Top 5 Tips To Keep…
…High Morale In Your Business
CEO and Entrepreneur experienced in start-up through
divestiture business leadership with proven track record
in turn-around, acquisitions, management transition, and
troubled asset environments in large and small
businesses. 40 years of steering companies through
growth, recognizing market opportunities and negotiating
developing expansion strategies through product
commercialization, identifying advantageous acquisitions
and leveraging competitive landscape. Excellent ability to
identify future leaders, nurture talent and create
sustainable succession plans.
In the current climate we are bound to look for cost savings, as revenues at best are
stagnating or reducing.
Those cost cutting exercises can end up in redundancies or reduced worked hours with
lower salaries, requiring people to do more with less, so it is very difficult to keep staff
morale at a high or positive level.
When people are constantly under pressure they
are at risk to burn out.
HR will certainly recommend implementing new
motivational programmes to boost morale.
Unfortunately while high morale can act as a
motivating factor motivation does not necessarily
deliver high morale.
How would you know if your organization has a morale issue?
If you diagnose any or all of the following symptoms
your staff suffer from a morale issue.
No strategic alignment (lack of focus);
No clear goals result in long hours and chaos;
People do not meet performance goals;
Lack of resources (human, machines, money);
Poor creativity and innovations;
No decision making;
People blame & distrust each other;
Managers threaten staff or are inaccessible;
Managers only focus on savings and budget controls;
Lack of clear leadership. Orders and counter orders
come from every one;
Absenteeism, rumours and disloyal behaviour;
No teamwork and sense of individual support;
Talents and intellectual capital are not recognized
Don‟t be down-hearted if you recognise this in your
Indeed when we are called in, for example, to turn around
a company, we almost certainly encounter most, if not all
of these symptoms. So you are not unusual!
you know if
has a morale
One way to solve these issues is to create an
environment in which people feel comfortable.
The organization becomes a whole system, this change
completely changes the staff‟s present frame of
reference and creates an “electroshock”.
This electroshock is necessary to implement the change
process we have designed to rescue a company which is
in a declining mode or in a distress situation or to enter
a phase of high growth.
People normally “report” to someone.
In our model people have a “nominal boss” but they must work for
many other individual leaders, teams, either regularly or on an ad
This may appear “not quite natural” to your staff but when
implemented you will notice that the staff is:
• less frustrated,
• contributing a lot more and coming up with new ideas.
The most important factor is to create trust which will
give the employees confidence in the organization:
If their ideas are not implemented they know there
is a good reason;
They know that the idea has been evaluated
through a rigorous process;
They do not feel that unnecessary barriers have
been put in their way;
Transparency is the rule of the game;
Your people feel being valued and know they are
contributing to the success of the company.
Success attracts success and creates high morale.
To Keep Morale High
Your Organisation Must Be Successful
1) The organization needs to be strategically aligned;
Good Leadership is essential to staff morale;
it is important for the success of an organisation that it motivates its staff;
Establish a process to help people meet performance goals;
Encourage creativity and innovations through wisdom networks.
KeySo Global LLC
Tip Number 1:
Needs to be Aligned
Create a management system that will mobilize all your staff, channelling their
energy and abilities, encouraging them to share their specific knowledge with
others, outside and inside the organization, to fulfil the company mission and your
staff‟s own expectations:
Understand in which environment your
company is evolving. My colleagues Steve Bell and Steve Benton
have developed a new concept called the “EcoWeb”. In the EcoWeb each
company has a unique map of relationships and value transactions that is as
individual as DNA and as dynamic as the weather. It allows you to analyse
and view the landscape of your digital footprint and use this to determine
potential competitive threats and business development leads, and through
this focus on building opportunity awareness it will help you define your
Degrees of separation
1. First degree
direct suppliers customers
employees shareholders, board
members, partners, Competition
2. Second degree
Customers‟ customers, suppliers
customers, suppliers‟ suppliers,
3. Third degree
Other customers, other
suppliers, lobbyist, analysts,
associations regulators, hedge
Develop your vision, mission and long term goals
and write them down in a balance score card.
