Human behaviour is difficult to explain. A clerk working under an authoritarian boss might be quite happy with himself, the boss and the organization. Yet an officer with a five figure salary can experience moral problems. What affects the status of morale? Let‘s explain these factors in greater detail.
The organization: The goals of the organization influence the attitudes of employees greatly if the goals set by the management are worthwhile, useful and acceptable, then workers develop positive feelings towards the job and the organization. Likewise a clear structure with well-defined duties and responsibilities encourages people to work with confidence. The reputation of the company is another important factor worth mentioning here. Persons working in reputed organizations experience feelings of pride and a spirit of loyalty.
Leadership: The actions of managers exert a strong influence over the morale of the workforce Fair treatment; equitable rewards and recognition for good work affect morale greatly. Workers feel comfortable when they work under a sympathetic caring leader in place of one who is authoritarian, dictatorial and dominating. Negativism, inconsiderateness and apathy are not conducive to development of a good work climate
Co-worker: Poor attitude of co-workers influence others. Imagine working with a person who talks about the negative points of an organization all day long. Such a person can make each workday an unpleasant experience for others. He can cause co-workers to think negatively and even if they don’t such an attitude is certainly not a morale booster.
The nature of work: Dull, monotonous repetitive work affects employees’ morale adversely. On the other hand if an employee is asked to do something interesting and challenging his morale may be high.
Work environment: Morale is a direct function of the conditions in the workplace. Clean, safe, comfortable and pleasant work conditions are morale boosters.
The employees: How the employees look at him (the self-concept) also influences morale greatly. For example, individuals who lack self-confidence or who suffer from poor physical or mental health frequently develop morale problems. Further, how the employees’ personal needs are satisfied can significantly influence their morale. Salary fringe benefits, DA rates, allowances may affect employees morale in a positive or negative manner, when they compare themselves with others doing similar jobs. Employees can become disgruntled when they feel that their pay and benefits are not in line with current industry rates or are not in keeping with rising prices.
Morale and productivity:
Generally it is believed that high morale will lead to high productivity. However, Prof Keith Davis points out that there is not always a positive correlation between the two. A manager can push for high productivity by using scientific management, time studies and close supervision. High production and low morale may result but it is doubtful whether this combination can last. The opposite can also occur – there can be low production with high morale. In this case the manager works so hard to please his subordinates that they are too happy to work hard for themselves.
Research carried out by Rensis Likert indicated the fact that there can be different combinations of morale and productivity: high morale and low productivity; high morale and high productivity; low morale and high productivity; and low morale and low productivity as shown below:
In the final analysis the manager has to work for improving the morale of his employees. High morale makes the work more pleasant and will go a long way in improving the work climate.
It helps the work group to attain goals easily, smoothly and more importantly in a higher cooperative manner.