MENLO PARK, Calif. — The still uncertain economy hasn't kept some workers from smiling a little more at the office. Four in 10 (42 percent) chief financial officers (CFOs) interviewed for an Accountemps survey said employee morale has improved at least somewhat in the last 12 months. Fifty-three percent of respondents said the mood among their teams is unchanged from a year ago.
The survey was developed by Accountemps, the world's first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with more than 1,400 CFOs across the United States.
CFOs were asked, "How has employee morale in your organization changed, if at all, from 12 months ago?" Their responses:
"Companies have been taking steps to increase job satisfaction and boost employee motivation among teams that have been through a difficult few years," said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps and author of Motivating Employees For Dummies® (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.). "Businesses that recognize and address the concerns of staff members during the extended recovery can instill greater loyalty over the long term."
Messmer explained, "Managers play a key role in ensuring workers stay productive and do not become overburdened by providing the necessary resources, from technology to additional personnel."
Accountemps highlights the top five morale busters and boosters:
Assuming employees are lucky to have a job
Thanking staff for jobs well done: Make sure they have the support tools they need to perform at a high level and advance within the company.
Not answering emails or voicemails from employees in a timely fashion
Staying in communication. If you're busy at the time the message is received, set expectations of when you will answer the person's questions.
Ignoring rumors about the business
Sharing information about how the company is performing, even if the news isn't positive: Have an open-door policy to answer staff questions.
Creating a "no" zone where new ideas languish because they lack support
Encouraging staff to be creative: If you can't immediately implement a proposed initiative, explain why and let the team know you value their input.
Failing to recognize staff accomplishments
Acknowledging employees for their contributions to the organization's success: Celebrate top performers by hosting recognition lunches and publicly praising them in front of colleagues and company leaders.