Monday, July 13, 2015

The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

The beatings will continue until morale improves.
-from the Humana “Buzz” social media site
When I first read this quote it made me chuckle to myself.  Then I realized that some people believe or have experienced this as an actual approach to bad morale.  What is bad morale?  Many times over the years I have had people come to me and say “Morale is really down”.  I tend to take such statements with a grain of salt.  Morale is in the eye of the beholder.  In every department that I have ever been in there have been people who think everything is wonderful and others who think everything is terrible.  Usually this is the result of different expectations that people have of the workplace.  In general, I have come to the conclusion that many people expect way too much from the workplace.  If work was always fun, it would be called play.  Good or bad morale boils down to attitude, cooperation, how well people work together, and how they are treated.  I strive to start off every day with a positive attitude.  Admittedly there are days where my positive attitude takes quite a beating.  Assuming I can maintain a positive attitude most of the time I strive to be cooperative with my leaders, my peers, and my team.  I don’t always agree with them, I compromise when necessary, and I try not to have unrealistic expectations of them.  We are all people trying to do the best we can and some days are better than other days.  How well we work together has a lot to do with how much we respect one another.  It’s a balancing act.  Leaders must have integrity and respect for those who follow them.  Those who follow should strive to trust their leaders and cooperate with their direction.  Whether one is a leader or a follower, there must be trust, openness, and transparency.  When these things exist, morale is good.  When attitudes on both sides are negative, when cooperation is replaced by competition or resistance, when leaders don’t lead and followers don’t follow, morale is bad.  As cliqued as it sounds, we are all in this together.  It is only by working together in positive and life giving ways that we can accomplish our goals, be reasonably happy, and go home at the end of the day with a sense of pride for a job well done and no sense of dread about returning the next day.    

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