Web Store

Who's Using EAP Tools?
  • Federal Govt Agencies
  • NAVY
  • Fortune 500 Companies
  • Private Industry
  • Cities and Municipalities
  • Universities
  • Internal EAPs
  • External EAPs
  • Non-profit Assoc.
  • Foreign Countries
  • Hospitals
  • Railroads
EAP Tips, Guidance, and Advice
<<Prior Strategy                    Next Strategy>>

EAPs: Improving Morale When the Budget is Zero

EAPs: Improving Morale When the Budget is Zero In the bottom half of this EAP Toolbox Message is an outline for a workshop for supervisors on, "Improving Morale When Your Budget Is Zero."

Use your mouse to copy and paste the workshop outline to a document and save it.

Certainly, you have experienced how difficult it is to get training time with supervisors. Mention a workshop on this subject to management and see if the doors don't swing open.

First, however, I thought you would find the following press release on loyalty and gas prices an interesting read.

(Side note) I am trying to produce a few more supervisor-oriented fact sheets. My goal is to make each one--more or less--a workshop or mini-seminar that you can give to supervisors. Simply use the fact sheet as your guide.

So, keep your eyes peeled for them. You will see one or two of these supervisor-oriented fact sheets in the next Group 6 set of fact sheets that will be available soon. (Hey, did you see Group 5?)

Please note. If you are on my list for free fact sheets, you may get two e-mails when I send them out. I always send out the fact sheets through the EAP Toolbox (that's what you are reading now). However, I also use a separate list of about 400 workplace professionals who have only signed up for only fact sheets. If you are on both lists, you will know it because you will get two messages.

"Unsubscribe" from the reproducible fact sheet list if you get two messages and you find that annoying.

Make sure you put dfapublish@aol.com and publisher@eaptools.com in your address book. If you don't--most stuff is going to your spam file. I send out a lot of otherwise expensive free-bees, so you don't want to miss them.

PRESS RELEASE (Then the workshop outline follows.)

Price of Gas Takes Toll on Employee Loyalty, Finds TransitCenter Study:One-Quarter of Workers Considering Changing Jobs to Improve Commute

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Rising fuel prices and worsening traffic are driving 26 percent of employees to consider changing jobs to improve their commutes, reports a study conducted by BusinessWeek Research Services (BWRS) and commissioned by TransitCenter, Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides tax-free transit benefits as a means to promote mass transit use. The survey, entitled, "The Impact of Commuting on Employees," finds that 48 percent of employees say their commute is getting worse. The increased frustration is building a bigger appetite for commute-focused relief in the workforce. Indeed, 65 percent of employees say they expect their companies to step up and take the lead in easing their commuting difficulties.

"Three years ago the price of gas wasn't considered an HR issue," said Larry Filler, president and CEO of TransitCenter. "Today, it's starting to take its toll on employee loyalty and becoming a serious concern." The study also found that nearly a quarter, or 24 percent of employees, say they're late to work at least three times a month because of traffic, a drain on workplace productivity.

Geography is now a critical factor in the level of employee willingness to change jobs, according to the TransitCenter survey findings. Nearly one of three (31 percent) people who live in the suburbs or rural areas and travel to jobs in the city say they're willing to consider taking another job to improve their commute. And nearly one in two employees (46 percent) who live in the city and reverse-commute, would also consider a new job for a better commute. When asked what commuter-related benefits would be most attractive in their new jobs, employees cite flextime (79 percent), telecommuting (72 percent), pre-tax commuter benefits (54 percent), and subsidies for their pre-tax commuter benefits (47 percent).

The study polled 1,048 respondents in Chicago, New York and San Francisco in October 2007. These cities were chosen due to their geographically dispersed markets and high concentration of commuters as identified by the U.S. Census' 2005 American Community Survey. The survey has a 95 percent confidence level with a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.

A copy of the TransitCenter and BusinessWeek Research Services survey report is available by contacting Charles Kim at ckim@transitcenter.com.


{Copyright DFA Publishing, LLC and EAPtools.com}

Feel free to use this outline for a short, supervisor-oriented presentation on improving employee morale with no budget
(c) DFA Publishing & Consulting.

Boosting Employee Morale When Your Budget Is Zero

The positive effects of maintaining high employee morale have been well documented. High morale reduces turnover, improves performance, creates loyalty, and generally makes for a more pleasant work environment. Nothing makes a manager's job easier than supervising a group of people who enjoy coming to work.

Now try telling your boss that you'd like to add a morale-boosting fund to next year's budget. Did you just get laughed out of the office? Don't worry. Most of the best ways to boost morale are free.

Higher morale? No foolin'
When it comes to improving employee morale, there's no gaming the system. Workplace culture is shaped by thousands of daily experiences. It can take years to form. Change requires sincere and sustained effort.

Your role
Multiple surveys show that wages and benefits rank relatively low on the list of things that influence employee morale. So what does influence it? You. An employee's relationship with his supervisor is a prime determinant of job satisfaction. Here are some cost-free ways to start building morale today:

- Encourage open communication and allow for respectful disagreement. Make your expectations clear. Share information, future plans, and company direction.

- Solicit advice and input on changes, procedures, or plans that affect your employees. Pull opinions from timid employees by asking direct questions like, "Brad, what are your concerns?" and "Cheryl, do you have anything to add?" Admit that you sometimes make mistakes and don't always have the right answers.

- Give frequent feedback. Report the wins as well as the losses. Tell your employees what they're doing right as often as you tell them what they're doing wrong. Use an outstanding performance as an example of how to do things the right way.

- Praise your employees publicly for their successes. Praise them to others when they're not around to hear it. There's no greater compliment than hearing from a third party that someone has been saying good things about you.

- Concentrate on helping employees learn and grow from their mistakes rather than on assigning blame. Create a culture of continuing education. Admit that you also have room to grow.

- Manage disruptive employees. One person can poison an entire culture if left unchecked. Start by addressing the disruptive employee's concerns. If you can't come to a mutually satisfactory solution, termination may be necessary.

- Discipline privately and discreetly. Don't allow disciplinary action to become personal. Be brief and to the point, and then let it go. Never humiliate or demean an employee. Never bad-mouth your employees to others.

- Build trust by backing your employees, protecting their interests, and shielding them from unfair criticism.

- Address employee concerns promptly, and give verbal status reports on issues that you are still working to resolve. If you can't resolve an employee concern, be up front about why. It's important for employees to know that you didn't forget about them due to lack of interest.

- Use small perks like allowing an employee to knock off work a few hours early after completing a big project. This reinforces to employees that hard work is recognized and appreciated

- Learn something about each employee's personal life and show an interest in it. Share some part of yourself with them. Loan an employee one of your favorite books, share a recipe, or swap tips on the best places to shop.

- Give employees control over their work space, desk, decorations, lighting, and other small matters. Everyone needs an occasional win.

Developing good employee morale is a matter of developing your own personal and managerial skills. Employee morale, your own included, can fluctuate as workplace dynamics change over time. View your attempts to lift morale as an ongoing process rather than an ending point. No one gets it right all the time, but the more thought and effort you put into it, the greater your success will be.

Thanks. Take care!

Dan Feerst, LISW