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Seeking suggestions on how to lift morale after multiple "reorganizations"

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Question: My company has recently gone through a series of “reorganization” changes. In the past year, we have seen at least four massive cuts in staff. The goal is to decrease size and increase productivity. After the most recent episode, we were told that there will be no more cuts. Because of the stress these cutbacks have created, morale is now extremely low. If anyone has any advice on how to deal with this or how our company can lift morale, I would love to hear it.  -- Survivor


Let me first just say I understand as we have had cut-backs as well. Following is a website of training seminars, this company is really good. You can attend the seminars or have the speaker come out to your offices. They have training on

"Creating a Positive, High-Energy Workplace", and many others, I hope this is helpful.

What I noticed that helped, was a new incentive plan that allowed us to have company goals and individual goals; bonus payouts are quarterly. The plan was presented by management to all the employees. It took some time, but with positive reinforcement and smiles from management, we are back on top with employee morale. Good luck!

Offering training, discussing company goals, quarterly bonus promises, and other ideas recommended are all good and will eventually show the employees the good intentions of the company. But these all take time. Training can be offered but it won’t happen tomorrow and you won’t see the results until later. Participating in creating company goals is a great way for the staff to take on ownership of the success of the company, but of course they won’t see it until those goals are met. Bonuses are great, but when will they get them since you just laid off some of their friends? If the morale is plummeted due to the layoffs, it will take time to raise the trust level of the employees … even if the time is worth waiting. And, I do agree that these are very important.

However, you need some quick fixes for morale improvement. Management needs to prove to the staff that they care about the employees … right now. That they understand they are worried. That the stress will affect the morale and productivity of the staff. They need to do something right now, today, this minute.

1. Set up an afternoon event away from the office, or even at 4:00, where they can be social and begin healing and trusting each other. Organize a happy hour gathering, and the company can pay for the hors d’oeuvres. Get the bosses to let down their guards, take their ties off, and just be people. You can talk shop … or ask about their kids, their hobbies, their pets. Let the employees know you care.
2. Have a company-paid lunchtime BBQ out in the parking lot or the building roof.
3. Plan a group event at the next major league baseball game and invite the families.
4. Plan some crazy office events, like trivia games (based on your company’s history, or who’s who in your industry, or personal tidbits of the employees), a picture pet pageant, an office scavenger hunt, or start a dart game tournament. Of course, you've got to have cool prizes!
5. Cater in a really nice lunch or some upscale desserts. No potluck. Do something nice for the employees.
6. Find out from the employees what might make them smile, and do it.

These things would not cost the company a lot, in comparison to the HUGE payoffs in improving morale and pride in the company. I know this because we have done all of these things (and more) in the past year. At the end-of-year employee appreciation event (we don’t call them holiday parties *LOL*), someone came up to me and said “You’d better watch what you’re doing! The employee morale is really improving, and people are going to start to like coming to work!” That was the greatest compliment and reward we could ever hoped for.

Now … they are ready to have a potluck and wear that company shirt! They are ready to concentrate on their work and helping the company grow successfully, rather than worry about their jobs. They are reaping the rewards of teaming together … and getting those bonuses. For me, my morale boost was being given the latitude to bring this all to fruition, and I love my job.

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