A “How to Guide” on Building Great Team Morale

aaronBy: Aaron Ganir

You’ve all heard it, you may claim to know it, and I’m willing to bet you’ve experienced it. THEY say employee morale is directly tied to productivity. When stress, unhappy employees, and a lack of gratitude collide; your productivity will crash and burn. If this sounds familiar, simply hit the brakes, reverse this practice killer, and open your eyes to a world of opportunities so you can build strong team morale.

So what are the best ways to boost, lift, and energize team morale? The first thing you must remember is… “It works when you WORK it”. Don’t expect to fix, patch, or solve anything over night. However, the following game plan will help you fast track your results to build, maintain, and sustain a great work environment.

  1. The Now Game Plan – To be accomplished in 30 days or LESS
    1. Start with YOU – Your leadership and how you proceed will make or break the outcome. Give yourself some time to visualize what you want in your practice environment. This is critical in the future decisions you will make.
    2. Seeing is Believing – Organize your thoughts; don’t just shoot from the hip. Start by writing a list of all the positive things in your practice. Many call this a “gratitude list”. If you aren’t familiar with this concept, simply type “gratitude list” into any search engine for a wealth of information you can use. With your commitment to leadership and gratitude in your heart, it’s time to add some effective tools.
    3. Good Communication – Nearly everything you do in the practice must include clear communication that is spoken and heard with each individual. As you make changes to your team make sure you speak the same language when it comes to personality. Use this quick tool to better understand yourself – and others – immediately. One of the most common evaluations for this great team exercise is the DISC Profile from www.internalchange.com. Once you understand how to interact with each other your success towards a healthy morale will increase.
    4. Team Engagement – Silence is deadly. Think back to the interview process with each employee. No one said… “If you hire me I just want you to know that I hate participating in anything as a group, or I love having my ideas and creativity shot down”. You should always make sure team members are involved in team goals and team decisions. Start by involving them in the planning process. Choices and decisions will generate personal buy-in, positivity, and ownership mentality. No input allowed… will lead to low morale because they don’t feel heard.


  1. The Short-Term Game Plan – To be accomplished in 60 days or LESS
    1. Revisit Your Practice Mission Statement – Who are we working for? Do the values, ethics, and environment create a place employees can be proud to represent? This can be a very fun team experience. If you already have one, keep it and make another. This time make a song, chant, or jingle out of it. Divide into departments and brainstorm ides, then come together and have fun making the pieces fit together into one awesome tune that everyone owns.
    2. Emotional and Behavioral Expectations of our team – Everyone likes to work on a team where everyone gets along. What words do you live by in the practice? Years ago, Steve Anderson, founder of the Total Patient Service Institute created, “The Office Culture Guide”. This has become a critical tool in practices all over the country when it comes to creating great team morale. To receive your free copy email us at Answers@TotalPatientService.com.
    3. Home Game Plan – Weekly team training has become a valuable resource to successful teams that want to reach goals and maintain team unity. I’ve lead hundreds of team meetings over the last 16 years. I’ve tested just about every feasible hour during normal business hours and my favorite schedule is the first hour of every Tuesday. This allows time for preparation and the best engagement. We work so hard for our patients. This is our time to work on us. An agenda must always be present. Everyone must have a part or assignment to be engaged in the meeting. Always set aside time for business, skill role-playing, and something energizing. This ensures that your team never walks away with an “empty bucket” which results in low morale.
    4. Away Game PlanChange The Environment. Over the years I have worked with countless teams and one of the most memorable morale builders is, FUN OUTSIDE THE OFFICE. The hardest part is scheduling the date. So make it the first thing you do. This has to be done as a team with everyone present. Once you set the date and time you can start building the most talked about event of the quarter. Yes, I said quarter. Four times a year to do something together as a team. Ideas may include: food-folks & fun, anything involving a spa, sporting events, community events, giving back by serving the community, building something, volunteering somewhere, delivering goodies, flying to CE, or anything that involves the whole team. Remember, budget accordingly and rotate events that cost money with ones that cost little to no money. You can also change things up by allowing departments take turns in planning the Away Game.


  1. The Long-Term Game Plan – The sooner the better
    1. Loyalty is something you can feel. Be loyal to each other as a team. No matter the employee or the employer part of having a stronger team is being able to look out for one another.
    2. Be honest with each other. When you feel comfortable identifying opportunities for growth team morale will flourish.
    3. Re-evaluate the office atmosphere every quarter at a minimum, not as needed. Ask team members to describe the day-to-day feel of the office in one or two sentences. Be quick to identify when you’ve dropped the ball and be committed to get back on track. If you ignore this, you will be inviting back the Morale Monster.
    4. Having good systems in place help build team morale. Some of the greatest frustrations felt by team members are not having the proper system, structure, and order needed to do the job. If you are broken in this area, be humble, get help, and fix it. This alone will bring joy to the team.
    5. Start With YOU. Your commitment is the first step.
    6. Seeing Is Believing. How quick we are to forget. This time have team members create their own gratitude
    7. Good Communication– Imagine everyone working with a bag on their head Silly right? Poor communication skills are the equivalent of wearing a bag on your head or tape over your mouth. So practice good communication.
    8. Team Engagement. Together Everyone Accomplishes More. So get involved or get out.
    9. Revisit Your Practice Mission Statement. Make it fun and post your chant on social media for all the world to see how awesome it to be unified.
    10. Emotional and Behavioral Expectations of Our Team. Don’t practice without it. This will make you an instant leader.
    11. Home Game Plan. It’s time to make them productive and interactive.
    12. Away Game Plan. For Crying Out Loud, Just do it already. Quit talking and start building memories that will be talked about for years.



   Happy Employee’s

+ Healthy Work Environment

= Sustainable Team Morale & Higher Production!