What you measure becomes important! Part 2 of 3

If you aren’t measuring your team’s morale you aren’t aware of your impact on their morale!

Last week some of you were convicted by this statement. We then discussed the first of three ways to measure morale;

Have focused conversations with individual team members that discuss 3 key points;

    1. Has the individual been set up for success?
    2. Who is the individuals support system at work?
    3. Has the individual received specific feedback in the past 6 months?

If you missed last weeks blog you can find it by clicking here.

This week as we talk about measuring morale we want to discuss;

2.) Handling the information or measurements given to you

Ignoring your financial reports can be disastrous and even devastating to your business. Ignoring the information your employees provide you can be just as disastrous. Employees provide us with information about morale in a variety of ways. Here are the 3 primary ways we receive information about morale from an employee.

Performance appraisals. What an employee scores or is rated by a supervisor, can tell you so much about their hard measurables (KPI’s or Key Performance Indicators), but it should also tell you about their soft measurables, (Workplace Behaviours). If your assessment doesn’t already address the values and behaviour you wish your team to have, then you need to create a new assessment, but that’s a different blog for a different day.

Self Evaluations. When given the opportunity to evaluate their performance or their behaviours, what does the employee have to say about themselves and how inline are they to how their supervisor views them? In an ideal workplace situation, no employee should be surprised come evaluation time, and if they are, miscommunication happened somewhere along the way. Remember, miscommunication happens when two or more people don’t communicate effectively-the employee is only one part of that twosome!

Focused conversations with individual team members. When we talked about having these conversations with your employees, you would have been given a variety of information from them. Now that you have all this new information about your team’s morale, what are you doing with the information, and what changes do you need to make based on the information you just learnt?

First, we need to thank them for sharing and let them know we value their point of view, even if we disagree with the information! As owners and managers we need to recognize that when an employee shares information with us, they are being vulnerable and trusting us. Sometimes they aren’t privy to the entire picture and you aren’t able to share information with them, but as often as you can and with respect to their ability to understand the information, don’t be afraid to share and teach them what you know, but always thank them for sharing. If you dismiss or discourage them, you will immediately and negatively impact morale. Take the time to show appreciation, this will go a long way with the employee who shared with you.

Second, when an employee shares with you, you need to respect the open line of communication and protect their right to privacy when applicable. If their name doesn’t need mentioning don’t mention it. This will encourage them to think of you as a safe place to share.

Third, you need to prioritize your information. On any given day you are given 1000’s of pieces of information, and as an owner or manager, you put out fires for a living, and occasionally you even diffuse a few bombs! (For those of you in not in emergency management, you know we leave the real fires and bombs to the experts, but some days it sure feels like a bomb went off!)

Prioritizing information is like triaging

  • Essential or life threatening first, (Ie. Involving the safety of anyone, you handle it NOW)
  • Serious but not life threatening second, (Ie. Serious issues that could require investigation, examination, or implementing changes on policy, procedure, or operational methods)
  • Day to day bumps and bruises last, (Ie. Anything that involves ‘normal’, daily operations, and usually appears to have low impact on the business).

Lastly, If you know that action is required on the information presented, then give them a specific date as to when you will follow up. In some circumstances you won’t be able to share what you are doing with the information but you can promise to get back to them and update them accordingly. Let them know of a specific date in the future that you will get back to them, and then ensure you follow up with them.

We know morale is important but if we want to impact it we need to ask the right questions, treat the answers with value and then… not so fast… you’ll have to wait for next week and part 3 of our blog on measuring morale!-DM