A score card is essential to grow your business and
communicate with your employees it will give you
and your staff a snapshot of the state of the
business at any given time.
Growth = change but if you want to become better
you have to move in the right direction. The balance
score card should allow you to:
spread your vision and gain consensus;
set clear goals;
communicate efficiently with your staff;
link their rewards to performance measures,
aligned with strategic initiatives;
allocate the right resources, and establish realistic
evaluate the performances of your business and
make the right decisions by understanding your
overall position and making sure you are remaining
in the game;
make key adjustments, this is the secret to
success, the score card will help you to see where
adjustments have to be made.
By making the score card an integral part of your culture you will be able to recognize and size
opportunities leading to huge success.
Your staff will feel challenged, valued and motivated as they will be able to measure the result
of their efforts and understand how their individual performances contributed to their overall
Tip Number 2:
is Essential to
Providing a vision and adequate resources,
Within business, effective leadership has proven results:
from the release of employees‟ potential,
to improved bottom line financial performance.
Leaders can be pivotal to organisational change, pushing back boundaries
and creating new ways of working.
Leadership is very much about the ability to influence people by personal
attributes and behaviours: skills are secondary.
Good leaders are followed chiefly because:
• People trust and respect them for their courage.
• Leaders treat others with dignity, equality and fairness,
trust is thus engendered.
live up to their commitments, and
Leaders are sensitive to the expectations of the workforce and lead accordingly.
By acting in this way, not being afraid of making tough, unpopular decisions, leaders will be
respected, potentially at the expense of being liked.
Leaders truly listen to others‟ opinions, and take them into account. This doesn‟t mean they
have to act on the suggestions, but, having listened with care, they are best placed to explain
What do leaders do for their teams?
• A good leader will set a framework and define boundaries for actions and behaviours,
and therein allow co-workers full autonomy;
The behaviours part of this is important. It‟s right that a leader demonstrates and, if
necessary, states what behaviours are appropriate and expected in an organisation;
Leaders should keep people challenged, moving them on to achieve their potential
and thus be successful in their own right, and as part of the collective success of the
Leaders should be concerned with talent retention
• Allowing employees to increase their employability.
• Employees should:
• Be given the opportunity to acquire new skills;
• Be encouraged to network with communities sharing the same interests, and hence develop
and demonstrate their own expertise;
Feel they have a value in the job market and are paid on the right scale.
Effective leaders balance strategic thinking and planning,
• And Allow enough time for, and get involved in implementation.
• Harvard Business School research suggests a good rule of thumb for
this balance is 15%
strategy and 85% execution.
Leaders involved in execution have an intimate knowledge of their expectations of others.
Leaders can Support Change
• By outsourcing the innovation.
• People within an organisation can be, intentionally or otherwise, resistant to change.
• Utilising an external resource can bring internal staff out of their comfort zone.
Universities are fantastic hubs for outsourcing innovation. Tapping in to this resource
are gaining benefits.
Good leaders help their employees
• Participate in online and offline networks more effectively.
• See how these networks
can bring forward ideas and deliver answers quicker;
can facilitate different ways of working and
are to be embraced to stimulate creative or effective thinking about core business issues.
How do leaders close a chapter in their career?
• They realise that nobody is indispensable
• They have put in place
the right skilled, motivated, successful people,
with the necessary systems and processes so that their own role becomes obsolete,
And so they move on to their next challenge
They have developed a vision and strategy which:
focuses on their
needs & deliver better
products / services
delivers better than
processes and embrace
the best technologies
to satisfy their customers
and share holders
has best practice
governance in place to
keep the business in line
with the law
sustains the ability
to change & improve
through learning & growth
Tip Number 3:
Important for an
Organisation‟s success to
Motivate its Staff
To succeed an organisation must motivate its employees
Use their full talents.
Put in place a strategy and approach with positive motivation philosophy and practice in place
There are many businesses out there feeling cash-strapped and this should not be seen as a
barrier. I will focus on aspects of motivation other than those related to salary enhancements.
Explain, in an appropriate fashion to the employee, how to go about their job.
