I do not have much experience as I started my carrier just 3 years back. There are various factors which motivated me to write this blog. I’ve fallen victim to it’s lows and have experienced the occasional highs.How strange that the one thing that drives a company the most is the one thing most companies don’t drive…”Morale”. Morale is often related to “Job Satisfaction”, But I feel, ‘Job Satisfaction’ is an individual phenomenon; while Morale indicates a group phenomenon. In better words, Morale indicates the happiness of the employees with the organizational environment.
Morale is also often believed to be all to do with ‘reward’ and it’s no wonder company directors are so dismissive of improving it. Better morale suggests better reward, and reward suggests ‘money’.What I have found by personal experience and reading various articles is that when poor morale finds a crevice to breed, it festers, grows and consumes all others. It has such a grip that it begins to cross teams, departments… entire infrastructures.
Do you want to know what morale is really about? It’s not money. It’s ‘Recognition’. Recognizing that someone is valuable. Sure, you could do that with money. But how many people do you know that say that they never earn enough. We live in a society that encourages us to live beyond our means. We will never earn enough. It’s not money. It’s recognition.
Morale is normally high when everything is going ‘just right’. When people come in to work, enjoy their job, go home feeling like they accomplished something, and are welcome home. Everything is just right.
What set’s off morale on a downward slope?
Something inevitably goes wrong. Whilst morale is high, we tend to deal with it by happily going about fixing whatever it was that went wrong. If it’s a short fix. A small problem. We deal with it effortlessly with ease.
So it’s not when things go wrong? Or is it? No. It’s when we stop communicating. It’s when something goes wrong (or generally, when it’s about to (we’re all pretty intuitive to what upsets the balance of our happiness)), and we hold back communication.
Even in best of times, morale is delicate, unpredictable thing, Bad morale is insidious. It skulks, lurks, and it simmers just beneath the conversation at the water cooler. But if you keep your eyes and ears open, you’ll know when it’s there. Morale is a business issue, it also causes decline in productivity and quality. Morale is not a software program so can’t be fixed by service packs or patches. It won’t be solved by pizza parties, free gifts and functions.
Reason of Bad Morale
Lack of communication and bad management, or lack of confidence in management, are the two biggest cause of low morale. It doesn’t matter what the economy is like.
In tough times such as these, the people are looking for support, leadership and reassurance, If they are ignored or underestimated there is a morale problem on hands.
* First step to fix it is acknowledging that the problem exists.
* Second would be, realizing that it’s my responsibility to make it better.
Some steps should be taken for recognizing and rehabilitating low morale
a). Look, Listen, Take Nothing for Granted.
The biggest mistake you can make is to ignore the existence of a problem or rationalize it away. People shouldn’t be constantly uncommunicative. You should try to know them, what they feel, let them know about yourself. You might have open culture but people learn from their previous jobs to keep their mouth shut. Employees try to hide their feelings because they are afraid of a departmentative backlash if they say anything. The best way to counteract that kind of wariness is to talk to your staff in a consistent honest manner.
b). Honesty Is the Best Policy
The biggest mistake is to withdraw information and keep it yourself and don’t share information with the employees. It’s insulting to your employees’ intelligence, and it’s very destructive in terms of morale. As a leader, even if your own morale is down, you have to keep your head up even if it’s just by keeping a smile on your face.
Building morale through communication is more than smiling and keeping the doors open, however. It means developing the trust between you and your team and that kind of connection is made by opening up about yourself, both personally and professionally. Let them see you as you are. Hold a series of meeting with them to improve morale, update them on what’ being done and gather feedback on the process as it moves forward. By involving them, it will make them feel powerful and pat of solution rather then problem. By soliciting their advice, you demonstrate a level of respect and trust that they need to see.
c). Don’t take away Their Trainings
This is another effective way for boosting morale and solidifying a sense of commitment between you and your staff is to shore up your professional development and training program.
d). No cheap tricks.
You have to do something every day that will make them want to come to work. Employees are smart; if you treat them badly specially during tough times, they will remember. If you treat them well, they’ll be loyal and stick around. If not, they’ll leave for the better place as soon as they can.
Appreciate your staff as much and often as possible, treat them like they are the best. Do whatever you can, even in small ways, through emails, meetings, though one-on-ones, let them know you value them and the work they do. For such efforts to be effective, they have to be genuine.
People don’t stay for the cheap tricks, they stay if the environment is supportive and challenging, if business is functional and there are positive working relationships.
Improving Employee Morale
Improving employee morale benefits everyone involved in a workplace. Boosting morale means they will feel more pride in their work, call in sick less often and be more productive. Happy employee means happier employer. Improving employee morale can be accomplished fairly
Most people thrive on feeling appreciated, so you can improve employee morale by showing you appreciation in simple ways like saying “job well done”, “ good work”, etc. Another way to show appreciation is by being friendly and interested in your employees. A warm smile and sincere query about how one is doing will in turn motivate employee. Encouraging social interaction is another way of doing it, yet another way is by rewarding your employees.
A very important factor in improving employee morale is the work environment. Research shows that atmosphere greatly and directly affects the motivation level and feeling of well being of the employees in a workplace.