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Boosting morale in the workplace

Getting the best out of your workforce

We spend most of our waking lives at work. For most people, work is an enjoyable, challenging experience. But for some, an unfulfilling job or poorly run workplace can leave them feeling undervalued, apathetic or even stressed.
One of the immense challenges of people management is understanding and meeting the needs of all your employees. You want your workplace to be a happy, positive environment that encourages productivity, innovation and collaboration. But this is easier said than done.
For this very reason the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), along with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and Investors in People UK (IP), have come up with a series of management competencies. These help managers develop their own skills in order to boost morale and prevent or reduce stress at work.
After extensive research and consultation, the HSE identified four main abilities that are essential for managers to incorporate into their management style.

Show respect and be responsible

As a manager, this involves having integrity, being honest and treating members of your team with respect, as well as being a good role model. Managing your own emotions is vital - you need to remain calm under pressure and take a consistent approach. You also need to be open and considerate to others. Negotiating deadlines, being realistic, dealing with problems quickly and giving positive as well as negative feedback, are all good ways of demonstrating this.


Manage and communicate existing and future work

A big part of this is about being proactive. Creating clear lines of communication, action plans, regularly reviewing processes and prioritising workloads, all help to ensure that everyone knows where they stand. As does giving direction through regular team meetings, delegating responsibilites and encouraging collaboration. Quick and effective problem-solving is also a key skill in this area.

Reason and manage difficult situations

This involves managing conflict objectively and head on, and seek advice from other when necessary, whether from other managers or your Human Resources (HR) department. Taking responsibility for when things go wrong, as well as supporting employees through difficult situations at work also links into this.

Manage the individual within the team

This competency is about making yourself available to all the members of your team, especially on a one-to-one basis. Being sociable and having fun with your employees, as well as listening and being concerned about their well-being both inside and outside the workplace allows you to get to know each member of your team on a personal level.

Competency indicator tool

To check whether you have the skills needed to put the four competencies into practise, the HSE have developed a competency indicator tool. It's a questionnaire that helps you reflect on your own management style and behaviour. It's an opportunity to find out where you might need development and what areas you need to be more aware of. It's also a chance to ask your team where they think your strentghs and weaknesses lie, and what they find most helpful.
A guidance leaflet detailing the 'Management competencies for preventing and reducing stress at work' can be found on the CIPD website. The 'Stress management competencies is on the HSE website.

Bupa Eployee Assistance

If you feel you would benefit from talking to a counsellor about boosting morale, please call Bupa Employee Assistance free on 0800 269 616. The service is also available to your spouse/partner and any dependants living in the same house hold.

Further information:


Employee Assisstance Programme (EAP)

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