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Readers Speak Out: Don’t forget the niceties when it comes to raising employee morale


The Sept. 3 edition of PeopleTalk invited readers to offer up insights on how to improve morale among employees, especially during a downturn that has culled many of their colleagues. Reader Bob Brunk offered the following advice:

"My position is closing stores and I am also a past business owner. I have found through the years that no matter the reason for the store closing it is imperative that employees understand that it is not their fault. It is the times or the demographics. With that said, I make it a point every week to show up with goodies on Friday, something as simple as tubs of pretzel sticks or trays of cookies from the local supermarket.

And whenever I can, I stop and talk about the future [with departing associates]. How is your resume coming? Will you go back to school? How are your children or your mother doing? And I tell them that this is not the time to not look ahead; it is time to take the next step, take the leap.

What does this have to do with morale? Every ongoing business has a straining budget and there are no extra dollars for pay increases, but they all have a nucleus of people who carry on at the job.

So get out the buckets of candy, the cans of pretzels, the platters of cookies from the supermarket. Be creative. Improving morale is about saying thank you. Small things are large when it comes from the heart. A good manager will get the job done through the people. People make the manager, and a manager’s success is in how he or she manages.

P.S. Staples has a great assortment of tubs from peanut butter pretzels to chocolate coated candies and more."  

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