by CIO Staff

Corporate Morale On the Rise

Aug 17, 20053 mins
IT Leadership

It’s time for businesspeople to feel good if not better about their work and feel a sense of personal worth for the contributions they make day in and day out. Although not everyone sees it, employee morale is actually on the upswing, with top executives leading the way, from a personal standpoint.

This is not to say that everyone at the office feels great about his or her job. After all, with 12-hour workdays, under-utilization of vacation time and hardly a moment for personal errands, there doesn’t seem to be time to stop and feel good about work.

However, the majority of senior executives and managers in business today say that overall employee morale in their departments or organizations is high, based on a nationwide survey we conducted.

While three-fifths of executives and managers see employee morale at their organizations as high, 70 percent say their own morale is high, with almost a quarter ranking it as extremely high.

“Business is continuing to grow in the area, and everyone has a very upbeat view of the local and regional outlook,” said one survey respondent. “While the entire staff is very busy, the work is fun and everyone just feels good about results compared to two years ago.”

Some organizations conscientiously work to improve morale while others barely give it a thought.

“My organization is striving to maintain good morale,” said one respondent. “There is actually a formal team of employees that is responsible for improving internal communications, cultural training and fun activities for the employees. I’m fortunate to work for an organization that recognizes the value and contributions of its employees, and rewards them.”

While it might be typical for disgruntled workers to say that moral in their organization is at an all-time low (at any given time), there are valid concerns when morale is negatively impacted from above.

“The morale has never been lower,” said one manager respondent. “VPs do conference calls to their staff and end up demoralizing the team even more. Execs seemed to have lost touch of how to communicate to employees. They only care of work and expect 12-hour days with weekends without regard for personal life. Their main mode is yelling.”

Said another: “The morale in our organization is largely driven by the actions of our CEO. He has created an environment of fear and retribution. Values and ethics appear to be optional and it leaves everyone concerned and on edge.”

“The tone of the company must be established from the top,” said one survey respondent. “Morale, while discussed at great lengths, doesn’t seem to be a focal point of senior managers, hence middle managers don’t work on it either. This is a dangerous combination.”

Unexpected changes in the business also can have an impact on morale.

“A change in strategic direction has influenced my morale and the morale of other senior people,” said one respondent. “It is not the firm we came to work for and not the kind of work that we want to do. Many will retire or move on and the organization (and the individuals) will be the better for it.”

Said another: “Morale has been negative due to recent merger, change in management and lack of communication from management.”

Morale check: Are you among the majority of companies where morale at work is high? Remember, there are many other companies where it is.