How To Improve Employee Morale. Get R.E.A.L.

by Al Smith

 

“People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”

 Wow.  How true is that?  I love it and it’s a good one to remember.

 Ok. This post is for everyone, but especially for all CEO’s, HR directors, managers and any and all bosses around the world.  Parents, you can substitute the word “children” for employee. It applies in most cases.

  I know the topic of employee morale has been brought up, written about and discussed a lot lately and with all the doom and gloom being spread, the job market situation and the state of the economy in general, we desperately need it.   A lot of the things I have read on the subject are great and make a lot of sense and are written by people a lot smarter than me.  This is just my take, based on experience.  No better or worse.  These are merely suggestions, not instructions. Enjoy.

 You all know I love acronyms.  (The CARE Movement)  They have always helped me remember things better and I need a lot of help (no comments, please).  So today we will use the word REAL. Yes, Get REAL. I have more than one word for some of the letters. Just try it. It’s gonna be fun.

 R.E.A.L.

 “Catch them doing something RIGHT” – Ken Blanchard

 Respect, Recognize, Reward and Remember  –  All people want to be respected and recognized.  The key to this is to do it in front of other employees.  Public recognition and reward for a job well done go a long way.  Remember your employees names.  Very important.  Everyone loves the sound of their own name.

 Praise and encouragement cost nothing to give but the benefits are priceless.

 Encourage with Enthusiasm and be a great Example  -    Praise and encouragement cost nothing and the benefits are priceless.  Do it.  Practice it.  Most employees play “follow the Leader”.  They mirror what they see.  Your attitude effects the entire team and company (especially CEO’s).  Be an example.  Smile. (not a fake one, either.)  Those are horrible.  Employees can see right through that.

The old saying is true; It starts at the top. The ripple affect applies.  Be Happy and Positive and watch it spread through the company.

  Treat your employees like they are your Best customers.  They are.

 Appreciate, Acknowledge, Accept  -  Like recognition, everyone wants to be appreciated and acknowledged.  Sometimes just a pat on the back or a “job well done” will suffice.  Let them know that YOU know.  The more you do this, the more you will get out of your employees. This next one is tough.  Accept the fact that you do not know everything.  We all need to remain teachable.  Anyone can teach us anything.

  Your employees have a voice and it needs to be heard.

 LISTEN  and LISTEN some more  -  Saved the best for last.  Please Listen carefully. Sometimes, Be quiet.  We all want to talk, show, teach, whatever. Blah, Blah, Blah.  Your employees have a voice and it needs to be heard.  If you are not hearing it, (trust me) they are talking amongst themselves and it probably isn’t good.  Have employee meetings, where they are encouraged to voice their opinions.Have an open door policy (or email box for comments, suggestions, complaints)  whatever way you choose.  Just let their voices be heard.

 

Ok.  What do you say?  What’s your experience been like?  Are you a boss or employee?  Parents? Chime in.  As always, I am looking forward to your comments, feedback and suggestions.  Thanks again for your continued support of The CARE Movement.  Please subscribe and stay in touch and go Like our Facebook page, if you so desire.

Check out our CARE Services page and call or email me to discuss how you can get REAL and bring The CARE Movement  to your place of business.

 Always remember to CARE and Share. PASs it on.  Next week: A Challenge.

 Al

 

 

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Lori Gosselin September 15, 2011 at 10:47 am

Hi Al,
I love this: “We all need to remain teachable.” That is a good preventive attitude towards arrogance! I love the acronym! REAL – not hard at all to remember! And the cartoon is hilarious!
So just to be clear, you go into the workplace and give talks to the staff – both employer and employees? I can imagine how powerful this would be for them.
Lori
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Al Smith September 19, 2011 at 9:05 am

Thanks Lori. I need to remember that one all the time. “Remain teachable”.
And yes, that is the plan. To give talks at companies to help improve morale in the workplace. Appreciate your support. I think it would be powerful and a good idea, too.

Take CARE.

