2011-08-30

How to resolve the morale issue at work - part 1

Drew Stevens

Emerson states, “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm”.

A majority of the issues related to worker productivity stem from enthusiasm or the lack thereof. Individuals simply go to work despite their abhorrence of their employer, the monotony, and the products. There is no passion or pride.



Much of this issue stems from practices embedded within an organizational culture affecting morale and productivity. These include:

  • Leadership not serving as exemplars – some leaders today are narcissists, demeaning and ruthless. More importantly, leaders’ salaries can exceed employee pay by 425 times the average worker.  Leaders need to act in harmony with employees and ensure equal treatment of all. Cultures where this practice occurs frequently include McDonalds, Fed Ex and UPS where employees and management are one.
  • Little or no accountability  The United States economic system is currently in financial turmoil and no one is accountable. Employees need to know that mistakes may count for learning but criminals are punished for repeat offenses.
  • Career planning and succession planning is null – simply put there is no succession planning. Most CEOs and senior managers join an organization from competitive industries and companies. Whatever happened to the mailroom climb?
  • Too many silos and departmental infighting – Companies are in business for one reason- to create clients. End the infighting and focus on the most vital asset! When the fighting ends (and everybody understands their reason for being employed) perhaps harmony arrives.

 

Causes of low morale correlate to the organization, its culture, and its management. After 25 years of research in this area, we find five factors contributing to organizational morale. A study by the Corporate Leadership Council reveals the tremendous impact managers have on an employee’s level of commitment. It is imperative to note that individuals do not leave companies - they leave poor managers. Organizational mis-management contributes to negative morale. As recent as 2006 the Gallup Organization estimated there were 32 million actively disengaged employees costing the American economy up to $350 billion per year in lost productivity. Such loss includes absenteeism, tardiness, and poor work.

To dilute the productivity impact, research shows that taking time to build relationships with employees through personal interaction, is a key step managers can take to keep morale high. Employees need to feel trust and respect from their managers. Employees desire feedback from management to understand their work matters.

 


About Guest Contributor - Drew Stevens Ph.D. Drew Stevens PhD works with organizations that struggle with productivity that effects profits. Dr. Drew works with senior officers and their direction reports to dramatically increase relationships that build higher morale. He can be reached through his website at www.stevensconsultinggroup.com© 2008. Drew J. Stevens Ph.D. All rights reserved.

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