Building up Morale

Morale is an intellectual as well as an emotional quality. To build up morale, therefore, it is necessary to train the employees in both these aspects. Intellectually morale has to be built on communication between the employees with their participation in planning and decision-making processes. Emotionally, morale has to be built up by sound leadership, team spirit and indoctrination. While it is difficult to circumscribe an intangible quantity like morale. Some general methods of building up morale are described below:

(i) the principles of rigid hierarchy and line of authority should be given up in favour of an administrative system based on co-operative effort, organised more like a production team than a formal authority structure. As far as practicable the employees should be associated with the planning and decision making as well as with the implementation process. Every effort should be made to foster a team spirit and unity of purpose leading to the creation of an ‘espirit de corps’.

(ii) The superior officers should act more like leaders and captains of the team. They have not merely to command, but, to lead, to show the way. They have to support the subordinates in their organisational tasks as well as look to their personal difficulties. The role of leadership is the most important one in enhancing the morale of the organisation.

(iii) The goals of the organisation should be set in consultation with the employees who would, then, have greater commitment to these goals. Only when the employees accept the organisational goals as their own goals, can they be expected to work with full zeal to achieve them. It is here that the role of indoctrination comes in. It is a dirty word and has undemocratic connotations! But, given the openness of the organisation, it can be helpful in integrating organisational and personal goals; thus enhancing the morale of the employees.

(iv) To be able to give their best, employees must be convinced about the importance of their work. They should feel pride in their work for three reasons, viz. (a) they have a liking for the work; (b) they have competence to perform the work; and (c) they feel that their work is important to the organisation. To meet these requirements, it is necessary to have a proper recruitment and placement system. Employees should be selected on the basis of their skill and aptitude for the type of work required to be done by them in their organisations. Care should also be taken to place them in jobs for which they have a liking. To give their jobs a feeling of importance is the job of the leadership. They can give due importance to all the jobs and encourage the employees performing them.

(v) Confidence of the employees in the integrity and good intention of their superiors is very important for sustaining their work. Where the employees feel that their superiors and leaders are given to favouritism, nepotism or corruption, the moral is bound to suffer. Nobody is likely to give his best for the leaders who are not known for their honesty and integrity.

(vi) Another important determinant of morale is the personnel policies pursued by the organisation. Recruitment, promotions, placements etc. should be based on the requirements of job and on the merit of the employees. Any other considerations, personal or political, have a very debilitating influence on the morale of the organisation.

(vii) The civil services should themselves set high tradition for themselves. Any member of the service deviating from these traditions and standards of conduct should invite a high degree of disapproval from the members and associations of the services. No amount of punishment for their misdemeanour can have the same effect as being looked down upon by the members of their own: service. The British Civil Service is known the world over for its high standards of conduct and the feeling of ‘espirit de corps’ that it has maintained.

(viii) There has to be greater co-operation between the management and public employees unions. This is, of course, a practical aspect of the principle already enunciated above that the employees should be taken into confidence as partners in all important decisions relating to the organisations.

(ix) In Indian conditions, personal loyalty also plays an important part in building up morale. Of course this has to be used for organisational purposes. The leaders should, therefore, win the loyalty of the subordinates.

 

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Filed in: PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
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