Spell out to them what your expectations are; it doesn‟t offend to say what you are expecting of them.
With these enablers in place, when they then deliver, don‟t hesitate to thank them. Even better, do this in
front of others; it‟ll make others strive to do a good job too and receive their praise in turn.
Feedback on performance regularly, and keep people challenged (but not overloaded and stressed).
It also helps if individuals‟ roles are set in the context of the company objectives, strategies and plans and
employees can see how what they are doing fits in to the bigger picture.
People are self-confident when they are feeling valued. Finding the right balance of confidence is difficult,
too little nothing happens: too much leads to arrogance and inevitably to poor decisions.
Without great levels of self-belief, the pillar of confidence, your employees will not take risks or try new
things. You can‟t have confident organizations without confident individuals inside them.
Explore Your People Potential
Give people the potential to develop their skills outside their core
Consider the skill sets all job types need to perform well in their field,
that these are transferable skills, which could be applied to, and honed
in, another function, and you‟ll create a flat-lattice organisation without
the chains of command or predetermined channels of communication
that are features of pyramidal management.
In those organisations there are no bosses, but leaders.
Associates choose to follow leaders rather than having bosses assigned to
them. They commit to projects, accepted and prioritised by the board of
directors, of their own choice rather than having tasks delegated to
Performance reviews are based on a peer-level rating system.
Staff are mentored and supported in their development so they have a
good understanding of the organisation, and how they can contribute to
Contribution to success is about how your employees perform, so it
means having clear goals, moving positively towards them, talking about
issues that might prevent them meeting their objectives and feeling
heard when they do so.
They do all this best when they feel appreciated and valued by their
leaders and their colleagues. So it‟s not just about delivering: it‟s about
doing that within collaborative working relationships too.
Fulfil Your Peoples’ Ambitions
• The opportunity of giving an employee
a secondary responsible role – is also a way of
supporting them to fulfil their career ambitions.
It equips them with more widely practised skills and experience which will stand them in good
stead when an opportunity becomes available.
A promising employee who is effectively blocked in their promotional scope by your own
presence could find this seeming lack of prospects demotivating.
As a way of keeping your people motivated, and also as a method of effective succession
planning, consider a sideward move for them within the organisation, or even a secondment to
a valued supplier or customer.
Your employees should be convinced that they have a future within
the organization. Conviction is a short-term motivation factor both
in good times and bad.
It will keep your employees going even when things get tough,
they will maintain their energy, motivation and resources,
they will feel good and will be resilient, efficient and effective.
To have conviction your employees would need to trust
you and the organization so avoid promising things you
know you won‟t be able to deliver!
Help Them Achieve Success
•The goals you set your employees should be challenging and stretching, and they need th
support and resources in place to achieve them. Consider what difference new software
machinery, guidance from yourself, help from a colleague, support in prioritising, agreement t
home working etc. could make to whether an employee believed their goals to be achievabl
• Think how clearly you deal with a supplier: you specify how and when you want a product o
service to be delivered, using tools such as specifications to support this. Your suppliers kno
what is expected of them and commit to deliver against this. Treat your employees likewise.
•Commitment matters because
it is why your employees do the
work you expect them to do.
When your employees commit
to a goal they are perceive that
worthwhile, they demonstrate
strong intrinsic interest in their
job and feel that the vision of
the organization resonates with
Help Them Achieve Success
The iOpener Institute for People and Performance,
research, involving 9,000 people from around the
world, reveals some astonishing findings. Employees
who report being “happy” and motivated at work:
Spend double their time at work focused on what
they are paid to do
Stay twice as long in their jobs as their least
Take ten times less sick leave
Believe they are achieving their potential twice
Employees experimenting the “feel good factor” will
solve problems faster, be more creative, adapt
fastest to change. Customer service will be
excellent, your clients will be loyal and recommend
your products / services to their friends and business
acquaintances so your bottom line will increase!
Tip Number 4:
Establish a Process to
Help People Meet
Business is Becoming Increasingly Complex.
