What is Morale?
Morale is a word with multiple meanings Mayo defined it as the maintenance of cooperative living. In this sense it refers to a sense of belonging to a group. Dr Leighton described morale as capacity of a group of people to pull together persistently and consistently in pursuit of a common purpose. Thus, acceptance of a goal and commitment on the part of the group to work for it are important components of high morale according to this view. Yet another view expressed by Prof Kossen links morale to employees attitudes. It refers to employees attitude toward either employing organizations in general or towards specific job factors such as supervision fellow employees and financial incentives. Researchers to add to the confusion generally come out with two formulations while using the term morale (1) one satisfaction as the concern of an individual and (2) morale as a group phenomenon. Writers like Halloran to clear the fog use the term morale in two different ways:
Individual morale: Individual knowing one’s own expectations and living up to them. If we recognize our needs and how to satisfy them, our morale will be high. Here morale refers to the feeling of an employee towards his work a matter of work satisfaction.
Group morale: Whereas individual morale is on person’s attitude towards life, group morale reflects the general tone or esprit de corps of a group of people. Each person either heightens the prospects of the team spirit or lowers the concept of cooperative effort. Morale, used in this sense emphasises social reactions and concentrates on attitudes towards group values (cohesiveness interests, common thinking). According to McFarland morale is a concept that describes the level of favourable or unfavourable attitudes of employees collectively to all aspects of their work — the job, the company their tasks working conditions, fellow workers superiors and so on. Guion listed five factors as sources of satisfaction contributing to good morale. To say my morale is high in a way means I feel good.
Components of Morale
Components of Good Morale
1) Intrinsic job satisfaction
2) Satisfaction with company
3) Satisfaction with supervision
4) Satisfaction with rewards
5) Satisfaction with co workers
Measurement of Morale:
It is not easy to measure morale: Employees are often reluctant to express their opinions and attributes in a fearless bold manner. The concept is intangible and subjective in nature. To elicit the truth a researcher may have to combine the various methods of measuring morale (listed below) in a tactful manner.
Observation: Managers can spot changes in the behaviour of employees (through their gestures submissive or aggressive talks, acceptable or unacceptable behaviour etc.) through careful observation. This is not a reliable way of measuring morale, since observations could differ. Also, observation alone may not be sufficient to put things in order. By the time a remedial action is initiated some other problems may vitiate the atmosphere
Surveys: Morale survey can be undertaken to discover the feelings of employees towards their colleague’s jobs and supervisor’s, company politics and the organization as a whole. The responses from employees could be collected using a printed questionnaire or through an interview.
Records: Company records regarding absenteeism, grievances, spoiled work labour turnover strikes etc., could also be examined in order to find the level of employee morale.
Suggestion boxes: Employees may also be given an opportunity to offer suggestions, ventilate their grievances and lodge their complaints without disclosing their identity by asking them to write down everything and post them in drop boxes kept in strategic locations within the factory.