Killing Staff Morale

Nothing will destroy a great employee faster than watching you tolerate and reward bad employees for their misdeeds. Bosses create a work environment. Work environments don’t simply form on their own. They are led by management. Work environments can be considered hostile, appreciative, indifferent, inclusive, exclusive and so much more. As owners and managers, you set the tone of the morale within your company.

Hard Workers Under a Microscope

Gretchen Doyel, a food server summarized her work environment by saying, “The people who work the hardest, do the most work and do it well tend to be noticed by management more than the slackers”. Why is this? Likely because management interacts with these employees more than the unproductive ones. When someone needs to be called into work, we tend to take the path of least resistance and call the dedicated employee that you know will come in as soon as you call. Thus, you have more interaction with these hard workers than the lazy ones. The workers who truly care about your business are more likely to point out problems or situations that need to be addressed. They share these concerns out of pride in their job and concern for your business. At the same time, being vocal draws attention to themselves. How you receive their complaints, criticism or suggestions helps define the morale of the workplace. Do your employees feel heard? Do they feel empowered? Most importantly, do they feel comfortable sharing things with you? If they do not, that is not good for morale.

Bad Workers Escape the Microscope

Do you have any bad workers? To answer the question, we must ask: What is a “bad” worker”? Workers who constantly call out sick, are constantly tardy, and do the bare minimum to deliver only what is necessary to get through a shift are probably bad employees. The ones who argue with management and defy policy might be considered bad employees. What makes them worse employees is when their bad behaviors are allowed to continue and then begin to degrade the morale of your entire operation. The hard workers begin to wonder if all of their extra effort to exceed expectations is really worth it. This is about the time they start looking for another job where they might feel more appreciated.

Don’t Kill the Morale

Treat people fairly. Don’t allow lazy, unproductive people to remain a part of your staff and drag down the productive employees who give their all to your business. Gretchen’s summary of being noticed for the wrong reasons summarizes the way all employees likely feel. Everyone wants to have a work environment where they feel valued and feel every team member pulls their own weight. Don’t lose focus of your company morale. It can make or break a company.

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