03 Aug How To Build Morale Within the Maintenance Team
Hiring qualified, competent employees alone isn’t enough to run a successful business. Keeping employee morale high creates a loyal and productive staff, allowing your business to be more efficient and keeping employee turnover low. High employee morale means less money spent on training, less time spent finding employees, and a better, more productive staff.
Good management understands the necessity of keeping employees happy. Here are some ways to build morale on your team:
Recognize Good Employees
If an employee is doing exceptional work, it is important to recognize their effort publicly.
When an employee’s accomplishments are celebrated by management as well as their peers, that person is more likely to continue his or her excellent work. Conversely, if an employee begins to feel that their efforts are going unnoticed, they will quit putting in the extra work, believing that they are underappreciated.
However, it’s equally important to recognize the right employees. Misplaced credit decreases morale significantly faster than uncelebrated effort; after all, while failure to recognize accomplishment leads to demoralized employees, giving the credit to the wrong person can drive a wedge between the team and destroy company cohesiveness.
Show You Care
Show your employees that you care about them as people, not just as employees. Acknowledge birthdays, celebrate work anniversaries, send gifts for weddings or for new babies.
Taking interest in your employees’ personal lives shows you value them as people and not just as instruments to make you money. It also makes the workplace feel more like a family, and makes people more committed to helping their fellow employees and seeing your organization succeed.
Do What’s Best for the Whole Team
While firing employees is a necessary aspect of running a business, that doesn’t make it a pleasant experience. Nevertheless, as a manager you have an obligation to do what’s best for the whole team and for the business.
If a teammate is consistently underperforming, he or she puts extra strain on the rest of the team to pick up the slack. If the team is being held back by one individual, it’s probably best to find someone new so that the rest of the team can focus on their own responsibilities.
Set SMART Goals
SMART goals are goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. In the modern competitive business climate, SMART goals are essential to keeping employees focused, making tight deadlines, and delivering results to the consumer.
For your team, SMART goals give your employees measurable goals to work toward and concrete indicators for success.
When every employee can see the eventual goal they’re working toward and understand how their role contributes to the big picture, even small tasks will make them feel accomplished and their sense of job satisfaction will skyrocket.
Change Your Language
One simple yet effective way to make your company more team-oriented is simply to change up the job titles.
What does it matter what a person’s job title is, if they’re doing the same job? A lot, actually. While every successful business will have some sort of structure and managerial hierarchy, an employee’s title can have a big impact on the way he or she approaches the role.
For instance, a title like “maintenance supervisor” carries with it the implication of overseeing the operation but not necessarily taking a part in it. By contrast, “maintenance team leader” carries two implicit messages: one, that all of your maintenance workers are a cohesive unit, a team, and two, that the individual leading them is still very much a part of that team, not a bystander.
Changing up your language in the workplace can do wonders to increase sense of camaraderie in your plant, both between employees and their managers and between individuals working toward the same goal.
Listen and Respond
Remember that, as a manager, your perspective of the operation might be very different from a floor worker’s.
Allow your employees to feel more valuable by taking their suggestions into consideration. They know their work best, and they may have valuable ideas to improve efficiency or to improve some other aspect of their job.
Not only will employees feel that their concerns are being heard, but they will also feel more important to company. And of course, if their ideas work, the company will be all the better for it.
Of course, this doesn’t mean follow every piece of advice you hear. However, if you choose not to follow an employee’s suggestions, explain your decision. This way, the employee will still know that you were listening and didn’t just reject his or her proposal for no reason, and you’ll prove to the team that your decision is for the good of the company, not for your ego.
The most important aspect of boosting team morale is that it has to come from a place of honesty. You can’t fake caring: if your heart isn’t in it, people will pick up on it, and they won’t be happy.
When your employees know you care about them, they will always be more responsive to your suggestions and will be much more willing to work with you.Regardless of what methods you use, make a genuine effort, and show everyone on the team that you are committed to building a better, happier team.
Want to learn more about what you can do to take your maintenance team to the next level and build a bigger, better poultry plant? Download our free informative Ebook, Why and How to Cross-Train in Maintenance, and take your plant to new heights.