Boosting the Morale of a Team – Getting More Work from the Team Members

Whether you are a team leader at school or a manager in a private organisation or a principal in an educational institution or in any of the position where you need to take work from a number of people, it is a challenge to get the optimum work output from each of them. Here, let us look into the issues that might pop up and the solutions for such problems.

Being a Head – A Headache?

Is it a boon or a bane to be on the top of the hierarchy? It depends on how the person takes it. It is just like seeing the glass half-filled or half empty. Top positions can be seen as an excellent opportunity to get better recognition and respect and also to be in some command over the policies of the organization so that you can confidently interfere in those policies that have a detrimental effect on your subordinates. This can be a very good chance for the leader in you to come out.

There is also another face to this. Managing many people under you can become a big headache if things are not organised properly or if you have a hostile situation in a team. So here are is one of one of the major challenges that you can face as a superior person – Social Loafing.

Social Loafing – Evading Away from Responsibilities

Social Loafing is a phenomenon where the members of a group run away from their responsibilities and do not do their work properly. This happens because of the following reasons:

  1. There is somebody dominating – It is either you or somebody in the group who is dominating others in the group, thus reducing the motivation of the group members.
  2. There are too many people in the team – If the work is too less and the members are too many, group members are likely to escape from their responsibilities thinking that others will take care of their duties.
  3. The members of the group are not in good terms with each other – there is a problem with the interpersonal relationship among the team members.
  4. The group members are not in good terms with you – Think what is going wrong – are you giving them too much work,or scolding for the small mistakes – see what is the cause of the problem.

How to Deal with Social Loafing?

There are a few strategies that Industrial Psychologists suggest to deal with Social Loafing.  Some of them are:

  1. Treat all the members of the group equally. Though it is human nature to have your favorites and hates in the group, make sure that this is not exhibited in the treatment of the members, so that no one feels special or superior to others.
  2. Reduce the number of people in the group. Make sure there are just enough people to take up the assigned work and no one feels as an “extra person”. If there are many people, divide the assignment into smaller parts and assign each person them and make sure they are aware that their work, though small is of high importance.
  3. Give individual recognition on the successful accomplishment of the tasks.
  4. Promote harmony among the group members and see to that there are as less conflicts as possible.
  5. Always remember that you also are a member of the group. Though you are given certain powers, make sure you do not misuse them. Always make sure that the group members are comfortable talking to you about the assignments and any problems in the team while working.

Team Building

Team building refers to the activities that are taken up to enhance the interpersonal relationships in the teams and assign roles. Team building can actually be fun and effective way of building a highly bonded group. This helps in better co-operation between the team members, in turn resulting in more desirable positive results with more quality work output.

Some of the effective team building activities are as follow:

  1. There can be games organized to promote team work like treasure hunt, which actually require the cooperation of each member of the team.
  2. Occasional office outings, lunches, parties, etc. to boost the motivation of the team.
  3. Organize competitions which bring out the hidden talents of the team member, which may or may not be related to their job. It promotes better understanding between the team members which in turn lead to better cooperation.
  4. Try to give incentives to the team members like family trips to some tourist places, bonus pay or gifts to family members so that they feel you care for them and their families.

A Living Example: Savji Dholakia

Savji Dholakia is a businessman in the diamond industry. It is indeed inspiring the way he shares his profits with his employees. This has never caused him any loss. In fact, his trade is increasing year by year, thanks to the hard work of his employees. Here is an interview with him by the NDTV which was viral in the social media.

A diamond merchant in Gujarat has gifted over 1,000 employees cars, homes and jewellery as Diwali bonus in a stunning act of generosity, Oprah-style. Savjibhai Dholakiya says his workers deserve big rewards for their hard work and loyalty.

Here are highlights of his interview with NDTV’s Ravish:

This is God’s blessing that I have come this far from zero. I had nothing. This is God’s gift.

I have experienced this in my life that I will not have less if I give.

