Monday, September 17, 2012

Top Five Ways to Improve Morale in an Army Company

If you're leading a small unit in the Army either as a Company Commander, First Sergeant or Platoon Leader, I'd like to offer you ten helpful tips to improve the morale in your unit. I truly believe that the morale of the unit is dictated by the leader of the unit. A good leader can make a bad unit good and a bad leader can make a good unit bad. That being said, here are five things you can do to improve morale.

1. Set Unit Goals and Share Them: As the leader of a unit, you should establish written goals for the unit. These goals should be incorporated into your command philosophy and the goals should be posted on the unit bulletin board and shared with soldiers. Your goals help tell your soldiers WHY they are doing what they are doing. This is a great morale booster.

2. Provide Tough, Realistic Training: Most people join the military because they want to jump out of airplanes and blow up stuff. They don't want to sit around the unit or armory during training. As the leader, your job is to schedule and provide tough and realistic training. Make sure you send your unit to the field and do fun and challenging training.

3. Lead by Example at all Times: You need to be a sterling role model for your subordinates. You need to do what you say and say what you do. You must show up on time and look like a soldier. Remember that people are always watching the boss. So put your best foot forward. No one wants to work for a slacker.

4. Punish Bad Behavior and Recognize Good Behavior: Don't just punish poor behavior. Yes, you need to hold everyone to the Army standard, but you should also spend lots of time recognizing good behavior. When soldiers do a good job, tell me them about it. Put them in for awards, give them a unit coin, or even pull them aside and give them an "atta boy."

5. Send Thank You Cards: This is one of the best things you can do to improve morale in your unit. Send people thank you cards every month. Pick 3-5 soldiers per month and write them a quick note. It's a nice personal touch and has a huge impact on morale.

These are five helpful ways to improve morale in your Army unit. Obviously, there are many other great things you can do too. You are only limited to your creativity.

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