Low team morale comes at a high cost. Aside from a difficult work environment, low team morale leads to poor productivity, stifled creativity and a downward spiral in performance.
Boosting team morale is a key responsibility for every sales manager. Get it wrong and a culture of blame, demotivation and negativity will follow. Get it right and you will have a focused, enthusiastic and productive team all dedicated to achieving success.
In this blog, we have put together 5 innovative ideas for boosting your low team morale to help you achieve a happy, successful team.
Lead by example
Although it is often a bitter pill to swallow, a team’s morale is a reflection of their manager. Teams look to their manager for inspiration of how to deal with situations, and the way you filter information is the way they will receive it. If you are experiencing problems in a certain area, take some time to think about that situation. Is the same problem you see in others also mirrored in yourself? How can you take responsibility for this problem?
A common example of this is where the manager publically denounces the whole team for the mistakes of a few, or where the manager sides with the team and complains about targets or senior management. This inspires a culture of blame and finger-pointing as the team mimic the actions of their manager.
Instead, lead by example. You will only get buy-in from your team if you appear ‘bought-in’ yourself. So, filter communications from upper management to make them more inspiring and create a unified vision for your sales team that is exciting and motivating. When giving feedback, ensure it is clear, specific and constructive: who should the feedback go to, why should they hear it, and how can you deliver it a way that is positive?
Understand individual drivers
Team morale reaches a low when individuals feel like you are using a ‘one-size-fits-all’ mould for the team. Making Lisa stay until 6pm on a Thursday when she has her weekly hockey game is going to grate on her enjoyment for the job. Asking Dan to come in for an 8am Monday sales meeting when he has to drop off his kid is an unnecessarily stressful start to the week. Getting a box of chocolates for Claire, who has told everyone she is on a diet, turns a nice gesture into a thoughtless act.
Productivity and job satisfaction sky-rockets when employees feel their job helps them reach their own personal, family and social obligations, as well as their own success drivers. Speak to your team and be sensitive that their working schedule fits with their commitments. Maybe send out a questionnaire to ask them about their “favourites” (shop, brand, wine, sport, hobbies etc.) and their “preferences” (veggie, halal, tee-total, gluten free etc.) and keep it on file for next time you want to reward them for doing something great.
Focus on development
Low team morale often stems from people feeling stagnant and unvalued in the organisation. Investing in their development through training is key to job satisfaction. Getting the team away from the rigours of the job for a couple of days to help them personally and professionally grow will inject them with an influx of creativity, new ideas and motivation. If they feel they are being invested in, their morale and your retention rates will increase.
For field teams, why not create a short video and send it out to the team as a booster on a Monday morning? What key points do you want them to remember this week? What do you want them to focus on? Do a quick video, send it out and give them a little bit of fun and inspiration on a Monday morning.
Run inspiring sales meetings
We have all sat through countless hours of dull, spreadsheet-ridden sales meetings. These weekly/monthly get-togethers should be an oasis of inspiration in the hectic day-to-day world of sales. Rather than spending hours running through figures, get your team to share and celebrate successes, discuss current challenges in 5 minute bursts, and get each individual to lead a piece of learning every week.
Reward your team
Finally, there is no greater kill to team morale than feeling they have worked hard for nothing. Ask your team members how they like to be rewarded (some prefer a quiet “good job” others, a public fanfare) and celebrate their successes accordingly.
Run small incentives and rewards outside of commission schemes (for example a bottle of their favourite wine for going above and beyond). Share successes throughout the team and the wider company. Recognise people’s positive qualities in meetings and talk publically about their strengths, especially in front of senior management and important clients. If you get praised for doing a good job, be sure to name and praise all the team members who helped you achieve it.
In summary, there is nothing more rewarding than being surrounded by a team with high morale. Listen to your team and their individual drivers, develop them to their potential, inspire them with learning and rewards and above all, lead by example. Your team is a reflection of your management style, so put strong positive energy in, and you will get a strong positive team out.
If you want to grow your sales team, contact our experts. They can assist you in building team morale and finding the perfect fit.