Boost Morale At The Office: Getting Over Wednesday’s Hump

Wednesday is colloquially known as “hump” day. Like the summit of a mountain or even the round top of a molehill, the middle of the week takes great effort to reach. And, workers wonder if an end to the office grind will ever be in sight.

As a law firm administrator, there are budgets to manage, cases to run, and personnel to train. Focusing on employee morale may seem like a trivial pursuit among all the daily tasks.

However, poor morale can keep new employees from signing on to your firm, old employees from productively managing their casework, and translate to a lower bottom line.

So, this Wednesday, motivate your team with a few of these simple morale-boosting ideas. 

1. Change the tone of your next e-mail or memo. Inter-office communication is notoriously dry. E-mails begin with “please address all mailroom requests in this manner,” or “I’ll be out of the office until 2 o’clock this afternoon.”

But, when you’re in charge, you get to set the tone of the office. Instead of stale-male, spice up your e-communications with song lyrics, funny YouTube videos, or joke.

Remind your colleagues that it’s ok (and encouraged) to laugh, or even—dare I say it—to have fun at the office.

2. Share good news. Is your firm offering better benefits? Will your team get free coffee and breakfast this Friday? Are the partners restructuring and promoting from within?

Whatever the good news, choose a low morale day on which to share it. Sometimes attorneys need a pick-me-up—like an event to look forward to—with a kick slightly stronger than caffeine.

3. Donate your sports, music, dance tickets. If morale is especially low, why not donate your basketball court-side seats to the hardest worker on your case? Or, start a raffle, pool, random drawing, etc…

Whatever the method, the means to this end is higher spirits and camaraderie within the firm, while enjoying an event outside it.

4. Provide unsolicited (but deserved) praise. Has a particular individual been more negative than usual?  Don’t let a single person bring the entire team down.

Consider sending them a greeting card. If you know what’s wrong—bad health, death in the family, or other personal matters—your kind words will be appreciated.

If this employee is typically a hard worker, write a letter outlining your appreciation for their accomplishments.

A bit of unsolicited praise—when deserved—will go a long way in terms of professional respect for and loyalty to the firm on the part of your employees.

5. Lead by example—bring on the energy!

When all else fails, law firm administrators and managing partners should lead by example when it comes to poor morale.

General Colin Powell once said, “Optimism is a force-multiplier.” And, when you bounce through the halls with a tigger-like enthusiasm, the positive vibes will be contagious.

Looking for the source of workplace negativity? First look in a mirror, it may have started with you.

Whatever the extra incentive, boosting morale is a great way to increase firm productivity.

Watch out, bad attitudes are catching. Address them sooner rather than later, or you could make a mountain out of a molehill of poor morale.

-WB

Not sure where to begin? Start with C4CM’s course, “Dealing with Difficult People at Work.” Difficult bosses, employees, coworkers and customers are much more than mere challenges. If you can’t handle and cope with them, they can hurt your productivity and profitability, dampen morale, drain energy, cause stress and simply make life miserable.You can’t avoid difficult people, and most of the time you can’t change them. But what you can do is learn how to understand them and develop techniques to deal with them effectively.

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