Shaky employee morale is a sore spot at every level of the organization. It happens at the top as much as within the team.
“I’m tired of my team’s level of effort and their attitude… They just don’t care,” shared a frustrated manager.
“What exactly gives you the impression your team doesn’t care?” I ask.
“They dump problems in my lap that I know they could solve on their own, if they cared enough to give it some effort…. They do the minimum amount of work… They constantly walk around looking as if they’re unhappy to be here…”
It’s a common story: driven and focused leaders can easily steamroll teams whose attitudes are sending a message. What comes across as “We don’t care” is probably communicating, “You don’t care about us.”
It is the job of the leader to make repairs.
Teams Follow Caring Leaders
Boosting the morale of a good team doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, it can be as simple as showing care through these simple actions:
1. Feed Them. Yes, that simple! Food communicates that you care, but it also provides downtime for everyone to relax and relate at a personal level. One leader I know brings homemade soup and sandwiches once a month for her team to show them they matter. Try it. You may even get extra bonus points if you discover and include some of their favorite foods.
2. Listen, and Remember. Leaders who show care for their team member’s personal interests often experience a higher level of loyalty from them. Try it. Every day, for thirty days, deliberately ask about work unrelated interests: family, friends, hopes, fears, dreams, and desires. Listen… and remember what they tell you. Let those details spill out in future conversations.
3. Be Inclusive. Query your team for ideas. Implement the good ones… even when they cost you time. Devoting time to their ideas shows caring at a fundamental level. Time says, “your ideas have value” and “I trust you.”
4. Learn to Share Stories: Share stories that build faith in you. Remember that through words and actions you can make your story their story.
Caring for your team in ways that matter to them will profoundly effect their productivity, their attitude, and their happiness — in a positive way. And that’s a very good thing for business too.
Caring takes courage. Learn how to communicate courage to your people. The pay off is worth it.