by TRISOFT team
Sep 22, 2017 · 8 min read

“It is better to have one person working with you than three people working for you.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower

It’s true, life is made of ups and downs. And honestly, it would be boring if everything was the same all the time. Usually in the beginning of everything, whether it’s a new relationship, a new job, a new project, we feel a lot of excitement and energy. With time, and if we are not very careful about it, that energy can decrease while new emotions arise. Things are no different when it comes to working in a team.

High vs low morale teams

If you’ve ever been part of a high-morale team, chances are you were happy to come to work every day. You had fun collaborating with your team-mates, you were able to come up with great ideas together and you got nice results as well; you were focused and had a positive attitude. When teams are motivated and positive, they accomplish more and they have also fun being a part of.

On the other hand, there are teams that are sometimes struggling with morale. Maybe you’ve been part of such a team also. And if you have, you already know that it’s no fun to constantly hear sighs and see eyes rolling. These are the teams who are also more bound to adopt a sloppy approach to accomplishing their tasks. This is why the teams that are suffering from low morale, require a proactive response from you, as their leader.

The benefits of positive teams

Having a healthy attitude contributes to people’s success and accomplishments. Happy, content, positive thinking people are more successful in their careers, more creative, work well with other people…and that’s been proven in several studies. Being positive is a main ingredient for success. There are many benefits you can attain by having a happy team. Here are some of them:

  • Happiness encourages creativity
  • Happy employees are more productive
  • Happy employees stay for longer
  • They provide better services
  • They equal lower costs
  • They are better at handling adversity
  • They are better at sealing the deal

The best approach to tackling low morale is to work on implementing positive changes before it takes hold and lead to poor cooperation and low productivity. You can use a few of the following tactics to boost your team’s attitude:

1. Communicate often

This is one of the easiest ways to improve your team’s morale, through communication. It is vital to check-in regularly with your team and ask them how they are feeling, what are their challenges, what they need and how you can assist, if you can. Just make sure to have regular meetings with them, as a team and individually, as well. And make yourself available, so they can approach you whenever they feel like they need to.

And when some important changes are about to happen or new initiatives need implementation, communicate this to your team ahead of time. Honesty is really appreciated among people, even when it’s not good news. But people should be treated with respect no matter what. Listen to their opinions and keep them informed on matters that may affect them.

2. Ask for feedback

How can we improve anything if we don’t know what to improve? Great leaders have a skill of noticing what’s wrong. But…there are times (few…rare…) when even great leaders are too caught up in their work and miss noticing important details about their team. What can you do? Well, you can simply ask for feedback, and, by doing that, you send the message that you care about your team members and that you’re living to the core of your values. And if you take action on the feedback you have received, it’s even a stronger indicator that you truly care and you’ll do what it takes to address the issues

Here are some questions you can use when you’re asking for feedback:

  • How are you feeling? What’s the morale around you?
  • On a scale of 1–10, how happy are you? Why?
  • Give me one idea that could improve the products or services provided by our company
  • How can I be a better leader?
  • What were some great contributions made by your team members?
  • What can we do to make you more successful?
  • What challenges are you facing? Where are you stuck?

3. Confront frustrations head on

Becoming frustrated at work from time to time is quite common. Sometimes is nothing really, but sometimes this requires your attention and intervention, or otherwise it could become a real problem. Don’t wait for these moments to naturally pass, they might not go on their own. Rather use these moments to address the issue and ask for feedback, and see if you can come up with a solution. Be proactive in this process and ask the person who expressed their frustration why they’re feeling down and what you can do to change that. Yes… it can be awkward in the beginning, but showing a person that you’re sincerely interested in their well being is a great way to help them get over their issues and find a solution together.

To break the ice, you could share a personal incident when you felt similar to them, maybe you felt frustrated with a colleague, with a task, or an ex-manager and they can relate and feel like they are understood. Encourage them to make suggestions on how the problem can be solved and how to improve the team’s dynamic.

4. Show your appreciation

People always feel good when their efforts are being seen, valued, recognized and rewarded. It is important to pay attention to those moments when you can step in and recognize someone’s exceptional results or a helpful attitude or behavior someone had. That can be done in many ways. Send a recognition email to your team, highlighting their efforts and dedication. Offer someone tickets to the theater or a show, offer them vouchers at restaurants, or if you know your team members closely, offer them gifts you know they’ll really enjoy. If someone spends overtime hours working on finishing an important project, you could tell them to leave a few hours earlier whenever they need to.

And maybe even more important that any gift you could give them, you can tell them how much you value them and their contribution any day of the year, without any special occasion. Of course, if you can afford, you could also give them pecuniary incentives — yearly, quarterly bonuses, whatever works for you.

5. Incorporate play

Bringing play into work has a lot of benefits, recent studies have shown. Play can decrease stress, absenteeism and health care costs. It also helps with having a more energised work environment and a more positive attitude. Having the opportunity to play on the job helps employees feel more valued and trusted, and they are more focused and engaged in their work, more creative and have better morale and better results.

Some big companies like Google, Facebook or Linkedin have given their employees access to play, and this is not only for lunchtime or after work, they can get up and play whenever they get tired during their workday. You can incorporate all sorts of fun activities, such as a ping pong table in a break room, volleyball, board games, and so on.

We know, you might think that playing at work is quite a distraction, or even a waste of time. But actually work could benefit from play. Play could better contribute to productivity and could really be a solution for creating a more engaged and energised workforce. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!

6. Make time for having fun

Yes, we all postpone having fun, there are always deadlines to be met, projects to be delivered, people missing. There’s never a right time. But try to have a team meeting out of the office over morning coffee, or have a short Friday and go afterwards out for a beer with your team. Celebrate birthdays, weddings, newborns, or small victories in the office. Just find a way to have fun: set up a Friday pizza, go to karaoke nights, picnics, paintball, or whatever you can come up with.

Engage in activities that allow you to get to know your team personally and to create a bound outside of the office as well. People who have fun at work and with their team members are more engaged, motivated and definitely more productive.

7. Lead by example

Being around negative people drags everybody down. It’s impossible (and not recommended, if we may!) to be jolly all the time, but it is important to come to work with a good attitude every day and to try minimizing as much as possible your complaints in front of your team. You can set the tone for your team’s attitude, because they look at you to see how to approach what’s going on in the company and, remember…you influence them greatly.

As a leader, you must make your team’s morale a top priority, and be consistent with your efforts. You cannot improve your team’s attitude without regularly communicating with them, actively responding to their feedback, and showing your appreciation on their accomplishments.


All these ideas have these themes in common: appreciation, caring, recognition. You can go far by taking these small steps. Even if you’re pleased with the current level of your team’s morale, you can still implement one or two of these ideas, if you haven’t already. This way you are making sure morale does not become a problem for your team. You can check your team’s morale regularly by undertaking an anonymous survey — some great ideas can come out of it. But whatever you choose to do, keep in mind that it is much easier to maintain a positive attitude among your team than to rebuild what’s already broken.

At TRISOFT, office fun is a constant. We are mindful of the countless benefits a positive team has, and feel that being a part of a happy and healthy group makes us more creative and more productive. So…come join us :) !

Remote Symfony Team

Written by

We are TRISOFT, a Symfony oriented software development company, lead by @symfonydevro. Get in touch with us at or

Remote Symfony Team

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade