Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Low Morale––Causes and Cures

Lesson 18

Detecting the warning signs of low morale is only the beginning.  To fully address the morale issue, an effective leader must understand what causes morale to fall.  Without knowing the causes of low morale, a leader might try in vain to correct the situation and never get to the real issue.  Here are some of the most common causes of low morale:

1.     People’s failure to understand their jobs
2.     Unrealistic or ever-changing goals 
3.     Poor communication that can take the form of:
a.     Constant criticism or Big Brotherism
b.     Inaccessible or absentee management
c.     Erratic and inconsistent discipline
d.     Being thought of as a number
e.     A manager’s lack of growth as a leader
4.     Over-inflated organizational structure
5.     Over-staffing
6.     Misemployment
7.     Poor psychological work environment
8.     Management that is not people-oriented
9.     Lack of performance appraisal and feedback
10.  Continuing education that is dull or nonexistent

These ten elements of a high-morale environment are like primary colors and can be mixed and blended in a variety of shades:

1.     Keep jobs interesting
2.     Welcome new ideas
3.     Foster a sense of accomplishment
4.     Recognize special efforts
5.     Treat people fairly
6.     Be responsible as a leader
7.     Offer fair and appropriate compensation
8.     Support personal growth
9.     Promote a sense of belonging
10.  Provide opportunity

Here are three guiding principles for keeping morale high in your organization:

·      Study the causes of low morale
·      Take immediate action to counteract them
·      Make strategic plans to keep morale from falling

"Team members' morale will never be higher than the leader's morale…for long."