When your office is charged with investigating the agency you are a part of, you are at best looked at warily by the rest of the agency you oversee.  This can make positive employee morale especially challenging in investigative offices.  In order to keep staff morale high, the investigative team must focus on it even more extensively than most other agency groups.  Here are five tips to accomplish just that.

Don’t Allow Toxic Personalities in Your Office. People who are always negative, self-centered or manipulative do plenty of damage in any office, but in an investigative office they are too toxic to tolerate.  When in doubt, pass over a candidate.  If you get one in your office, find a way to remove the negativity, as it will quickly spread and do permanent damage.  Each team member needs to understand that they have responsibility for keeping morale high.  Be open and honest with them about the stresses that can come with the job, and make sure that each member of the team is committed to making it a positive work environment.

Make sure that everyone is invested in your team goals, and that they understand how their work directly contributes to the team’s overall success. If you’d like some more insight on a process to achieve this team buy-in, read our white paper on the topic.

Demonstrate to your team that you trust them. Provide them the autonomy to accomplish tasks without micromanagement.  Keep them in the loop, to the extent that you’re allowed to do so.  If employees know that you let them know about what the team will be facing in the coming months, they’re less likely to worry about what might be coming that you haven’t told them about.  Providing them with some operational information shows respect for your team, and shows that you understand that they’re impacted by these types of things.

Make sure that you’re getting a good feel for your staff’s mid- and longer-term career goals. Regular one-on-one meetings are a great opportunity to gain this insight.  Provide team members with growth opportunities that will prepare them to achieve the career growth they’re seeking.  Career advancement is especially important to the highest-achieving employees, which you want to retain.

Take an interest in an employee’s life, not just their work. The Society of Human Resource Management is the largest HR industry group in the country, and they conduct a survey on job satisfaction each year.  In 2016, the most important factor for job satisfaction was whether they felt that employees across the company were respected.  It’s difficult to respect a person if you don’t know anything about them beyond their work output.

Take some time to get to know your staff, to understand what’s really important to them.  If they need time off for an important family event, try to accommodate them.  Ask how their family is, and show some genuine interest.  At the end of the day, it’s these types of interactions that let employees know that you care about them, and not just their work.

Is your case management system so out-of-date that it’s hurting employee morale?  Let CMTS take care of this problem for you!  Call us at 919.600.5102 or contact us online to learn more.