Do it right: Seven ways to manage team morale

In these uncertain times, how do you keep your staff's spirits up? Here are seven key steps...

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Don't be a downer. The times may demand a 'state of the nation' address, but remember to promote your achievements. Tap into the spirit of what makes your company tick, and turn concerns into grounds for excitement.

Be open. If you don't tell your team what's going on, frankly and promptly, you'll lose trust, and they'll cook up their own less flattering version of events. A few home truths may even provide a timely kick up the rear, too.

Tell people how it will affect them. The bigger picture - like figures, redundancies and restructuring - is important, but don't neglect the little things: if you're removing canteen privileges and subsidised travel, say why.

Be consistent. Your top bosses can't post phenomenal expenses claims when they're telling everyone else to tighten up.

Use the right channels. An honest e-mail from on high works for the big picture, but regular face-to-face chats are essential for getting the message to stick, for gauging staff reactions, and for offering reassurance.

Get people involved. Use the intranet to express your team's concerns, and ask for suggestions on how to increase efficiency. Offer modest rewards and just watch those hands rush to the pumps.

Use your imagination. Sober times don't mean that the celebrations should stop. The old champagne soirees may be out of the equation, but there are plenty of other options - from afternoon tea to camping trips.

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