Updated: 7 days ago
You Don’t Fix Morale by Fixing Morale
One of the most common (and detrimental) misconceptions about employee retention is thinking that the way to improve employee morale is to focus attention on improving morale.
When employees are unhappy or unsatisfied with their work life, a pizza party or a casual Friday is like trying to empty the ocean with a solo cup.
People leave workplaces where they are not set up to utilize their competence, where they lack confidence or have lost enthusiasm about the work. We can call this a toxic environment, which means that there is definitely some bad combination of unclear or misaligned visions, confused goals, messy processes, and or lack of support and direction.
When it comes down to it, employees across the board need clear vision of where the organization is headed, specific goals, clarity on their role and good processes to work within. That, along with the right balance of leadership direction and support will provide the following factors necessary for employees to be engaged;
Good Work-life Balance
Transparency and honesty
Clear and efficient communication
A career pathway
A positive, healthy work environment
Recognition of their contribution
Every organization around the world is aware of these, but many times fall short because they don’t have the proper tools to support them. Below are our top 5 tools to improve employee retention and achieve a healthy, high-performing workplace.
1. Cannsult Employee Development Model
Balance of leadership direction and support touches on all these factors. It helps to create an environment that promotes a better work-life balance, where skilled communication is practiced by all, there is clarity on progression and a clear career path, which all contributes to a a positive and healthy work environment.
This model was created by Cannsult to illustrate the predictable path that we go through as we develop a skill:
1) New Employee
2) Existing Employee/Task Changed
The goal of the model is to lay out the stages an employee goes through in terms of their skill and engagement on a specific task, and what leaders should do to best support them in each stage. Employee journeys are highly predictable in this way, and if leadership doesn’t understand the stages an employee is going through, and how to correctly guide them, they are in extreme danger of plummeting employee engagement or inadvertently stunting competence.
Leaders and employees often mistake these phases for permanent personality traits and this is not a correct way of thinking! For example, an employee who is at stage 2 is struggling to learn, they are making mistakes, which will make them disengaged on this specific task. If this task happens to be their whole job - and if they do not get the appropriate leadership direction and support - they (and their co-workers) might believe that they are just not a good fit. When in fact, they just haven't yet been set up for success.
Click below to download our free High-Def Employee Development PDF
2. Leader Standard Work
Helps with: Work-life balance, transparency and honesty, clear communication, recognition
Leader standard work is a Lean concept that has been adapted across almost every industry. Leader standard work is surely a shift in traditional leadership philosophy; a shift to critical work that leaders must do to reinforce and sustain improvements in culture, performance and practices.
Leader Standard work lays out the critical daily and monthly tasks that a leader is to complete. Keeping track of this has a few essential uses.
It keeps leaders accountable for their everyday work
Managers know exactly what tasks employees are responsible for daily
Gaining a visual of what tasks are being completed and which are not gives insight to a employees workload, and if it needs to be altered in any way
3. The 8 Wastes
Helps with: Clear communication, a positive, clean work environment
The 8 wastes is a very popular practice in many organizations around the world. Finding and eliminating waste in the workplace is essential to a healthy workplace, and waste gone unaddressed can be a plague to employee happiness.
4. Visual Performance Management
Helps with: Clear communication, a positive, clean work environment, transparency and honesty, recognition
It doesn’t get much more clear than putting performance up for all to see! And yet this simple task is done poorly, or not at all, but most organizations. VPM uses easy-to-understand visuals to communicate key information about a workplace ‘at a glance‘. VPM is a way to communicate any and all information possible but most commonly is used as a way to display information about expectations, performance, and standards for a department or company as a whole. The key here is that through communicating this information visually, it requires no interpretation to understand. That means, regardless of whether I am familiar with the workplace, or not, I should be able to instantly see the current state of work, navigate my way around the area, or track how the team is performing versus target.
5. Service Level Agreements
Helps with: Clear communication, transparency and honesty
Service level agreements create alignment and collaboration between internal, cross-functional teams. SLAs drive clear communication and accountability and allow teams to set and maintain high standards and expectations between functions.