Everyone wants to get ahead, make progress, do better, learn more, work their way up, get recognized, receive praise, and be of value. It is no different for the front line employees and managers. They wish to take care of themselves and their families, have a comfortable life, have some fun, do a good job, feel secure, and feel it is worth it. People strive to do a good job in most cases because being proud is a good feeling.

If this is the case, then what happens that makes employees feel down and demotivated with what seems to be a non-caring attitude? Anyone in management has certainly seen this at some time or other. There are the sour looks coming from employees, slower movements, the attitude of being untouchable, a feeling of “us and them”, disconnection, and the complaints seem to increase even about small events. Even if it not all of the above happens, much of it does as employees become frustrated and morale starts to drop. Then the trend seems to go to fight for more benefits or less hours, get equipment that may or may not be needed, go after new uniforms, or simply pick something to go after. To me this is the indication they are fighting for worth because there is a feeling of losing something important. As morale drops things don’t seem as important and yet this is their work and really a part of them. So there is a sense of loss and a desire to somehow put right something that has gone awry.

This is the perfect time for redirection. It is important to start before morale gets too low. Even if a manager walks into this situation it is time to regroup and go after the positive aspects of the job. But often things are so busy at organizations that too much time passes from when it is first noticed that morale is slipping to any action that may be taken. Employees will start to get nervous at changes or lack of communication. Changes happening without explanations may make employees feel insecure. If it continues the employees start to get down.

This kind of trend needs to be noticed, which is why front line managers need to know their teams. To keep things on track and teams moving forward management needs to have a constant check on the pulse of the employee population. But how can this be effectively accomplished?

When morale drops, what is everybody fighting for? Employees fight to feel secure and comfortable. They fight to be noticed. They strive, perhaps a better word, to be part of the whole and be appreciated. The front line manager fights to get things done and to keep control. But there is a more important part to the front line manager’s job. It is to create the environment where the employees’ energies can be directed to greater and greater success. The importance is to get the best from the employees both as a team and individually.

It is also about finding ways for everyone, as a team and as an individual, to invest in the success of each. When everyone is reaching the goals of the company and reaching individual goals there can be no loser. It is rare that anyone reaches goals and successes completely alone.

(excerpt from Team Building - Myth or Magic? - ebook)

Author's Bio: 

Liz Cosline
SongofOneUnexpectedLife - S.O.U.L.

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