Team morale is one of the most important drivers of team effectiveness, and can have a powerful influence on any organization as it impacts behaviours. Team morale can be described as the state of how people think and feel about the team, as well as how people think and feel about being a member of the team. How ‘we think and feel’ then generates our behaviours, which have a direct cost – either increasing or decreasing the value of the team to the organization.
Assessing Team Morale
Three Main Questions to Assess Team Morale
Team morale can span a spectrum from high and healthy to low and unhealthy.
How to gauge the presence of team morale might be as simple as asking three primary questions:
- Do employees have a sense of efficacy – a belief and confidence in the entire team – to be successful and deal with the challenges or failures, the wins and the losses.
- Do employees have a sense of respect, acceptance, and appreciation for each other, valuing one another’s contributions and the entire team, as its own identity, greater as a collective and collaborative unit?
- Do employees have a sense of engagement amongst each other and all that comes with being a member of the team – the work, accountability, and results required?
Keep in mind, when we reference the ‘entire’ team in the above points, we mean every single member: not some, not the majority—entire team.
How to Increase Team Morale
Four Key Fundamentals to Improve Team Morale
Unhealthy team morale leads to lower engagement, productivity, and results in an organization. Outlined below are four little known, often overlooked fundamentals to proactively promote for high and healthy team morale. We’re not talking brain surgery or rocket science here – unfortunately, it’s actually much harder – It’s our behaviours. Remember – “The best practice doesn’t equal the best game and winning, without our effort to play based on the best practice.” We need to ensure the basics are the foundation, and though basics can be simple conceptually, their reality requires effort.
- Positive Attitudes: This is about team players demonstrating positive mindsets and characteristic(s) towards someone or something, and stands in contrast to the morale blocking behaviour of Negative Attitudes.
- Open-Mindedness: This is about team players having a willingness to consider new ideas and being unprejudiced, and stands in contrast to the morale blocking behaviour of Closed-Mindedness.
- Considerateness: This is about team players being thoughtful, kind, and careful not to cause inconvenience or hurt to others, and stands in contrast to the morale blocking behaviour of Disregard.
- Supportiveness: This is about team players providing encouragement or help to others, and stands in contrast to the morale blocking behaviour of Antagonism.
The power of team morale, the thoughts and emotions, exists with its impact on behaviour. Team morale can either influence possible failure provoking behaviours related to resentment, isolation, and negativity, or success provoking behaviours related to passion, enthusiasm, and care.
Because of the impact on behaviours, team morale, and the strength and types of emotions elicited, may be some of the biggest determining variables in the equation of team engagement, productivity, results and overall organizational effectiveness.
Remaining vigilant of the four key fundamentals will strengthen a team’s ability to improve team morale and increase its value to the organization.