When resources are limited and demand for services is high, it’s no surprise that workers at nonprofits may feel stressed and discouraged. If left unchecked, low morale can make fulfilling your mission a lot more difficult. You may be able to turn things around at your organization with these morale-boosting ideas.
Cultivate Mutual Respect
A positive, respectful work environment helps motivate workers to do their best, so meet regularly with employees and encourage their feedback. Employees who feel respected and enjoy being at work are much more likely to be engaged and productive.
Trust is essential for a healthy work environment. Build trust by allowing employees to make decisions and take responsibility for their actions. Lead by example by taking responsibility for your own actions. And don’t keep your staff guessing; sharing important information in a timely manner is the best way to keep rumors that lower morale to a minimum.
Talk About Goals
Employees should understand the organization’s goals and the role each person plays in the nonprofit’s success. A lack of focus can undermine enthusiasm, so discuss the organization’s mission and how each person fits in. Meet with your staff to establish goals that are specific, realistic, achievable, and measurable. Job sharing or sharing resources with other organizations may provide opportunities for employees to develop new skills and increase their knowledge.
Show appreciation promptly (and publicly, when appropriate). Recognizing employees’ contributions can help build morale. It also gives you another opportunity to lead by example — showing appreciation can be contagious.
Enjoy Each Other’s Company
Whether you choose office-wide snack breaks, potluck luncheons, or summer barbecues, schedule some nonwork activities. Getting together as a group to relax and have fun can be a great morale booster.