• Customer expectations are higher and higher, you need your employees to be able to
change their knowledge and skills quickly and raise their performance “bar”.
Leading edge organisations are re-thinking their philosophies and human resources
strategies to align their employees‟ performance goals with their organisational vision,
values, and strategic plans.
These leading edge organisations are evolving from a single ”overall” rating appraisal
system, to one evaluating their people‟s profiles of strengths and needs for
They focus on developing people behaviours/skills, introducing multi-source feedback
systems and re-examining the mechanism for pay linkage, in other words they embrace
the performance leadership programme principles
Performance Leadership Programme Principles
Applying continuous improvement to individual and team performance;
Defining common framework and measurement criteria for all employees;
Maximising job fit and defining shared responsibility to avoid overlaps;
Your employees will feel being valued and adequately rewarded. They will
understand what is expected from them both in terms of business
performances and behaviours and they will serve your customers with
enthusiasm, as they will be highly motivated.
Aligning individual efforts with business needs;
Conducting real dialogues between employee and manager, not just
processing a form;
Looking at results and behaviours of people to deliver high performances, it
is not about measuring personality trait;
Focusing their employees on their current job requirements to deliver the
All the above will lead to:
High customer satisfaction and loyalty so your customers will buy more
from you and your profit will increase, your existing customers will be your
best advocate and will recommend you to friends and you will get new
customers increasing your sales and profit even more.
Measurement and Management
in the Information Age
To achieve our Vision
How should we
to our Customers?
To achieve our vision
how will we sustain
to change and
To satisfy our
share holders what
must we excel at?
Performance Leadership Objectives
Increase frequency and quality of performance discussion
Enhance understanding of relationship between business
strategies and individual‟s role
Emphasise impact of specific leadership behaviours on
Reinforce shared responsibility for continuous performance
Enhance match between job and individual capabilities,
interests, and life style values, emphasising multidirectional
Performance Leadership is not …
•A new rating form
•A career development system
•A performance Improvement process
•A salary Increase process
The context for Performance Leadership is…
•Business strategies & plans
•Clear goals & behavioural
•Information, skills, & resources
Performance Leadership Process Overview
Mutual understanding about:
•Team/ individual business goals
•Expected individual behaviours
•Assistance and resources needed
•Job match/ action plans/
•Sources of performance input
Progress Check points
•Progress on individual / team business goals
•Actual behaviour compared to expectations
•Assistance and resources needed
•Job match/ action plans / possible
•Performance on individual / team business
•Actual behaviour compared to expectations
•Job match/ action plans / possible
•Future skills needed for current job
Role of every individual
Commit to open communication
Seek and provide on-going performance
feedback and coaching
Commit to continual performance
Enhance skills in performance leadership
Monitor and discuss progress
Honestly assess strengths and development
Performance planning is…
A collaborative discussion to create mutual understanding
in advance, by focusing on:
• What the individual / team is going to be held
• The support the individual/ team needs to succeed
Typically completed at the beginning
of the year
Performance planning is not…
• Looking Backward
• Focusing on job in isolation
• Management by Objective
• Top Down
• Substitute for on going Dialogue
Performance Planning Activities and Content
Performance Planning Preparation
Individual, team & manager talk about:
•Business Strategies / Key success
•Team / individual goals
•Individual‟s role in accomplishing
•Requirements of job in relation
to individual capabilities, interests
and lifestyle values
Performance Planning Discussion
Individual & manager (& team where appropriate) talk about
•Sources of performance
Progress check point schedule
Principles Underlying Effective Goals
Time – bound 3 to 12 month focus
Reflect team and individual result
Job match- development actions
Goal Setting Organisational links
Developed from customer requirements,
business goals, key success factors, and
Goal Setting Business Alignment
Why Performance leadership behaviour
Describe specific behavioural expectations in
common language throughout the organisation
Provide a coaching framework for achieving
Tool for team members to talk about how to
work together to achieve results
In planning for success they are an integral part of focusing attention on the necessary actions
360 Degrees Input on
Performance Planning Job Match
Performance planning guide
Key success factor: Innovation/ strategic initiatives
Goal: Close X new deals in strategically important
markets by year end
A. Identify behaviours that will help you achieve goal:
B. Identify specific actions relating to the chosen
behaviours that will help you accomplish goal
Identify strategically important markets
Determine potential joint venture
opportunities in each designated market
Determine benefits of joint venture for all
parties and anticipate obstacles
Individual capabilities, interests,
and lifestyle values
Performance Planning Key Learning Points
Share responsibility for process
Emphasise results and behaviours
Link goals to business strategies
Identify team and individual goals
expectations in advance
Tip Number 5:
Encourage Creativity &
In their book “Wisdom Network” Melissa Giovagnolli and
Steve Benton describe the challenge companies have to use
visible and invisible knowledge to achieve their goals.