Al

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Bill Dorman September 15, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Catch them doing something right; way too often we are ready to pounce on the one thing they did wrong and not recognize the other 99 things they did right that day. The other is to treat your employees better than your best customer. The customer is not king, your employee is. Take care of them and everything else will take care of itself.

Good post and that’s my take on it; that’s all I have to offer today……….:)

Have fun in T-town this weekend; please oh please come back with a victory.
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Al Smith September 19, 2011 at 9:06 am

Sorry I couldn’t help get a victory for your ‘Noles. it was a great effort.

“Catch them doing something right” is one of my favorites. Thanks for stopping by Bill.

Al

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Bill Dorman September 19, 2011 at 10:16 am

I know you tried brother; maybe if you would have paid more attention to the game instead of ogling all those delectable coeds you could have pulled it off, huh?
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Al Smith September 19, 2011 at 11:10 am

You are so wrong. Disturbed indeed. Two of the main reasons we connected. Ha !

The game was incredible and the atmosphere was better. Loud as I have ever experienced a game. Ever. Another good post this morning, man. Excellent.
Al Smith recently posted..How To Improve Employee Morale. Get R.E.A.L.

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Craig McBreen September 15, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Hi Al,

Many of my past bosses did the opposite of what you recommend. They praised you in private and chided you in front of everyone. Or you have THAT boss who always, always has to be right.

In fact this is one of the reasons I originally went into business for myself. I had my share of self-important managers or owners who made the place stinky from the top down. Good or bad, it certainly does start from the top, Al.

I hope there are a few CEO’s, HR directors, managers and bosses who stop here and read these wise words. One model I can think of is Jim Sinegal, the CEO of Costco. Famous for considering employees first, especially regarding things such as health plans, and trying to please shareholders at the same time. A tough balance. Shame the guy is retiring.
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Al Smith September 19, 2011 at 9:10 am

Thanks Craig. I’m sure there are a lot more bosses and CEO’s who are like Jim. Unfortunately, there are way too many that are not. i just hope that some of them might try and take a different approach and maybe implement some of these suggestions. You never know what can happen, right ? Stay optimistic.

Keep up the great work.

Al

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Craig McBreen September 20, 2011 at 8:11 pm

Thanks, Al. You keep up the great work as well!
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Ameena Falchetto September 16, 2011 at 3:21 am

Wow – there are bosses out there who actually do this kind of thing? I am in shock … the last company I worked for preached the “One Minute Manager” series – EXCEPT my boss would spend one minute praising (if that) in private and then 10 mins complaining and reprimanding. I timed him one day and pointed it out and gave him my resignation but I digress.

Great post …
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Al Smith September 19, 2011 at 9:13 am

Thanks Ameena. And all too familiar story you tell. This post was written in hopes that bosses and CEO’s might choose to implement some of these suggestions. I firmly believe they can have a positive impact on the morale of the company as well as the bottom line.

Thanks again for stopping by and take CARE. Oh yeah, and stay away from flying, biting insects.

Al

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John Sherry September 16, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Your words and sentiments are A.C.E. Al – Accurate, Correct, and Educational. Any business should know that it is founded on the principles of people – the staff it employs and the customers it serves. Being human and caring about people is the first ( and last if you fail ) activity as part of a business plan. Plan around people encouraging, helping, uplifting, and being genial to them and they will come back. No rocket science just a right rollicking way to treat others.
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Al Smith September 19, 2011 at 9:17 am

Thanks John. You always brighten my day with your kind words and encouraging comments. You are so right. This is not rocket science. Its just the RIGHT way to treat people.

Take CARE.

Al

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Claudia September 16, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Al…I love this acronym and all that it stands for. Just the word REAL itself is a stand alone example of what we should be in our relationships whether it is at work or at home. I was going to try to pick out my favorite words that you used in the acronym but I can’t…they are all so apropos. My business is very small…6 employees. While it is important to have meetings together to brainstorm and acknowledge and listen, one of my very favorite things to do is to take my employees out for lunch individually to spend one on one time with them and listen to their concerns and ideas. I use this time to tell them how much I do appreciate them and I also use this time to share with them my constantly updated vision so that they are always kept in the conversation AND that they know that I value their input in that conversation. Al, I am really glad that I got to meet you and your blog is just wonderful!
Claudia
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Al Smith September 19, 2011 at 9:19 am

Thanks Claudia. I am so gald we met as well. And when the company is smaller, like yours, going out to lunch is a great idea. That bonding and connecting can be done a lot easier on a smaller scale. Love that idea.

