How do You Rebuild Company Morale? Five Suggestions

Situation: The CEO has regular lunches with staff to foster communication and sharing of information. In recent months few employees are attending these lunches. Also, a negative tone is beginning to pervade the office, though the situation seems to improve when the CEO is present. How would you address this situation?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • The immediate priority is to correctly diagnose the problem. Is this a question of the CEO’s energy or the team’s awareness of plans for the company? Is there something else going on of which the CEO is unaware?
  • Meet with employees. Have an open and frank discussion with them about the future of the company.
    • Meet with the most valuable employees first. Share hopes and vision for the business. Express appreciation for their contributions and discuss plans for their continued growth. Next, ask open-ended questions about the company and seek their input on how to improve it. Listen to what they have to say.
    • Next are borderline employees. Again, share the vision and appreciate their past and current contributions, but be honest about expectations for performance. Then ask the same open-ended questions that you asked the first group and listen.
    • For underperforming employees, again appreciate past and current contributions, but be clear that unless they substantially improve performance, future employment isn’t guaranteed. Ask the same open-ended questions asked of the other groups and listen.
  • Be patient. Don’t try to develop all the answers immediately. Listen and learn what drives employees – particularly keepers. Involve them in developing programs to drive the future.

Key Words: Communications, Morale, Employees, Diagnosis, Plan, Listen 

2 thoughts on “How do You Rebuild Company Morale? Five Suggestions

  1. Karen Orem

    I understand your reasoning for setting up a going to lunch time with your staff, however many of them may feel that they now have to give up some of their free time each week. Although they may never come out and say it, this can actually hurt your relationship with your employees and put further distance there.

    I worked under a wonderful CEO who knew everyone’s names, their families, what was important to each of them and had an open door policy. He also made sure that everyone at every level could share ideas on how to grow the company. He held short meetings that were well structures, informative, and kept us all working hard towards the same vision…that’s key!! A low cost way to show your appreciation for working hard is leaving a little note under the keyboard that you’ve noticed how hard they’ve been working, you appreciate it and know that it is adding to the company’s success. Encouraging the managers to do the same and maybe even recognizing employees at meetings can unite and ignite a company. Best wishes.

  2. Sandy Post author

    Great points, Karen. The CEO for whom you worked had a much better idea than the CEO who felt that lunch conversations were enough. This is part of the reason why the CEO in my example was looking for guidance as to what else he could do. I like your suggestions very much. Your example is a very holistic approach and much more likely to produce lasting results. Thanks!

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