By Dana Baldwin, Senior Consultant, CSSP, Inc.
Note: This article is part of a series taken from Dana Baldwin’s article Improve Morale-Increase Motivation originally published in Compass Points in January 2003. Although this article was written in 2003, these tips are timeless.
During these tough economic times, with all the bad news hitting the headlines, how many of your staff are emotionally at a low ebb? How many are really putting the extra effort into their lives? How many are feeling extreme pressure, whether it is from their jobs, their home-life or the general state of the nation? If one analyzes today’s situation carefully, it becomes apparent that not only is there a crying need to improve people’s morale, but there is a wonderful opportunity to increase their motivation to do well and to serve your customers more effectively. With everyone somewhat down in the dumps because of the slower economic times and the threats of war and terrorism, those who make the extra effort now will be in a better position when the economy turns up next year.
There are quite a number of things one can do to build up morale and to increase motivation. First, let’s define each term as we are using them. Morale is the general condition of the emotions of each person in the affected organization. The more positive the outlook and emotional state of the individual, the higher their morale will be. Motivation is the push behind everyone’s efforts, the desire and effort to do the right things well and as they should. More motivated people work more intensely, harder and often better. Admittedly, these are soft definitions, but we are dealing with the soft sciences here, too.
What can one do to bolster morale? First thing that comes to mind is to recognize the importance of the ability of an individual to trust the management and staff of the company. Without trust, there is little likelihood that morale can be improved. So, how do we build trust? There are a number of ways one can do this.
We will discuss how to build trust in a future post.
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M. Dana Baldwin is a Senior Consultant with Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc. He can be reached by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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