5 New Year’s Resolutions for Improving Employee Morale

December 22nd, 2010 by

Here are 5 resolutions for 2011 that are guaranteed to improve employee morale and motivation.  If improving morale and motivation isn’t part of your professional resolutions for 2011 you might consider that the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that U.S. companies lose $3 billion a year to the effects of negative attitudes and behaviors at work.  Creating a positive and productive workplace is incumbent on everyone, employees and management alike, but should be a special focus for HR managers.

1) Ensure that management develops and shares goals with the employees.
The goals should be (SMART) specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.   Make sure that each employee understands what their contribution is to the goals.  Create short term (next 90 days), mid range (this year) and long term (where will the company be in three years).

2) Clarify roles and job descriptions.
Make sure that each employee has an accurate job description, understands their role in the company and how they contribute to the overall success of the organization.

3) Develop or expand an employee volunteer program.
Gather a group of employees and think of ways your company can “give back to the community.” Consider offering paid time off to volunteer- even a half day sends a message that the business cares about the community.   Volunteering together is a great team building event.

4) Update the compensation strategy.
Conduct a review of all compensation plans (since many pay raises happen in the first month of the year this is a great time to resolve any inequity discovered in the review). Map the plans against prevailing wages in the industry and in the community. Consider paying above market in total compensation but maybe with a lower base wages and increased performance incentives. Your goal is to use compensation to encourage the performance and behaviors that will achieve the organization’s goals.

5 Establish individual training programs for each employee. Make sure that each employee has the opportunity to take at least one class, webinar, seminar or other training activity that relates to their individual professional development outside of skills training or mandated compliance training.  When funds are tight I’ve had success with creating “book clubs” where a department or group of employees read a book on a business topic that is of mutual interest and discuss over the course of several weeks.  The key is personal interaction with the manager or subject matter expert leading the discussion.  Here are some books to consider: Drive by Daniel Pink,    Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh, and  The Time Paradox: The New Psychology of Time by Philip Zimbardo and John Boyd

Join the conversation: What are your professional New Year’s resolutions?

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One Response to “5 New Year’s Resolutions for Improving Employee Morale”

  1. Jerry Thurber says:

    Good time of the year to remind people how important these simple fundementals are. They are so often missed!. It might be a good New Years resolution for any company to re-deploy these five basic rules.

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