Guest Author | Stephanie Thomas
When you are motivated about your work, you care more about your company and your job responsibilities. Based on a study of 1.2 million employees at 52 Fortune 1000 companies, employee enthusiasm and morale declines after the first few months of employment and continues to deteriorate.
A new job and a fresh new start spark enthusiasm and new goals. Fresh pens and an empty filing cabinet motivate you to stay organized and to learn all the right answers. Fast forward a few months and the pens are dull and all of our documents are strewn about the desk. What has happened between the job start and now? Is it your fault that you have lost spark over time? Your employer is responsible for maintaining motivation and keeping apathy and low performance at bay. Good management skills are essential to keep promising employees like you happy and hard-working.
The causes that contribute to your lackluster morale may be faster for you to address than your manager or supervisor. Here are a view tips how to enhance the employee/manager relationship for you and for the sake of your work ethic.
Communication is so often the weak point in a company. It is very important for managers to clearly communicate what is expected to employees. As a follow up, managers need to communicate positive feedback when you perform well and constructive feedback where you need to improve. If performance reviews are completed annually at your job, make a mental note to check in on your progress each quarter alone or with your boss. This will keep both you and your boss on track with your progress and you can better analyze your role within the company.
Watch for fairness and consistency
Every manager has a different personality and style. This means you may have more leniencies with your work schedule and due dates than your co-worker who receives disciplinary forms by his boss for coming in late. Often there is inconsistency how managers in different departments or locations treat their employees. The business should have set policies on regular issues like tardiness, poor attitude and low performance. If your manager or another manager’s behavior toward these policies is questionable, check the employee handbook on these policies for consistency. If there is a blatant concern for employee morale, do not hesitate to report the concern to HR and reference the handbook policy.
If you are unsatisfied with a work policy or your day-to-day interaction with your boss or others, do not keep quiet. No one will notice the issue at hand except you. You may report the feedback to your boss in a tactful way and reference that you want to improve interactions for the benefit of your morale and productivity. Statements such as, “I feel I could accomplish more each day if…” or “This [fill in the black – workflow, behavior, person, policy] distracts me from my daily activities in my work environment.” Part of your manager’s job is to oversee you handle your responsibilities. They could be oblivious to the daily obstacles that lower your morale and prevent you from your work. Company management is not a one-way street. If you feel uncomfortable voicing your concerns to your boss, seek out help from HR to report the constructive feedback.
Don’t blame the person
It is human nature to attribute things like a bad attitude to an individual’s personality or character. You may think your manager’s behavior requires a major adjustment or needs a more team-oriented personality. You may not know the stress or circumstances your boss or supervisor experience each day at work or home. Pressure to meet this year’s quota, a family sickness or other personal matter may be a distraction and prevent your boss from realizing what he or she is doing. The reality is that what a person does at work is more a result of their environment than a result of a personality trait. Do not assume your manager is at fault and is ruthless. Take a look at the dynamic and the setting in which this person is working. Responding to your boss in a softer tone may give your boss a chance to step back and realize how he or she is treating others.
Look at the work environment
Drab, unexciting or even unpleasant work environments will lead to drab, unexciting and unpleasant workers. Everyone likes to work in a clean, appealing space. Obviously some spaces and some businesses have limitations but do the best you can with the space and areas that you have. Setting aside a time or day each week to organize and file documents, answer long emails and voice-mails and clearing off your desk can help clear the clutter from your desk and your mind.
Look for opportunities
If you realize you have the opportunity to enhance your position at your fingertips, you will stay positive and motivated until you reach that goal. Talk to the person in the position you are aiming for and learn the daily activities they perform each day. Showing your knowledge of the new work responsibilities and exemplifying your ability and readiness to take on this role will prove you have what it takes for this new opportunity. Knowing that you can move up within a company and acquire new skills will keep you on your toes.
Stephanie Thomas is a writer who spends her days focusing on important workplace issues, such as employee motivation and paid FMLA.