The ‘CMI’s annual Management Articles of the Year‘ winner has been announced! The winner – a research article focusing on workplace morale! The competition reviews the best management and leadership research and insights and aims to guide managers to the five best articles from the past year to help to reduce the gap between theory and practice.
workplace morale: the winning research article
Dr Ben Hardy of the Open University Business School, with the help of Dr Tanya Alcock and Dr Jon Malplass from BT’s Research and Innovation Unit produced this year’s winning work, Morale: unravelling its components and testing its impact within contact centres. The research categorised the makeup of morale into three core components: 1) feeling valued, 2) The perception of the future and 3) The nature of relationships.
These components along with the theory of how to create an environment for high morale were put into practice in six contact centres in the UK to see how high morale can lead to enhanced productivity. 300 people were then interviewed in order to create a practical guide for managers and employers looking to boost morale in the workplace.
If a team is to be successful, employee morale should be high on the priorities list for managers. The research explored the meaning of morale and what components are responsible for increasing or decreasing it. As a result, the management of employees was found to have the biggest impact. Hardy highlighted the importance of the simple but much-forgotten observation – “How people feel about their work impacts the work they do.” Your morale has a domino effect – if you have high morale you are more likely to view things in a positive light. The opposite is also true; if you have low morale you will, in turn, view everything more pessimistically. This domino effect will also affect those around you too. The old adage ‘positivity breeds positivity’ exists for a reason!
3 core dimensions for workplace morale
Identified as three core dimensions, the research concluded that value, the future and relationships were the catalysts for increasing morale.
- Value: focus on delivering praise and if possible make this specific, plentiful and personal. Discuss with them the company’s mission and how their contribution added real value to achieving it. As a result, your team will feel highly regarded and required, and that’s a great thing!
- Draw on your team’s opinions and expertise so they know they are an integral and wanted part of the team.Read more on the topic of delivering praise & recognition in our blog post: ‘Employee recognition…what is all the hype about?’.
- The future: make employees aware of the future of the company and ensure solid lines of communication. Furthermore, they’re aware of the company mission, which will help them relate to the business on a more personal level. Employees should feel optimistic and enthusiastic about not just their future, but the whole organisation’s future. Furthermore, without seeing a vision, how do we know what we’re working toward?Read more on the topic of communication in our blog post: ‘Communication…where are you going wrong?‘.
- Interpersonal relationships: foster a collaborative, interactive culture where nurturing, coaching and teamwork are paramount to criticism. Consequently, your team members will feel valued, and wanted long-term to help the business grow.Read our blog post: ‘All together now!‘, which discusses some very interesting research highlighting the importance and benefit of creating a collaborative culture.
High morale has very lucrative consequences on many aspects of performance. As a result of the research, it was identified that high morale was more positive and effective at work. Finally, high morale individuals will ‘collaborate and communicate more effectively, sharing knowledge and fostering the social glue of teams.’