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We've all been there before — having a boss who doesn't trust you to do your job can demoralize even the most productive of workers. Studies show that only 12% of employees leave their job for more money, so there's obviously a lot more at play. Now that you're on the other side, you know the importance of maintaining employee morale.
So where does it all start? Put simply, trust.
Trust is the essential ingredient to a strong team and empowers high-performance, risk-taking employees. If you're looking to build better team moral, follow these eight simple steps to see the workplace vibe improve.
Team Morale Built on Trust
Make a Commitment to Trust in Company Culture
Trust, or lack thereof, can quickly percolate in a toxic environment. Micromanagement and disregard for a healthy work-life balance are two surefire ways to violate trust, which has been proven to result in poor performance, job satisfaction, and loyalty. A company-wide commitment to respect will translate across all facets of the organization.
Lead By Example
To quote Ernest Hemingway, "The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them." You can start this with simple gestures, like being truthful when changes are afoot within the company. Keep people in the loop, so they don't feel like they've been jilted if a big decision is made without them. At Justworks, CEO Isaac Oates holds an all-hands meeting every week to update people about what's going on in different departments. Sometimes, it's the little gestures that count.
Related article: 10 Easy Ways to Boost Team Morale on a Budget
Practice Empathy in the Workplace
When you were younger, maybe you were shocked to learn that your teachers didn't solely spend their days within the confines of school and actually had lives outside of the classroom. Learn from this watershed realization. Your teammates also come with their own hopes, frustrations, personal relationships, and life experiences that shape their perspectives and approach. If you take the time to get to know your colleagues as people outside the office it will lead to better collaboration inside the office. In fact, studies back up that humble and empathetic business leaders are more successful.
Define Expectations Early On
Did you know that only half of employees know what's expected of them in their role? That ambiguity can lead to sagging morale. Make sure you're communicating with your employees and allowing them to come to you with questions. It's a great way to build trust, and it will fend off many potential sources of frustration.
Don't Deal in Fear
Trust is confidence in another person's abilities. Threats, accusations, and disparaging remarks all lead you down a rabbit hole from which it is hard to emerge. If someone makes a mistake or could benefit from more support, use it as a learning opportunity and remain constructive.
Learn to Give Constructive Criticism
Learn which perks and benefits employees want the most.
Pretty much the one thing you can count on by placing any group of people in a room together is that sooner or later, they’re going to disagree. However, you can use this as an opportunity to build trust and boost employee morale. Conflict is natural and healthy provided it’s grounded in respect and a desire to find a constructive solution to the problem presented.
Related article: Don't Make Peer-to-Peer Constructive Criticism Awkward: 11 Tips
Let Diverse Viewpoints Be Heard
Research shows that diversity stirs constructive debate around the task at-hand. You will increase your business’ ability to quickly respond to the growing demands of the market by forming teams with individuals that represent a wide array of viewpoints. You'll also offer morale boosters by listening and integrating new suggestions.
Take Blame, Give Credit
Maybe it should go without saying: if you abide by the rule to share your successes and own your failures, your team’s trust in you will only grow.
This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.