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Meaning of Morale

“Morale is the capacity of a group of people to pull together persistently in pursuit of


common purpose.” These definitions reveal that morale is the degree of enthusiasm and
willingness with which the members of a group work to perform their assignments.

Morale represents a composite of feelings, attitudes and sentiments that contribute to


general feelings of satisfaction. It is a state of mind and spirit affecting willingness to
work, which in turn, affects organizational and individual objectives. It shapes the climate
of an organization.

Nature of Morale

Morale represents the collective attitudes of the workers. High morale represents an
attitude of satisfaction with desire to continue in and willingness to strive for the goals of
the group. It is manifestation of direct and direct satisfaction, sense of contentment and
need fulfillment through work. Morale is both an individual and a group phenomenon. In
the latter case, high morale is reflected in good team work and team spirit. Under
conditions of high morale, workers have few grievances, frustrations and complaints;
they are clear about the goals—individual and organizational and area satisfied with
human relations in the organization.
Morale is multi-dimensional in nature in the sense that it is a complex mixture of several
elements. It recognizes the influences of job situation on attitudes of individuals and also
includes the role of human needs as motivational forces. Morale is mostly regarded as a
long term phenomenon. Raising morale to a high level and maintaining it is a long-run
and continuous process which can’t be achieved through short-run measures such as
gimmicks, contests or one-shot actions.

Importance of Morale

Morale of employees must be kept high to achieve the following benefits:


i) Willing cooperation towards objectives of the organization.
ii) Loyalty to the organization and its leadership or management.
iii) Good discipline i.e., voluntary conformity to rules and regulations.
iv) High degree of employees’ interest in their jobs and organization.
v) Pride in the organization.
vi) Reduction of rates of absenteeism and labour turnover.

Indicators of Low Morale

Low morale indicates the presence of mental unrest. The mental unrest not only hampers
production but also leads to dissatisfaction of the employees. Low morale exists when
doubt and suspicion are common and when individuals are depressed and discouraged
i.e., there is a lot of mental tension. Such a situation will have the following adverse
consequences:
i) High rates of absenteeism and labour turnover.
ii) Excessive complaints and grievances.
iii) Frustration among the workers.
iv) Friction among the workers and their groups.
v) Antagonism towards leadership of the organization.
vi) Lack of discipline.

Measurement of Morale
1. Observation of employees’ attitude and behaviour
2. Attitude or Morale survey
3. Use of morale indicators
4. Use of suggestion boxes

Building of High Morale

i) Fair Remuneration: Considering the nature of job, cost of living and pay scales of
other companies, the wage structures should be properly evaluated, since this is the
most important factor affecting the employee morale. The basic and incentive pay
plans should not only be fair, but should also bear fair relationship among themselves.

ii) Incentive System: There should be a proper incentive system in the organization to
ensure monetary and non-monetary rewards to the employees to motivate them.

iii) Congenial Working Environment: The conditions under which workers are made to
work should be congenial for their mental and physical well-being. Adequate
provision of light, air, safety, sanitation and cleanliness, noise prevention, smoke and
fumes clearance, should be made for physical and mental comfort and satisfaction.
The rest rooms, recreation facilities, canteen and cafeteria, gardening, medical, first
aid and such other facilities may help in boosting the employee morale.

iv) Job Satisfaction: The employees should be properly placed on the jobs according to
their merits, aptitudes, interests and capabilities. A well placed employee takes pride
and interest in his work and feels satisfied.

v) Two-way Communication: There should be two-way communication between the


management and the workers as it exercises a profound influence on morale. The
workers should be kept informed about the organization policies and programmes
through conferences, bulletins and informal discussion with the workers. Workers
should be allowed to ask questions and satisfy themselves about their doubts.

vi) Training: There should be proper training of the employees so that they may do their
work efficiently and avoid frustration. When the workers are given training, they get
psychological satisfaction as they feel that management is taking interest in them.

vii) Workers’ Participation: There should be industrial democracy in the organization.


Management should allow workers’ participation in management. Whenever a change
is to be introduced which affects the workers, they must be consulted and taken into
confidence. Workers must be allowed to put forward their suggestions and grievances
to the top management.

viii)Social Activities: Management should encourage social group activities by the


workers. This will help to develop greater group cohesiveness which can be used by
the management for building high morale.

ix) Counseling: Large organizations may appoint trained psychologists to act as


counselors for employees. The employees who do not wish to go to their supervisors
for their problems can go to the counselor, who is considered a man outside the chain
of command and who enjoys staff position in management.