The problem is that people are reluctant to share their
knowledge, they only talk about what they know to a close
circle of people in their department / function because
they are afraid that if they share their “secrets” with
others they will lose their value to the company.
In order to overcome this issue you have to create an
environment that gives your employees the possibility and
the confidence to share knowledge and ultimately co create
It is proving to be effective to design an organisation in
Formal structures are removed people are not organised
in functions / departments but according to their
individual skills so that they can add value to various
projects in the organisation
There is no restraints due to job titles , every employee
is an associate.
Employees are assessed on primary and secondary skills
and put into „Resource Pools‟ which group people by
skills which can be used effectively by the company and
How does it work?
Employee A’ can have a primary skill in Project Management but have a secondary skill in IT.
• They are added to the Project Management resource pool at a high level and
• the IT resource pool at lower level.
When a business project comes up requiring their skills:
• they are allocated to a project’s ‘Job Family’ requiring their primary skill
• and they can volunteer if they have free work time to be a part of another project’s ‘Job Family’ using
their secondary skill in order to improve their knowledge and experience. A Job Family being a group
of people with the required skills between them to complete the project.
So ‘Employee A’ can perform their main skill, develop their secondary skill or be utilised to do both at onc
see the project examples below:
Project A Job Family
A delivery project
Senior Project Manager
Project B Job Family
An IT product project
Project C Job Family
IT delivery project
Senior Product Manager
Senior IT Project Manager
Product IT Manager
IT Project Manager (Volunteer)
IT Technician (Volunteer)
IT Project Administrator
By recognising that a person is more than their job title company’s can ensure:
• value is added,
• skills are developed,
• knowledge shared,
• creativity developed and innovation is the rule of the game.
Each team / project will:
• define their own roles and responsibilities
• define Short terms and long terms goals
• be encouraged to explore new ideas and push the edge of the envelope
• have members constantly crossing boundaries and exploring new concepts
This fluid model is ensuring:
An employee is working productively for every
hour they are at work, if they are not performing
their main skill they can be developing their
secondary skill and further assisting a business
needing that resource.
By being able to move around an organisation
morale and recognition is increased, as well as
offering a challenge and allowing the employee to
understand more of the business as a whole. If an
employee does not know the company as a whole
they cannot be expected to proactively contribute
to its success.
Employees that have the ability to self-develop
eager to stay within the company, as they
enjoy themselves, learning new skills.
loyal to the brand and are “walking
advertisements” for the company, attracting
new talents and clients.
sharing knowledge with their co-workers as
they know that others will share with them.
serving the existing clients better and get their
loyalty. Happy and satisfied customers will talk
to their friends, colleagues and suppliers and
will bring you new clients so your profit will
In this E-book we have talked about the top 5 factors contributing to keep high
morale in an organisation to generate success.
Success appeal success and produce high morale.
The top 5 factors that allow you to create an environment for success and keep high
morale in your business are:
1) The organization needs to be strategically aligned
2) Good Leadership is essential to the morale of the troops
3) Motivate its employees
4) Establish a process to help people meet performance goals
5) Encourage creativity and innovations through wisdom networks
•If you want to discuss any of the above points or need help to implement
this magic environment, please feel free to contact:
• JB de Lartigue at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on +44 1656 766 363
•Visit our Website www.maconsultinginternational.com
•Join the conversation on our blog
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