Get out and talk with your staff
Morale rises when bosses are out and about, reports Ben Pike
CHIEF executives and other senior staff can make tangible improvements in company morale and culture if they get out of their offices more and press the flesh with staff.
Organisational psychologist Dr Peter Langford says managers cannot simply delegate so-called ‘‘ soft’’ issues to human resources departments or junior managers.
Meeting your staff face-toface will make them feel they are having an input into the company and are part of something bigger than their own role.
It also will improve your ‘‘ favourability score’’, Langford says.
‘‘ In longitudinal research with universities, what we’ve seen is a 10 per cent increase in favourability scores among lower-level staff in their relationship with senior management,’’ he says.
‘‘ Confidence in the senior executive team, keeping staff informed, listening to staff, tapping into that relationship of trust; we’ve seen that go from 50 per cent to 60 per cent favourable. It’s a very tangible change and that has a significant impact on morale and engagement.’’
As the director of Voice Project, Langford advises organisations of all sizes on how they can improve their employee engagement and staff morale – especially in an everchanging environment.
He says there is a trend toward chief executives and other senior staff getting out and meeting their staff, driven by the fast-paced nature of modern business.
But it doesn’t have to be every week.
‘‘ In a year, you have to make sure that you are getting out to not all staff but most staff,’’ Langford says.
‘‘ Given the amount
of change organisations are going through, executives need to have staff onside and accepting of the new organisational strategies and directions being put forward.
‘‘ As an employee, I want to have a reasonable amount of confidence that that future world is a good place to go to.
‘‘ I’m going to trust the decision makers more if I have had some level of contact with them (senior staff).
‘‘ If you’ve met the chief executive, you’re going to mention that to your mate.’’