It is the law of nature.

When I sow one seed, I’ll have hundred.

These are my employees. They will not let me suffer losses.

So we thought that we should have a loyalty programme.

In 1991 when we started the company, our exports were worth Rs 1 Crore & now it’s close to Rs 6000 Crore.

Our employees are responsible for this growth.

We analysed the work done by these 1200 people and realised that they had a major role in taking us forward.

People should hear about these 1200 people and be inspired. Everyone should feel responsible for their own work.

People have skills but they need motivation.

We had our own method of choosing people.

My son has done an MBA from New York and has been working with me for 6 years.

Everyone got together and analysed who are the people responsible for our growth. We know who has added what value to the company.

What we have given them is nothing compared to the effort put in by these people.

You are speaking to a person who has had little formal education but I read every day, learn every day. I inspire myself, motivate myself.

I have studied till the 4th Grade. I dropped out of school when I was 12 and joined the diamond industry.

The employees who I gave gifts to – I did their kind of work in Surat for 10 years with my brothers.

All four brothers put together will not make a graduate. My youngest brother is the most educated – he made it to the 10th Grade.

Q: Are you a Communist?

I don’t understand what ‘communist’ means. Is there a Gujarati word for it? I have learnt whatever little Hindi I know speaking to people like you.

In the next five years, you’ll see how this impacts the diamond industry.

We had decided on a budget of Rs.50 Crores.

I wanted to give cars to everyone but then we found out that about 200 employees don’t have their own houses.

Then we found out that there were 500 people who had both houses and cars. So we then thought we should give them jewellery for their wives.

Wives support the workers who work here. We do not give priority to wives in Gujarat so we thought this should be our priority.

I am happy that you’ve highlighted this effort. I did not expect it. I think people will be inspired by this move.

Even in your industry, the mindsets will change and you’ll have higher salaries.

I’m a very ordinary man and you’ve made me very big.

This stadium belongs to our factory because I saw Ganguly play cricket in London.

My workers play cricket and I sit in the pavilion and watch them.

We have a gym, a steam-sauna facility. We have other sports facilities; the managers and workers play volleyball together.

Whether the government gives us an exemption in taxes or not it doesn’t matter. Paying your taxes will not kill you. These 1200 people have contributed over Rs.10 Crores to taxes. 

I have decided to call diamond-cutters ‘Diamond Engineers’ because they may not be educated but they work better than engineers.

And we want to call the workers who polish diamonds ‘Diamond Artists’.

These people earn Rs. 70-80,000 a work. They’re people who earn by their talent and skill.

I have workers from 21 states in India and 361 villages.

Everyone’s parents know me because I take them on pilgrimages to Haridwar. We’re indebted to their parents too.

I’m in what is called ‘social business’.

When you give money to someone, the responsibility of the person who takes that money increases.

I am a businessman. I want more therefore I’m paying more. I’m not doing anyone a favour.

I have with three others have bought a plane to start charter service for Surat. The idea is to give a service not profit. But you see in the next five years this too will be profitable.

I’m trying to show businessmen what they can do. I’m also telling all workers to work hard like my workers do so that your bosses are compelled to act…..

No one from the Surat diamond industry has told me what I’m doing is wrong…..I am a trader – I give first and then I take… some people do it the other way round.

By God’s grace, none of the 28 members in the family go against what I say. My wife or brothers have never disagreed with what I do.

I had given three Maruti cars as gifts 18 years ago. They cost Rs. 52,000 each and I had no money then.

We have never sacked people but there are 2 or 3 per cent people who sometimes do not fit our criteria – but some of them get training and come back and we hire them again.

I train my workers – they do not chew tobacco, they respect their parents…..

My factory is not to make diamonds, it makes men (Meri factory heerey bananey ki nahi hain, manav banane ki hain)[truncated by WhatsApp].


  4. A forward viral in social media 2015

Author: Ms. Nayana M R