3 Ways to Cultivate High Employee Morale

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After nearly 15 years in the exhibit and trade show industry, entrepreneur Bev Gray started her company, now named Exhibit Edge, after a request for services from one of her clients. This was 25 years ago. Today, she stands at the helm of this, now, multimillion dollar enterprise. Her mission is to meet all the changing demands of exhibitors’ trade show needs in any venue. Throughout her career, she has discovered how important high employee morale is for any company. The following three steps reveal simple ways to develop it.

  1. Create opportunities for camaraderie

    A strong company culture doesn’t just happen nor can it be forced. It’s the responsibility of management to create an environment conducive for the growth of a supportive and successful team. To do so, a manager can schedule interactions between employees that support the type of culture that is desired. For example, Exhibit Edge has its “Daily Warm Up,” a brief stand up meeting where each person shares the previous day’s biggest accomplishment and their top 3 goals for the current day. This establishes an opportunity for employees to learn about their coworkers’ projects, stay up to date on company happenings, and build camaraderie. As a bonus, it’s also a change for management to identify any conflicts (and determine how to resolve them before they escalate).

  2. Share responsibility and authority

    Even the greatest entrepreneurs can’t control every aspect of their business. Moreover, it wouldn’t help their company if they did. There are many benefits to letting go and handing off responsibility to those who have proven themselves. Employees want to feel as though their work has significance and that it’s making an impact. Plus, most anyone wants to grow their career. By delegating authority to those who deserve it, managers will not only see more highly engaged employees, but they’ll also find more time to focus on what is most important. The expertise that makes someone qualified to manage others also makes their involvement in strategic business decisions much more valuable. Handing off the relatively less significant tasks frees time to focus on the critical ones.

  3. Communicate the bad — honestly

    Every business will endure tough times, and the worst thing a manager can do is to keep employees totally in the dark. Following 9/11 was a defining period for Exhibit Edge for this reason. After the tragic attack, few people were travelling, which meant many trade shows were cancelled. This translated into fewer opportunities for Exhibit Edge to generate revenue. However, all employees were sustained because the company focused on lowering overhead costs instead. Throughout this tumultuous time, management was open with the staff about the decisions being made and the intentions behind them. The employees felt vested in the outcome as a result, which led to them trying to help with the efforts to lower costs. Managers should always communicate with their team whether the message is positive or negative. It will produce engaged employees and a stronger company culture.

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