New projects fail or run into issues for many reasons, often rooted in team engagement around planning or participation in getting stuff done. These projects are generally initiated by leadership that has a new idea and wants to see that idea implemented. You know what you want to do and you may have already decided how to do it. Where does that leave your team?

Managing a team is tough. Keeping employee morale high is even more difficult. There’s a lot of pressure to keep employees happy… engaged… productive. Leaders, managers and even peers can kill employee motivation much faster than they can boost morale.

Why does morale at work matter?

A job is just a job, right? Your team just needs to help you build? Each person has a role and they stick to it? That doesn’t sound fun at all! Besides, your team members have some valuable insight that you’re not considering. This doesn’t mean your team members want more responsibility (see our survey to the right). In an article for Work Matters, Gayle Lantz states that 39% of employees report that they don’t feel appreciated at work. Not every idea is a great idea, but people like to be heard and some ideas are game-changers.

According to one Gallup study 60-80% of workers are not engaged at work. They feel little or no loyalty, passion or motivation on the job. They’re putting in the hours, but they’re not doing a great job and they’re certainly not happy at work!

If you just tell people what to do and immediately look for flaws in ideas that come from your team or peers, after a while the people you work with may feel burned out from a lack of change. Their jobs will become redundant. Remember how it felt to get working on the last idea you had? Well, that’s what your team needs too. Involving people in planning and decision making increases the desire to participate. Here’s why that matters:

boost morale at work


Allow your team to be more collaborative. Have a new challenge? Let your team come up with ideas. Ask around. That’s why you hired them in the first place, right? They’re pretty smart people. If they really can’t come up with any interesting solutions, you may have a larger problem and it will be helpful to figure that out now.

Need some help boosting ideas and collaboration? Have you considered team building programs? Check out Chain Reaction.

What other strategies for boosting morale have worked for you?

Image credit: U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Caitlin Brink/Released