"How's work?" is a question most likely to elicit a groan. It's rare to find someone who responds with "It's going great!" But that's what we should all be aspiring to, according to Employee Morale.
It's an issue that has suddenly topped the 'must deal with' list for managers, and the third sector is no exception.
Prolific management academic Professor Cary Cooper and David Bowles, a US researcher, have added their thoughts and practical advice in this book. They argue that you must support your employees and make them feel good at work, especially during a time of recession. Why? Because high morale pays off - in productivity, for a start.
Keeping morale high is straightforward: invest in processes that measure morale properly, correctly interpret the data this produces and, finally, implement change.
The authors also dispense some valuable advice about 'morale killers'. These are people who stand in the way of the "creation or maintenance of a high-morale team". If you find yourself lumbered with such a Jeremiah, and you've given them a chance to "come around", they "must be sacrificed in the interest of the team". It's a tough world out there.
- Emma De Vita is books editor of Management Today.