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How to boost morale among your peers

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in Leaders & Managers,People Management

Some jobs are emotionally draining and can create morale problems for the people who do them. If management can’t or won’t help address these problems, is there anything colleagues can do to help boost morale for one another?

That’s what one reader asked recently on the Admin Pro Forum:

“At my job, 25% of our day is spent on administrative tasks, and 75% is spent making outbound sales calls to customers who are almost never happy to hear from us. The staff is always stressed out and unhappy, and people quit be­­cause of it, which makes it even harder on the rest of us. Since management isn’t much help with trying to boost morale, what can we do among ourselves to make this job more tolerable?”    — Jennifer, customer-service representative

We asked two experts for their take on how co-workers can make their office time a little more pleasant and less draining.

Complaining is contagious, but so is positivity, says Mark McMillion, president of McMillion Leadership Associates. He recommends putting a stop to the complaining by battling it with positivity.

“When you’re around complainers, you need to derail them. Counter inaccuracies with facts,” he says. “Also, try to divert them. Point out the good things going on, even if it’s only the weather. If you can’t divert, then receive pointless complaining with silence or walk away.”

Another tool to combat negativity and low morale is praise. Showing appreciation for a co-worker’s efforts can make her day. “Most workplaces could use more praise. It doesn’t cost anything, anyone can give it and most people love it,” says career coach Joanne Deck.

She recommends putting some real thought into the praise you give and how you deliver it. “Start a praise bulletin board or whiteboard where compliments and acknowledgments can be posted, or start a praise chain, where an employee receives a compliment and then has to give praise to another co-worker within a day,” she suggests. “Better still, get the employees’ ideas on how to give praise in a fun way.”

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