Hey Coach, 

It seems everything the world and Mother Nature has thrown at us lately has had a negative impact on morale of my crews and office staff. What can you suggest I do to inspire our employees and lift their spirits? 

Dear‭ ‬Chuck‭,‬

There’s‭ ‬no doubt events like we have experienced in the past year can have a hugely negative influence on your employees’‭ ‬morale‭. ‬You are wise to be concerned about it‭. ‬Low morale leads to lower productivity‭, ‬reduced quality‭, ‬or even safety problems‭. ‬Nothing good comes from an employeeرor worse‭, ‬a group of employeesرwhose morale is suffering‭. ‬As leaders‭, ‬itصs up to us to constantly find ways to create a work environment in which our people feel motivated and inspired‭. ‬To lift their spirits‭, ‬here are‭ ‬three actions you can take now‭.


Create a well-designed pep talk and deliver it enthusiastically. Consider these key points when designing your talk:

  • Open by acknowledging the current situation your teams are facing.
  • Express appreciation for everyone’s effort.
  • Tell them something positive about the situation.
  • Be thorough and factually correct. Do your homework!
  • Ask them to suggest ways that will improve morale.
  • Describe to them a “light at the end of the tunnel.”
  • Close with a strong message about working safely.

Tips for the pep-talk:

  • Speak as if you are in charge—because you are in charge. 
  • Make eye contact with everyone.
  • Project your voice so all can hear.
  • Practice, practice, practice so you can speak with confidence.
  • Be passionate, enthusiastic, and positive.


Whenever it’s appropriate, tell stories about your experiences or poignant stories about others to give your employees a shot of inspiration. Your storytelling will inspire your employees when they can relate to the challenges you have faced. In general, stories have the power to shift one’s mindset from “things that are terrible” to “things that aren’t so bad.” 

To tell a relevant story, convey details about of a time when it seemed the entire world was falling apart on you and those around you. Tell your team how bad things were, what concerns you had at the time, what your emotions were like. Then describe the actions you took, the behaviors you developed, and the lessons learned. Then describe how that team eventually pulled together to see a better day. 


If you have a small number of employees or just a few team members needing more attention than the others, conduct one-on-one sessions that are well thought out. They can influence your team’s morale in a big way. In these sessions, show you’re available to listen to their concerns. When your employees feel heard, they know you care about them. And, morale heads in the right direction. 


Regardless of the form of inspiration you choose to implement, you might also provide regular (daily or weekly) dosages of motivation through inspirational quotes. They serve as subtle reminders of good times ahead and all the positive things we enjoy in our world. 

About the author:

As a leadership development expert, Randy Goruk works with construction industry leaders to improve employee engagement and business growth. Register to receive his Leadership Tip of the Week at www.LeadersEdge360.com, or contact him directly to learn how he can help you and your team: randy@LeadersEdge360.com.

Modern Contractor Solutions, March 2021
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