Causes of Low Morale

Following are considered to be causes of low morale in a group; in addition to the above mentioned factors affecting the morale of the employees :

1. Morale of the employees will be low if some people are allowed to get away with insufficient work, if work is inadequately divided, if there is any hint of partiality or if there are considerable differences of pay among those with similar length of service and class work.

2. If one employee is getting higher emoluments but doing less important work compared to one who is doing more important and quality work but is receiving less salary, the morale of the latter's definitely going to be adversely affected.

3. If the supervisor makes a big fuss over a little fault of the worker, the morale is definitely being undermined. This is one of the most frequent cause of lowering the morale of employees.

4. If a worker is not well, physically or mentally, it is always a cause of discomfort, especially when it is due to maladjustments in the work.

5. Morale may be seriously affected if the lines of authority which have been established are not adhered to. If the superior short circuits his immediate subordinate and gives orders directly to his subordinate, it violates a fundamental principle of management. When this thing happens repeatedly it undermines the morale of the subordinate who is shifted to the position of a figure head only.

6. When there is no chance of promotion and the employee feels that while remaining in the same organization, there are no future prospects, he loses a sense of belongingness.

7. If the employee does not get any sense of achievement while working in the organization, his morale tends to below. This, usually, happens in the situations where a person feels that the underlying aim of building morale and team work is personal advancement of the superiors or maximum profits for the organization, they will consider themselves fools for working harder than they have to.

Warning Signs of Low Morale

Perceptive managers are constantly on the look out for clues to any deterioration in the morale of the employees. Signs of low morale are, generally, not noticed till it is obviously low or when something has gone amiss. Among the more significant of the warning signals of low morale are :

(i) High rate absenteeism

(ii) Tardiness

(iii) High labour turnover

(iv) Strikes and Sabotage

(v) Lack of pride in work

(vi) Wastage and spoilage.

Signs of High Morale

Following are some of the significant signs of high morale of a group :

1. A tendency for the group to hold together not merely as a result of external pressures but rather through internal cohesiveness.

2. A lack of tendency of its members to divide into sub-groups.

3. An ability of the group to adapt itself to changing circumstances and to handle internal conflicts.

4. A feeling of belongingness and togetherness among the members of the group.

5. A commonness of goals among the members of the group.

6. A passive attitude of the members with respect to the objectives of the group and to its leaders.

7. A desire on the part of the members to retain the group and a regard for its positive value.

Factors Improving Morale

Morale building is very important for an organization. The manager should constantly make efforts to improve the morale of employees. Although it may be done either on individual basis or on group basis, the latter is always preferable. This is because, the management can easily influence the group morale by understanding the group dynamics, which in turn, can automatically achieve the individual morale. Following suggestions can help in improving the morale of employees:

1. Two Way Communication : There should be proper communication between management and employees. All policies and programmes should be explained to the employees through downward communication. The feelings, reactions of the employees should regularly reach management in an upward communication. The feed-back from employees will help the management in required changes in policies etc. Two-way communication will help in improving the morale of employees.

2. Proper Incentive System : There should be proper system for monetary and non-monetary benefits for the employees. The employees showing better performances should automatically be given incentives. There should be proper promotional awareness for employees who can undertake higher responsibilities.

3. Human Relations Approach : This approach suggests that employees should be treated as human beings. Their feelings and emotions should be given due weightage. There should not be any discrimination among employees and groups. The contribution of every employee to the organization should be recognised and adequate incentives and rewards should be offered for higher performance.

4. Welfare Schemes : There should be proper welfare schemes for the employees and their families. There should be housing facilities, medical facilities, schools for the children, recreation facilities, social security etc. All these measures will develop positive attitudes in employees, such schemes will also show managements concern for the employee's welfare.

5. Participation in Management : Workers should be made a part of management by opting them in decision making bodies. It will encourage industrial democracy in the organization. The periodical consultation with workers for making any changes will help in proper implementation. The workers will be able to understand the viewpoint of the management on important decisions concerning the workers. Once workers are associated with decision making then they will feel it as their responsibility to help in implementating them. Such a step will enhance the prestige of workers and their morale will improve.

6. Improve Workers Training : The workers should be given proper training so that their performance on job is better. This will give satisfaction and pleasure for working on their jobs. If a workers is not suitable for a job or he is deficient in working on a job then it will bring frustration and tension to him. So better training helps in improving morale of employees.

7. Job Enrichment : Job enrichment involves the use of those factors which are intended to motivate the workers. The job performance should give satisfaction to the workers. The basic purpose is to reduce job discontentment by changing or improving a job to ensure that the worker is better motivated. Job enrichment opens opportunities for greater recognition, growth, advancement and responsibility.

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