Hello Amazing People,
Due to numerous requests for these articles I have decided to post them here. I have attached 3 articles from the archives of published articles and newsletter of long ago. Hit purchase to download free.
I recall an APCO conference session on the topic of ‘morale’. When I asked the participants, what is poor morale in the Comm Center? What does it look like? A Director said no one was ‘happy’ at work. I asked him how he knew they weren’t ‘happy’ and he said they don’t smile, they aren’t friendly and they complain a LOT. I asked what they complain about and he said ‘everything’.
So my thought was if that low morale (complaining, downshifting etc.) can be “We (or I) are (am) NOT getting what we (I) need!” What do they need? I asked. He didn’t know. Had he ever asked them? And who are ‘they’? Are ‘they’ grave shift, supervisors, new trainees, or long time employees? Or is everyone just a mess?
To find out – this of course would take an agency-wide meeting, a confidential survey or one-on-one interviews. This is usually done after many people quit, being late and absent or making mistakes – so an outside consultant comes in and takes over (and has an agency-wide meeting, a survey, and one-on-one interviews). And then what?
No person goes to work to be unhappy, discontent or stressed out. What is happening? What has to stop, what has to start? Here’s the thing – ACCORDING TO THEM. As a consultant, your first determination is – if this – unhappy everyone – is new. And what has changed from the good ole days of ‘happy everyone‘? Next what is happening, has happened -according to a consensus achieved through asking. Next- what can change here – what cannot change here and why not? Who or what stands in the way of positive change?
Below is the definition of Low Morale. And if this is true at your agency Uh-Oh. Low Morale As Defined Here – affects the safety of the community and responders – and the health and well-being of the staff! Now maybe it isn’t low morale as described below. Maybe it’s that people are exhausted, have compassion fatigue, or have a person among them that is a thorn in their paw. (See our book Compassion Fatigue Survey). But first, someone needs to ask them what it is they need that they are not getting (whoever they are). Also is this a consensus?
I can list 30 bullet points – things that cause low morale (google it). Then if you care, you can guess which item(s) apply – and run around in circles trying to make them ‘happy’ again. Or -you can ask them. And then you publish your results, and make the changes you can, and explain why you can’t make the other changes. Warning: doing nothing after asking will be (like the article) The Death Of Trust. I hope this helps.
Google: Low morale breeds a reduction in productivity and performance. When your staff has low morale they are less eager to give you their best, which leads to poor quality work or assignments that are not turned in on time. Additionally, low morale has a direct correlation with high absenteeism.
It’s my opinion that’s all – you get to disagree. Thank you. Respectfully, Sue Pivetta