Maintaining Motivation & Morale During Organizational Change

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Maintaining your own motivation and morale, while encouraging others, can be difficult during organizational change. In this lesson, you'll learn some success strategies for dealing with it appropriately.

Motivating During Change

Turnover. Layoffs. Changing roles and responsibilities. New business processes, tasks, rules and softwares. Navigating the endless sea of organizational change can take its toll on employees and managers alike.

Someone once said, ''The only constant is change,'' and it couldn't be more true. But that doesn't mean it's easy. Change can create confusion, impact employee morale, cause a lack of motivation and productivity, and even heighten rates of absenteeism and turnover.

We want to look at morale and motivation in this lesson, specifically. Maintaining employee motivation through a period of change concerns all the internal and external factors that keep them committed to their job. Morale is the emotions and outlook that a person has about their present situation. It's important to maintain both in order to keep employees happy, satisfied, and productive.

As managers, it is your job to help maintain the right levels of motivation and morale during organizational change, not only in your leadership, but in your employees as well. Let's look closer at some strategies that can keep motivation and morale high during periods of uncertainty.

The Motivation and Morale Checklist

Want to keep your employees motivated and uplifted, particularly when times are hard? Here are some strategies for doing just that.

Find Motivation Triggers

Sometimes, the simplest way to find out what motivates people is to just ask. What do employees want from their jobs: More recognition? Greater flexibility? Bigger challenges? Increased training opportunities? Better salaries or benefits? Some of these ''wants'' may be beyond your control, but some of them might not. Use evaluations, reviews, meetings and surveys as opportunity to ask, and then change what you can.

Make Good Use of Feedback

Find opportunities to give positive feedback when you see an employee excelling or going the extra mile. Complimenting employees demonstrates your support as a leader and makes employees feel good about themselves. When things aren't going as smoothly, use those times as opportunities to learn, grow, and offer constructive criticism. Focus less on errors and more on what employees are doing right. Consider implementing an employee recognition program that celebrates the value that workers bring to your team.

Create Open Lines of Communication

In your employees' minds, the only thing worse than change is inarticulate change. Host team briefings, question-and-answer sessions, and mini-meetings to keep the lines of communication open. Adopt an open-door policy so that employees feel comfortable approaching your office with questions or concerns. Transparency helps to reassure employees and helps them feel more engaged in the process.

Focus on Goals

Align business goals with employee goals. Your business wants to make more money and so do your employees. Relay goals that are easy to understand and embrace so employees will work harder to help you achieve them. Set short-term goals so that employees see and enjoy small successes in the midst of changes. Show employees data that explains how their contributions make a difference in achieving business goals.

Prioritize the Team

Team-building activities can be an effective way to raise employee morale; it allows opportunities for emotional and social bonding. Teams that feel more cohesive are able to communicate more clearly and work together more efficiently. Team-building also helps establish a support system for stressed-out workers. Find ways to put employee well-being at the forefront through health and wellness programs or employee assistance programs.

Perk Up the Perks

Creating a positive workplace diminishes the stressors of organizational change. Put some free snacks in the break room or provide an area with couches and games so employees have a place to relax. Surprise employees with small treats, like recognizing their efforts in front of their colleagues, offering free vacation days, or giving afternoons off. Schedule lunchtime activities that get people out of the office, such as a coffee on the company at a nearby coffee shop.

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