employees not only helps them achieve objectives with their new skills, it also plays a large part in their overall workplace happiness. Why? It shows them that their employer is invested in their own career growth. And that’s a big deal.
  4. Consider a recognition program. It doesn’t have to elaborate, in fact, giving recognition in small ways to honor ‘smaller’ achievements actually does a lot of good in building team morale. A company-wide shoutout, a gift card, or a PTO day are a few simple yet effective ways to acknowledge a job well done.
  5. Throw in some contests! Having a good time at work is probably the best motivator there is. Not every day is going to be a party but a few company-wide team challenges helps to bring levity, build strong collaboration, and just relieve stress overall. Keep the contest unrelated to work matters and it’ll be that much more effective.
  6. Bonus tip: remember that positive company morale comes from the top. This means that as team leader, you’re leading by example. Now everyone has bad moments, bad days, even a whole week that gets derailed so while we’re not suggesting you put on a happy face at all times, we do want to stress how important it is to recognize your influence. Work hard but take time off seriously, do not engage in or tolerate gossip, and always listen to feedback. Follow-through is important, too. It’s hard work to lead a team but you know that going into it so take the role seriously. The payoff will be all the more inspiring for it.

 We hope these tips offer some inspiration in how you’ll lead your team this year, and we invite you to reflect on some tactics that have worked for your company in the past, or some you’ve been wanting to try. We’d love to know, how do you decide which motivator will likely work for your team?

Remember that HR can play a significant role in maintaining team cohesion by supporting each employee’s professional journey. If you’re looking for an HR department that can meet the demands of the modern workplace, EOS HR is your answer! We’re a team of HR professionals helping small businesses succeed in this exciting, yet challenging professional environment.  Schedule a free consultation today to learn more.