Many studies have shown a strong relationship between employee attitudes and morale and workplace productivity. It just makes sense that people will work harder, faster and better when they are happy and positively motivated. The other side of the coin is also true. A stressful, unhappy workplace is rarely productive, and it takes just a few employees with bad attitudes or work habits to create enough interpersonal dissonance to negatively affect workplace productivity. Fortunately, employers can take steps to prevent poor attitudes from developing and also have mechanisms in place to get things back on track when difficulties arise.
1. Practice a “present, pleasant and even-handed” management style. One of the most common reasons that employees develop poor attitudes is perceptions that management is not supportive or that it plays favorites. Prevent this problem by having a proactive management style that is supportive of employees and focuses on fairness both in policy and practice.
2. Give positive feedback whenever possible. People like to feel appreciated and like to feel as if they are part of a team. Most personalities will react positively to management making an effort to engage with them, especially in a positive way, and will be more likely to give the job their best effort.
3. Improve the intrinsic job characteristics at your workplace as much as possible. Numerous studies have shown that employees rate the nature of the work as the No. 1 criteria in job satisfaction. Therefore, it is important that employers make the work itself as interesting and challenging as possible. This is obviously easier to accomplish in some workplaces than others, but all employers can take some steps to give employees input or more responsibilities for work flow processes to keep them intellectually and emotionally engaged. Related to this, studies have shown not only that job satisfaction is generally predictive of job performance, but that those working in more intellectually stimulating white collar jobs tend to be both more satisfied and more productive.
4. Establish a simple and fair dispute resolution mechanism. No matter how how much you engage with your employees or how interesting you make the work, it is human nature that people are going to occasionally disagree. That said, while you can’t prevent all disagreements at a workplace, you can keep a small disagreement from growing into a bigger problem by dealing with it as soon as possible. For a small business, simply practicing present and pleasant management can create the kind of relationship where employees are willing to share their problems with you, and you can resolve the problem fairly. Larger businesses often have more formal policies for dispute resolution, ranging from talking to your supervisor to formal grievance committees.
5. Show your appreciation of your employees. Financial appreciation like raises or bonuses is, of course, a good way to show your appreciation and incentivize your employees, but small gestures like bagels and cream cheese for everybody twice a week or buying all the fixings for a monthly work birthday party can also go a long way in improving employee morale.
- It is important for management to be fair to all employees and to give each individual a chance to improve, but it is important to be decisive in removing any employees whose presence or actions are having a negative impact on the workplace.
Read more from smallbusiness.chron.com here: “How to Better Employee Work Attitude & Performance”