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Building Morale in Times of Change

You've gotten a new leader at your organization, your daily processes have changed, something dynamic happens that changes everything. An employee crucial to your operation is leaving. What do you do? How do you maintain the calm or embrace the change while keeping the team motivated?  It can be a challenge, for some people, change could include a new box of pens or the changing of a desk to get rattled. For others, they can paddle along in the most turbulent waters and seem unphased.  So when does the backbreaking straw arrive for most people? Morale is an indicator for some and lack of empowerment can be a key symbol for others. What's a leader to do? The first step is clear, open and honest communication. If people know you're talking to them and trust the information you provide, it lessens their fear. The second is to not fall into the low morale trap yourself. Don't be a complainer, be a problem solver. Sometimes you will just have to roll up your sleeves and get dirty and if you do that with a good sense of self awareness you can have other people turn positive in a sometimes challenging situation. Third, have a sense of humor and try to enjoy the ride- the famous quote from Remember the Titans rings true here, "Attitude reflects leadership, Captain". If they see you enjoying yourself and keeping the calm, they will too. Fourth, celebrate the absurd. When change happens, sometimes it's too unbelievable and becomes what I call a good "bar story". Maybe you can have an inside office joke about the absurdity, make a game or otherwise celebrate that you're on a hamster wheel of change some days. In all reality, change is the only constant. You could also surprise your team with an impromptu hallway bowling session or go outside and scream at the highway session or something wacky and crazy. You could also have your team tell their worst ever office story and have a prize for the winner, it will help them realize how small what's happening to them right now may be.  Finally, how about a day spent volunteering in your community on a team project. Spending time around those who may have greater problems than your own might put things into perspective for all of you.   What have you done to help boost morale for your team during turbulent times? What do you think of the suggestions? What helps tip the scale back to positivity for you?

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