Whenever we speak, we send two messages: content messages and relational messages. (Watch this video for more information). Relational messages are messages that broadcast how we feel about others. At work, they are the messages that inspire or destroy morale. If the relational message is one of respect, trust and appreciation, morale soars. If it’s the opposite, you’ll find employee morale circling the drain.
Here are five surefire ways a boss can kill morale on any team:
1. Scheduling mandatory fun.
From required parties to top-down enforcement of dressing up for Halloween to impress the big boss—mandatory fun is not fun. It’s like living in a fascist regime. It doesn’t bring the team together; it’s just another less pleasant form of work.
Fun events that promote team cohesion come from the team. When employees have the freedom to plan fun events, cohesion grows. If you’re the boss, stay out of the merry making!
2. Requiring employees to punch the clock.