Keeping up Morale

by | Nov 23, 2023 | Health & Safety, Performance

Looking back at my end-of-year newsletters for the last few years it seems I have been wishing for a better “next year” every year… let’s hope 2024 will deliver!

Increased mental health issues
This year I have seen a marked increase in discussion about mental health issues.  I suspect there is an element of increased awareness so people are more willing to talk about it, and sadly there are some who are definitely using it as an “excuse”.  However, it is also a very real issue, and not really surprising with all the stressors that keep being put on all of us over the last few years.  But there are also positives we can all find, and keeping up morale is all about focusing on the positives and dealing with those things that we can influence.

Keeping up your team Morale
Whether December marks a shutdown for your business or the busiest time of year it is important that you keep up the team morale, and here are some quick and easy suggestions about how to do that:

  1. Celebrate the wins – however big or small, share them with your team, and encourage them to also share their wins
  2. Engage your team about how they want to celebrate – this doesn’t necessarily need to be the big expensive party, it can be as simple as a “decorate your desk” competition.  Some things to consider when deciding how to celebrate the end of the year:
    1. Do something that engages everyone (or as many as possible) – you won’t be able to please everyone, but try to please the majority.  For example, a big boozy party may suit some, but probably not so appealing for those who have to get home for childcare commitments.
    2. Only spend what you can afford – the big expensive party may sound great, but definitely not so great if you end up having to make people redundant in January because your cash flow is stuffed up
    3. How do you engage a virtual team? – During lockdown, I saw many creative “virtual parties”, online Pictionary on the Zoom whiteboard was very entertaining!
    4.  Make it voluntary not compulsory – people have many reasons to not want to attend Christmas parties.  As an HR person, I avoid ever drinking in front of staff or being seen being too “pally” with anyone as you never know when you may have to have a “formal” meeting with them.  So, I personally avoided staff Christmas parties! (and anyone who knows me, knows I am definitely not one to avoid a party )
  3. Give a “gift” –  obviously you can give Bottles of wine, gift vouchers etc but you could also think a little outside the box, for example, giving everyone an extra day of leave to use to do their Christmas shopping, or attend their kid’s prize giving, or simply go to the beach to recharge.  Often those with busy out-of-work lives will ask for (and often be given) more flexibility at this time of year.  But sometimes those who aren’t asking get overlooked, and, even worse, made to do extra to cover for those who “need” more flexibility.  So, be equitable
  4. Watch out for burnout, and proactively manage it – If this is a busy time of year for you many staff will be willing to do extra hours (to earn the extra pay), but there are only so many hours that you can work before you start to burn out.  So:
    1. monitor the demands on team members – make sure they have at least 1 day a week off (NB this is also a H&S issue)
    2. Share the workload evenly
    3. Think about staggering shifts – don’t have everyone starting at 9am and then working until close (which could be 9pm/10 pm), have some starting later and others finishing earlier
    4. And if you aren’t staffed up for the Christmas rush already, get onto it yesterday!

End-of-year webinar
Sign up for this month’s webinar, “Keeping up Morale” on Friday 24th November at 10am by clicking here.

Here to help
We are here to help with any staff queries, so feel free to call me on 021 741 544 or 0800 HRtoolkit (0800 47 8665).  Or sign up for our DIY document library for only $399 + GST per annum, or our DIY expert package which gives you access to the document library and unlimited phone and e-mail support for only $129 + GST per month (minimum 12 month term)

Cheers, and all the best for a FABULOUS 2024!

Lisa Mackay

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