Build employee morale during good times and bad

Everyday, more and more industries are facing layoffs and major downsizing. Paired with a looming recession, employees are more stressed than ever.

Keeping employee morale high during times like these can be tough, but those at Harvard Business Online say good leaders should be able to inspire no matter what.

“Good morale does not require people to be happy.” Instead, the definition of good morale is that individuals’ emotions contribute to the unit as a whole in order to achieve goals. A leader’s job is building team focus and dedication, according to the author.

This can be achieved if you hold on to four truths:

Employee efforts contribute to making someone else’s life better. People work their hardest when they know they are making a difference in another person’s life. Show your employees the good work they’re doing with examples. Something as small as a positive customer review can make an employee feel proud of what they do.

The company depends on their ideas. After downsizing, it is usually a company’s top performers who are left to keep the business moving. Let these employees know that their ideas are crucial to the company’s success and be open to listening to new ideas.

Bad times will end soon. Most of the time, employee layoffs happen before a company is in financial trouble, and used as a means to cut costs before profits plummet. Let your employees know that the downsizing is only temporary and when you foresee an end to the job cuts.

Good times are just around the corner. During a downsizing, employees may take on roles and responsibilities they may not have had under any other circumstances. When good times roll back around, managers will notice how these employees have stepped up and possible promotions may follow.

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