All organisations have times when team morale is low and if this is the case you may find that results are lower than expected and things have come to an all round standstill. Rather than sit back and let HR take care of matters, be the change you want to see and take control of your team.
If they feel that someone has noticed a change they will want to tell you their ideas on what has gone wrong. Announce that there has been a noticeable decline in team morale and that you would like to find out what each person feels has contributed towards it. Give your team a date that individual meetings will be held so that they can go away and think about points they would like to bring forward rather than putting them on the spot where people will either go blank or think of the first thing that comes to them. Individual meetings work because people can be honest, especially when they may have issues with co-workers, they feel that they are being listened to and that they can go at their own pace rather than worrying about what the rest of the group thinks. As a manager you get a better overall feel of what is happening especially as you will hear two sides of the story and will hear everyone’s opinion not just the loudest person of the group.
Once you are satisfied you know the main reasons for the change in staff dynamics, hold a meeting with managers at your level or above and brainstorm ideas for change and make sure they can be implemented quickly. Your team will lose faith in you if they feel that they haven’t been taken seriously or that you don’t have the power to change anything and will be significantly less likely to come forward with ideas in the future.
Present your ideas in a group meeting and ask for any feedback either positive or negative. Be prepared that some ideas will not be practical to your team who deal with the issues everyday but once you have decided on a plan of action ensure each and every team member stick to the new procedures so that the desired outcome is achieved. If you feel like it is getting off track re-brief the team and remind them of what they are working towards. Let them know that you will be re-visiting the issue at a certain date so that if team morale hasn’t improved you can try another idea.
[author ]Tanya Maverick is an expert in team management and writes on behalf of www.employee-feedback.co.uk[/author]