2012 – The Year of High Morale?
With the economy still limping along, stress levels are running high. Now that the first half of 2012 is behind us, how do we keep up our morale at work knowing that it’s a priority? From my experience, great leaders excel at identifying the right goals. Too easy and they’re meaningless; celebrating birthdays, while sociable, won’t build morale–but celebrating your 100th customer might. If the goals are too much of a stretch, failure to achieve them just brings hopelessness. Ultimately, we must find and focus on benchmarks that mark real progress in the right direction.
Here are a few real world examples from Avatel Technologies:
1. Make Success Personal
When someone at Avatel achieves a remarkable result or goal, we celebrate it every quarter. This past June, Avatel celebrated its 10 year anniversary. During the week-long extravaganza, we had themed days where we dressed to work in Pajamas, sampled fine food and enjoyed a beach day – ending with fun in the sun on our outdoor patio equipped with water guns. Everyone saw that success is possible, it was real and we made it personal.
2. Be Honest
In my nearly two years with Avatel, I’ve seen, first hand, how our leadership communicates about the economy, the competition and just the sheer difficulty in what we all need to do to stay in the game. By articulating our challenges, management shares a common sense of what we’re up against. This form of genuine conversation is honest, and it empowers the Avatel team by staying informed.
3. Affirm Your Purpose
Companies we choose to work for are in business to make a profit. And, profit is a good thing. But, being profitable doesn’t mean we’ll be able to save the world. Everyone needs a reason – beyond the paycheck – to come to work in the morning. At Avatel, leadership is clear and real about the benefits that our work bestows on our customers and our community. For example, beginning this year, Avatel implemented the “Giving Back” Program. In short, we donate an Avaya IP Office phone system to a worthy non-profit organization in the TampaBay area each quarter.
We’ve been in a state of financial crisis for nearly five years now. Everyone is tired. Many have family or friends who are afraid, have been laid off or are unemployed. All of this adds up to a great deal of stress which usually equates to a bad diet and less sleep. One way for many within the Avatel organization to cope is to stay physically and mentally fit. A great many of us regularly go to the gym. For me, working out with weights, strengthening my core and pushing myself a bit farther each week on the treadmill, helps me to feel more in tune with my body and my thinking skills. The resulting improved eating habits create a healthier result for my body. Over time, I’m slowly seeing the benefits of my time at the gym; which is giving me a greater sense of self worth and an increased self confidence. And, when you have co-workers exclaiming how wonderful you look, it also helps squeeze the ego just a bit.
Lonnie Ledford, Avatel Project Manager
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