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Raising Morale and Lowering Misconduct
By Carl ToersBijns, former deputy warden, ASPC Eyman, Florence AZ
Published: 03/14/2016

In every workplace we have those employees who are totally engaged and productive while following organizational culture, customs and practices making them some of the most valuable assets. Raising morale is one sure way of addressing retention and turnover rates as they embrace the work culture positively and productively.

On the other hand, the actions of a few who do not engage in productivity, burdens other employees and supervisors with their complacency and shoddy work habits. There needs to be a process in place to take a proactive approach to lowering misconduct and providing positive guidance steps to avoid repetitive negative behaviors.

Reducing misconduct means to account and reduce the risks factors by reporting them early. Since many good employees take pride in their work, and intend to stay with the organization for a long-term commitment, they should also be willing to go the extra measures to protect their organization or workplace.

This kind of management ensures better independent decisions and takes action in ways that are consistent with company culture, values and expectations. Having employees who engage confidently and ensure objectives are met, requires less supervision and they adapt easily to workplace changing roles and responsibilities.

The first step and the most important step is to ensure that those engaged employees or workers observe and report misconduct immediately to ensure safety practices are never compromised and that the workplace does not become disruptive or dangerous. Under positive supervisory guidance and re-assurances that their voice, their role and their feedback is welcomed and necessary when they observe misconduct allows the issue(s) to be resolved sooner than later.

Employee engagement is most often influenced by factors that have nothing to do with money. Some are so fundamental; we often overlook their existence or usefulness until it is too late to correct the problems. Here are three ways leaders can engage employees:
  1. Respectful Work Environment
    Employee engagement starts with the workplace. Do employees feel safe? Do they feel comfortable at work and among their peers? Management has to be accessible and seen around the company in every work area and on every shift.
  2. Rewards
    To encourage employees to raise their hands and share their thoughts on ways to improve products or business processes, take the time to listen to them and reward them for their ideas. Every company rewards their employees differently. Some develop incentive plans, others hand out bonuses to top performers, but rewards don’t always have to be monetary.
    “It doesn’t take much to get someone motivated. Just pay attention to someone. Say ‘Great job.’ Ask what would make their day better–and then follow through if you can.”
  3. Think Outside the Box
    Being asked for feedback and seeing that their ideas were valued leads employees to become more invested in their jobs. Do not scoff at those ideas never tried before as thinking out of the box has proven to be a successful means to address and correct workplace failures or misfortunes.

Corrections.com author, Carl ToersBijns, (retired), has worked in corrections for over 25 yrs He held positions of a Correctional Officer I, II, III [Captain] Chief of Security Mental Health Treatment Center – Program Director – Associate Warden - Deputy Warden of Administration & Operations. Carl’s prison philosophy is all about the safety of the public, staff and inmates, "I believe my strongest quality is that I create strategies that are practical, functional and cost effective."

Other articles by ToersBijns:


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