Office culture has undergone obvious changes with the advent of technology in recent years. Technology has made it possible to improve and automate processes, and it has also made it possible for employees to work remotely.
Though these changes are largely positive for organizations, attitudes and morale of employees have shifted. As roles and communication patterns change, employees often feel their job is threatened.
But, according to botayaherbs.com, employees are less concerned about the fate of their own jobs and more concerned about how corporate change will affect their colleagues and the organization as a whole.
As an HR professional, managing this upheaval is paramount in maintaining a positive workplace. Read on to learn how you can invest in employees to foster connections and improve morale in a culture of change.
- Transparent discussions
Being open and transparent with employees about what track the company is on, what it means for the organization, and what it means for the organization’s people is imperative. When company performance or future plans are kept behind closed doors, anxieties spread like wildfire. Keep team members in the loop with regular staff meetings, and ask supervisors to meet individually with their staff members to discuss expectations and career growth.
- Professional Growth
One way to make employees feel that they are part of the team is to invest in their professional growth. Too often, employees feel undervalued and unchallenged at work. When discussing career growth, provide practical solutions for your employee to get from Point A to Point B. Encouraging employees to take classes or become certified makes them valuable to your organization and keeps them engaged at work.
- Team Outings
The importance of team outings has never been greater. Providing an activity for employees to participate in together helps build connections within departments and cross-organizationally. Consider team building exercises, like volunteering for an afternoon to help a local cause, followed by a casual group meal at Buffalo Wild Wings. Getting employees connected around topics that are not work-related helps grow bonds, and team members who are friendly outside of work tend to work well together in a professional group setting.
- Health and Wellness
A popular way of investing in employees is enacting wellness programs in the workplace. Prioritizing your employees’ health is an excellent way to show that you consider their health and their needs important. Wellness programs are not only a fun way to introduce some friendly competition and camaraderie at the office, but researchers from Harvard found that medical costs decrease by $3.27 for each dollar spent on wellness. Wellness challenges give employees incentive to connect in new ways, like running a 5k together or walking during their lunch break.
If change has led to the implementation (or retirement) of certain systems, changes in organizational performance, or layoffs, it is important to regroup with your team. Managing morale during times of change can be challenging, but keeping employees focused and connected to their work is a necessity. Turn negative situations like poor revenue performance into opportunities to re-evaluate and make organizational improvements. Even consider incentivizing tasks that will help the organization.
- Celebrating a job well done
Lastly, make sure your culture includes recognition for employees who go above and beyond. Publically recognizing team members during staff meetings and offering monetary rewards keeps employees feeling engaged and valued. Employees who feel that their work goes unnoticed can lead to toxic attitudes in the workplace. Excellent performance deserves a call-out, and your employees will appreciate it.
The bottom line
Investing in employees helps foster connections and keeps employees motivated and on target during seasons of change. By adopting an open-door policy and encouraging transparency, providing opportunities for professional growth, planning and executing team outings, offering competitive wellness programs, regrouping after organizational upsets, and celebrating success with awards and recognitions, employee morale and performance will continue to grow with the company.