Boosting employee morale is an important part of every executive’s day. There are many, many articles about tricks or techniques for increasing morale. Suggestions range anywhere from having company outings to providing bonuses and rewards.
While there are a variety of ways to create an upturn in morale among your employees, there is one simple and easy method that is often overlooked. That is: Do what you can to enable employees to get their jobs done.
This technique may sound too simple – and it is simple. That’s why it is so commonly overlooked. A recent study indicated that 20% of motivated employees whose work goals align with their company’s goals are yet frustrated. Another study shows that employee frustration and dissatisfaction will cause 20% of employees to move to a different company.
This pattern can be stopped in its tracks simply by providing employees with the right support so they can do their jobs efficiently.
How to Prevent Employee Frustration
There can be multiple reasons for employee frustration. You may have hired a new person who doesn’t meld with the team or their boss may be micromanaging them. However, the most commonly voiced irritations are incredibly easy to fix. These are:
Overuse of Email
How do you feel when your email isn’t helping you get work done, but actually hindering production? As an executive, you likely delegate the resolution of many back-and-forth, time-wasting emails to other employees. However, when the person who is getting all of that back-and-forth is an employee with no ability to delegate, they can feel as if email is hindering their production and making them unable to do their job.
Fortunately, you can help prevent unnecessary and time-sucking emails from happening in your company. Here are just a few ways you can support your employees and assist them to do the work enjoy:
- Create a company-wide email policy everyone must follow. For example, if you have a non-urgent communique, say so in the subject line.
- Set up a company-wide “email answering hour” during which emails will be addressed. Any email answered outside of the hour is reserved for client emails or emails marked “urgent.”
- Ask employees to provide suggestions on how to successfully manage their email loads. You may get some people who love answering emails – but you will likely get some excellent ideas that are pertinent to your industry and company culture out of this open call for suggestions.
Meetings are the bane of many employee’s existences. Often, meetings get called that include far more people than necessary or a meeting about a particular project may be happening far too often. In fact, if you ask around, you may find out that some of your employee’s entire day is focused on going from one meeting to the next, with them only able to grab about an hour or two of real work time in between meetings and reports.
There are many solutions for meeting fatigue. You can utilize team chat technology like that provided by Slack or you can simply extend the time between meetings if they seem to be happening too frequently. A quick and easy way to resolve walls of back-to-back meetings is to ask employees to tell you their experience, along with providing you with suggestions for how to address the issue. It could be as simple as canceling a particular type of meeting like the “daily check-in” and converting it to an end-of-day email instead.
Inability to take a break
Some companies operate on a 9-5 workday while others appear to have a 24/7 culture. It can be tough for employees to feel satisfied when working in that 24/7 type of workplace, especially if they are paid hourly. How does one “clock in” when they are getting work emails or texts at home? Is it okay for an employee to leave before the boss if his or her work for the day is done? These and other unresolved questions can cause extreme dissatisfaction and make employees feel undervalued.
The two best solutions for this issue are:
- Define job expectations upon hiring. If you will need the person to be “on call,” note what that actually means. There’s a difference between being on call by getting an email when something needs resolution and allowing the employee to resolve it from home and being on call where the employee must monitor their email and texts 24/7 and must not be more than five minutes from the nearest internet connection at all times.
- Create and enforce company schedule policies. If you don’t want employees working late, be sure that your policies are implemented from the top down. Many employees don’t want to leave before the boss – so don’t let the boss set a bad example.
Finally, you can take the temperature of your company by asking questions through an anonymous survey. If employees are being told they must answer business email and text when they are supposed to be off for the day, that’s something you want to know from an HR and management standpoint.
A significant cause of frustration that can stop employees from doing their job is a blocked line of communication. It may be that staff are reporting issues to their boss, and the buck stops there. Or, it may be even worse – that a boss is reprimanding employees for providing suggestions or for voicing suggestions for company procedure or management.
This can be resolved organizationally by delineating a clear line of inquiry, from employee to boss to executive. If this line is skipped, the employee must state what caused them to leave a person out of the loop. By establishing distinct lines of communication within your company, your employees will be better able to help improve your business, provide creative solutions to problems you may not know about, and even inform you or HR if something isn’t right among team members.
Allowing employees to get on with a job they love is incredibly important. That’s why we at Business Success Consulting Group provide organizational consulting along with executive coaching. These two actions go hand-in-hand and can help change a company from a standard place of business to a thriving concern. Contact us today to find out more about our services – and to get a free evaluation of your company efficiency.