Building Morale

Others can try but no one can build morale like the leaders.

The power of Morale

John Maxwell comments, “When you’re winning nothing hurts.” Morale makes your successes seem bigger and your failures seem smaller.

Destroying Morale

Nitpicking destroys morale. My wife and I had lunch with a young couple yesterday. The young man volunteered (past tense) for a nonprofit in his region. He gave his time, talent, and energy. He stopped volunteering because everything he did was nitpicked. In other words, leaders consistently offered minor suggestions to improve his performance. The result of nitpicking is people feel unappreciated.

It’s amazing how many positive contributions go unnoticed. I began last week’s leadership meeting with a discussion of good things happening in our organization. The ball started rolling as we began “seeing” some of the small things individuals do that result in significant, positive contributions. It was a morale building conversation.

One way to build Morale

You can build morale in individuals by noticing the small, positive contributions they make. Call it nitpumping as opposed to nitpicking. Morale builders pump others up rather than picking them apart. Nitpumping begins by seeing the contributions others make. It’s too easy to overlook. Furthermore, it’s not enough to have a conversation in a leadership meeting that sees the good others do. The good we see must get to the say level. In order to build morale, our leadership team needs to do some nitpumping. If you see the good, say it.

How’s the morale in your organization, department, or family? Are you intentionally building morale by nitpumping or have you fallen into the trap of destroying morale by nitpicking.


What other ways can leaders build morale?

Do you have a morale building or a morale busting story you can share?