Successful teams are hampered by a negative environment. Low morale not only affects individuals in the workplace but spreads negativity through the team or across the entire organization. This is especially likely if there has been a recent painful change such as a failed project or layoffs. If you notice that yours or your teammates’ morale is low, you can take proactive steps to address it and implement a strategy to rebuild a positive work environment.
Five ways to make a contribution
Here are some of the steps you can take to create a positive work environment:
Try to find out why the environment is not more positive
Many factors can negatively impact the team’s morale including chaotic work conditions, lack of growth, poor communication and negative corporate culture among others. If you are not able to understand why morale of some or many team members is low, consider talking to the Human Resources professional. There are many things that are not under your control as an employee. On the other hand, there are still some aspects you can manage better, such as resolving individual or team conflict with open communication, taking collective decisions to promote team’s progress and mentoring a team member.
Learn new skills
If you or your teammates are struggling with low morale because of lack of learning opportunities and growth, you can look at learning a new skill. There are many steps you can take to build your team’s as well as your confidence and morale. These include signing up for workshops or skill development programs, communicating with your manager about lack of learning and development opportunities. All these can enhance the work environment.
Offering to mentor or coach a co-worker or exploring volunteering opportunities can help you find a sense of purpose while benefiting the team member.
Listening skills are a crucial aspect of verbal communication. Active listening is key to establishing and promoting positive working relationships between individuals and teams. Listening skills influence the way the business interacts with its customers. Work on your active listening skills. This can enrich relationships, improve group productivity, boost your own mood as well as well your teammates’. Active listening also helps you resolve conflicts that can arise from miscommunication. When team members are able to discuss issues it can help them feel better, enhancing positivity.
Build professional network
While you work with the same set of people every day, you may not have focused on getting to know your team members. Strengthening your work connections can benefit you individually as well as the organization. Positive relationships at work helps build a network of contacts, while elevating your mood and productivity. Develop your people skills and attend networking events to foster meaningful connections.
Managers are expected to take the lead in recognizing individual and team achievements. However, you, as a team member, can also take initiatives in this direction. Discuss with your team as to how you can encourage each other and celebrate progress. Small acts of posting thank you notes or applauding achievements can help highlight the progress your team is making and boost morale. Celebrating birthdays and other milestones such as work anniversaries raises team spirit and builds a positive team environment.
Supporting a positive work environment will enhance your team’s success as well as your own!
Check out our previous blog: Building Team Morale.