Thanks again for stopping by and sharing. Take CARE.

Al

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Bryan Thompson September 17, 2011 at 12:14 am

Al, so true. And morale in the workplace is timelier than it has perhaps ever been. Studies show that in most US workplaces, less than 40 percent of the workforce believe their senior managers have their best interests at heart. Creating positive workplaces is crucial to longevity and – I believe – crucial to companies succeeding.
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Al Smith September 19, 2011 at 9:22 am

Thanks Bryan. I could not agree more with your comment. i can only hope some bosses, HR people and CEO’s would agree. Maybe some will stumble upon this and try a few of these suggestions. It could happen.

Take CARE.

Al

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Frank September 19, 2011 at 10:43 am

Al,

Great insight. I love that you made something that in practice can be complex really simple and easy to impliment. When people get to work in a encouraging and positive work environment, productivity greatly improves. This was a gem. Thanks for sharing.

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Al Smith September 19, 2011 at 11:19 am

Thanks Frank. It is really simple. When the work environment is positive and encouraging, productivity greatly improves. Couldn’t agree more.

thanks again man. take CARE.

Al
Al Smith recently posted..How To Improve Employee Morale. Get R.E.A.L.

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Kaarina Dillabough September 20, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Recognized behaviour gets repeated.
Rewarded behaviour gets repeated.
That means, when we pay attention to, reward or recognize behaviour, whether good or bad, THAT’s what gets repeated.

Whether a parent, coach, employer or friend, when we want to promote “desirable” behaviour and outcomes, it’s important to, as Ken Blanchard says “Catch them doing it right.”

We know in athletic coaching that, the closer in proximity the feedback is given to the actual act, the more significant.

And you probably know one of my favourite lines, because I use it all the time: “We were given two ears and one mouth to listen twice as much as we speak.”

Fab post my friend. Cheers! Kaarina
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Al Smith September 22, 2011 at 8:48 pm

Thanks Kaarina. As usual you make some excellent points. You are a wise person, my friend. Always good to be reminded we need to listen more than we speak. Another good one is; “You can’t learn anything when you are talking.” Take CARE.

Al
Al Smith recently posted..How To Improve Employee Morale. Get R.E.A.L.

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Caroline Leon September 21, 2011 at 1:01 pm

Al I love this post – very helpful for me right now and REAL easy to remember ;) Thank you!
Caroline Leon recently posted..Five tips for dealing with negativity

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Al Smith September 22, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Thanks for stopping by Caroline. Absolutely loved that post on negativity. I am giving it a mention in my next post. Appreciate you and your brilliant writing. Thanks again.

Take CARE.

Al
Al Smith recently posted..How To Improve Employee Morale. Get R.E.A.L.

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Jk Allen September 22, 2011 at 12:20 pm

Hey Al, You know what…I left you a comment here last week…but I also vidly remembering myself rushing to leave work and think I never hit submit. The things we do when we have too much on our mind! LOL.

I think this post is perfect for considering the state of our economy. Employee moral has to be at an all time low; there’s very little security in jobs, employees are worked harder and paid less. What a cocktail for bad moral.

Management has an opportunity to change things. Spending the time and resources to change an office culture can go a long way. And it doesn’t only affect moral – but the bottom line. Happy employees care about their work. Those who care tend to take it more serious. This means increased profitability!

Great stuff Al! I really enjoyed this post.

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Al Smith September 22, 2011 at 8:56 pm

You are the best, JK. “What a cocktail for bad morale.” I love that. Like you said, Happy employees = More production = More profits. It seems like a no-brainer.
We are here to help when they decide to make some positive changes. Thanks for your continued support of me and The CARE Movement.

Al
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Ludie August 2, 2016 at 12:22 pm

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Cheers!
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