It is said, that the difference between any Western worker and a Japanese worker, has nothing to do with any management technique. Instead, it’s that the Western worker looks forward to the weekend, and the Japanese worker looks forward to the workweek. Huge difference here! That’s what high morale can do for your people.
People with high morale indeed have more fun at what they do. Question is, how can you achieve this with the people you lead? Let me share with you four ways how to do this:
1. Let Your People In On The Action.
The people you lead must share ownership with you in accomplishing any project or task put before you as a team. The best leaders make every team player feel like a business partner Why? Because when your people feel ownership of something, they look out for it, they protect it and they pour themselves into it without you having to ask them to do it. The key here is: Tell them what to do but don’t tell them how to do it.
This creates shared ownership of a project or a task at hand.
This way you make your people feel that they are playing an important part in your project. In other words, you want to get your people’s personalities involved. You want them to have their fingerprints all over the project. This way they feel a sense of belonging. Don’t set yourself up as the only person responsible for the project. Get your people involved. This is how you get your people to become an important part of your team and not just another cog in the organization.
When you reward your people with ownership, then they begin to function differently. Abraham Lincoln said, “It’s surprising how much you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit”.
2. Set The Example Of Being Positive.
Looking at your task or project with a positive attitude also has a positive effect on your people’s morale. I think it’s a well-known fact, that many successful people have credited their success simply to smile.
When you’re cheerful and positive, that brings confidence and optimism to your people. Remember that all-important leadership principle?- the people become like their leader. People catch onto their leaders’ positive spirit quicker than you can say ABC. People catch more onto you by what you do than what you say.
Earl Nightingale correctly said, “Our attitude toward life determines life’s attitudes toward us”.
3. Constantly Monitor What’s Happening In Your Organisation.
If you do this, then you’ll not only know how your people feel about things, but you will also become aware of everything else that’s happening in your organization or department. If your people become depressed about some issue or even some person, then you should know about it as their leader. Then take action immediately.
There’s nothing like a “runaway fire” in any organization. It simply kills the morale of your people. So the important thing for you to know, is what’s going on in your organization and then take action immediately to influence it for the better.
Kill that “negative” fire as soon as possible. If you do these two things, then you will have a great impact on events, rather than having the events having an impact on you.
4. Lead By Example Whenever Needed.
I know that many of you know the game small children so often play “follow the leader”. The game is set up in such a way so that the followers do everything the leader does. The followers do as the leaders do, Why? Because they see the leader do it first. The result is, not only do the followers know it can be done, but they also see that the leader is willing to do it. Often then, leading by example will do the trick of keeping your people’s morale up. It’s no use just writing down what your followers must do. First, do it yourself, show them by example, and they’ll follow you. This way they know in their minds, it can be done, so their morale lifts, especially when it’s a project of high importance or difficulty.