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Is your new hire hurting your team morale?

by wrich
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By: Ollie Phillips former World Rugby 7s Player of the Year, and England Captain who now runs Optimist Performance.

The average cost of turnover per employee is £30,614, and statistics show that 57% of employees have left a job because of their manager. So even if you offer amazing compensations, flexible working hours and fantastic benefits, you may still lose your best team players because of poor management. 

The single biggest decision you make in your job — bigger than all the rest — is who you name manager. When you name the wrong person manager, nothing fixes that bad decision. Not compensation, not benefits — nothing. – Gallup CEO, Jim Clifton. 

Furthermore, finding new talent is becoming more challenging, and employees are more likely to leave their jobs because they know there are more opportunities out there for them. In addition, high turnover is not only expensive, but it also takes a significant investment in time. Consider how much time your company spends between hiring and onboarding new employees.

So, while reviewing and identifying concerns with new hires may appear daunting, consider how much you’re losing by waiting until it’s too late.

Is the new hire hurting your team?

There is usually a follow-up process when recruiting a new employee; there is a probation period and, in most cases, a review. When it comes to new management, though, finding the truth might be difficult.

It’s likely that members of the team will be afraid to speak up and express their worries about their new boss. Furthermore, outcomes from performance and productivity can take a long time to appear, and by that time, it’s usually too late. The same is true for annual reviews.

Here’s where team morale becomes a strong indicator of management success. The impact of a poor manager on a team can be noticed sooner than the impact on productivity, allowing you to intervene before people start heading for the door.

Why is team morale essential?

Employee morale is defined as the attitude, satisfaction and overall outlook of employees during their association with an organization or a business. An employee that is satisfied and motivated at the workplace usually tend to have higher morale than their counterparts.

People will be more engaged, proactive, and eager to go above and beyond to ensure customer satisfaction if they feel safe, content, and happy in their jobs.

On the other hand, people who are nervous, anxious, or feel unsafe, will be less motivated to do their best work, ultimately impacting their performance. 

You can end up with an unmotivated team that only does the bare minimum or with no team at all. Either way, the effect of low morale among your employees will have a negative impact on the business.

The manager accounts for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement. 

Furthermore, emotions are contagious, and negative emotions spread even faster. In addition, managers are responsible for at least 70% of the variation in employee engagement. Employees rely on their leaders for inspiration, motivation, and growth, thus a bad manager may quickly turn a high-performing team into a demotivated one. 

How to measure team morale? 

For small companies, it’d be easier to identify changes in attitude. However, it can be more difficult for big companies.  

Nonetheless, team morale is just as important for every business. So, here are some suggestions for determining whether your recruit is negatively impacting your team’s morale.  

  • Use anonymous feedback. People who work under a bad boss will be hesitant to openly voice their opinion, which is why anonymity can help. Also, ensure everyone in the team that it is a safe space for them to talk and that there won’t be repercussions if they do so.
  • Ask other teams. The chances are that if your team has been in the company for a long time, they will talk to people in other departments about their problems, even if they don’t want to talk to HR or their boss’s boss. So, put your Sherlock hat on and ask other teams and departments.
  • Pay attention to individuals actions and attitudes. When people are nervous, apprehensive, or demotivated, they act differently, and their environment alters as well. So, for a while, pay attention to small details and try to identify changes.

What to do if you identify low team morale? 

If you identify a problem within the team, there are always solutions available. The essential part is to recognise the issue before it’s too late.  

It’s worth noting that joining a new team is always a challenge; for everyone in any position. It takes some time to adjust to new people and their working styles. It also takes time to build connections and for the team to work as a whole. So, before making any rash decisions, we should always try to find a solution within the team. 

  • Start with communication. Once you have identified a challenge, talk to the person involved. Explain how the team is feeling, why they are feeling that way and how they may move forward to avoid further harming team morale. Surely no one wants to hurt other people on purpose, so sometimes just being self-aware can help.
  • Offer specialised training. According to research, 58% of managers said they didn’t receive any management training. It’s not unusual to promote people because they are doing well in their role, which is great because it gives individuals the opportunity to grow. However, being a successful leader implies a lot more than knowing how to the job, it’s about leading a team, which involves different skills and abilities. So, it’s important to provide specific training opportunities for people to develop their leadership skills. We can help you with this, get in touch and learn more about our leadership development programmes and our executive coaching. 

Leaders must ensure not only that the job is completed, but also that people are happy while doing it. Leaders have a significant impact on the people they work with, which is why it’s critical that we analyse and reflect on a regular basis.

While it appears to be obvious what a leader must do in theory, putting it into reality is far more complex, and there is no shame in asking for help. It’s important to remember that we’re all still learning and making mistakes. However, it’s critical to ensure that the errors do not cause the team irreparable harm.

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