Factors Affecting Morale
The employee morale is a very complex phenomenon and is influenced by many factors. Different authors like McFarland, Bradshaw and Krugman, Roach and Applewhite have given different criteria for the determination of morale. On the basis of all these classifications, the important factors in the determination of levels of morale are as describe below :
1. The Organization : The first factor affecting the employee morale is the organization itself. The organization influences the worker's attitudes to their jobs. The public reputation of an organization may build up for better or worse, their attitudes towards it.
2. The Nature of Work : The nature of the work, the worker is expected to perform also affects his attitude towards job as well as his morale. If the employee is expected to perform routine or specialized job, he will feel bored and alienated, Repetition of the same task again and again makes the working situation worse. Another factor is the large impersonal organizational structure. Sometimes, if the employee feels that he is just a cog in the machine instead of a person, his morale will become very low. Lack of understanding of organizational goals may also affect the morale. Another factor which causes low morale is the assembly line operations moving at a constant speed.
3. The Level of Satisfaction : The level of satisfaction, a worker derives from his job is another determinant of morale. If the job factors and the satisfaction they bring is perceived to be favourable by the employee, morale will tend to be higher than if these factors seem to be unfavorable. The job factors include the factors such as opportunities for promotions job security, steadiness of employment, opportunities to learn the job and to use his own ideas, pay, working conditions, recognition, co-cooperativeness of co-workers, group relationship etc.
4. The Level of Supervision : The level of supervision received by an employee has a tremendous influence on his morale. High rate of employee turnover indicates that the leadership is ineffective. On the hand, if employee are given freedom to do the job, their morale will be high. Nobody likes to be supervised all the time.
5. Concept of self : What is the employee's concept of himself? The answer to this question influences the attitudes of the employees to the organizational environment. How an employee perceives himself, is a very important question. The morale of persons who have lots of self-confidence or who enjoy good mental and physical health is generally high as compared to those who lack self-confidence or suffer from poor physical or mental health.
6. Worker's Perception of Reward System : The worker's perception of past rewards and future opportunities for rewards affect their morale to a substantial extent. If the workers regard the rewards as fair and satisfactory, their morale will tend to be higher than if the perception is in the opposite direction. Moreover, if the rewards and opportunities for the future tend to be bleak, morale will tend to be low as compared to the situation where the worker perceives opportunities for satisfaction and for attainment in the rewards that lie ahead in the future.
7. The Employees's Age : Studies have reported that age and morale are directly related. Other things being equal, elder employees seem to have higher morale. This is because of the reason that perhaps younger workers are more dissatisfied with higher expectations than their elders. The older employees have more stability which comes with maturity, a serious attitude towards job, more reliability, less absenteeism, proven steady work habits, a sense or responsibility and loyalty and less tendency to be distracted by outside interest as influences.
8. The Employee's Educational Level : Studies have concluded an inverse relationship in the educational level of the employee and his morale. Higher the educational level, lower will be the job satisfaction and vice versa. The higher he thinks he should be, the more dissatisfied he will be.
9. The Employee's Occupational Level : The occupational level of the employee also influences his level of morale. The higher up in organizational hierarchy an employee is, higher will be his morale. The morale of the people who are lower in the levels of hierarchy is generally low, because they compare their own attainment with those of others.
10. The Off the Job Activities of the Employee : The relationship of an employer with his family and work group influences his behaviour and attitude while he is on the job. His off the job activities, e.g., whether his family life is happy or not, whether he has excessive drinking habits etc., also influence his behaviour. The influences and pressures of a formal and informal group have a significant effect on the morale of workers.