I’ve had several discussions of late about attitude and morale and how they relate to leadership. I thought I’d share some of my thoughts with you in case you’ve ever wondered about it yourself.
Attitude is a personal frame of mind. Although many people don’t consider it this way, a person’s outlook and attitudes are a matter of choosing how to look at life and how to react to events.
I’m referring here to long-term things. Certainly, everyone gets hit with something which will cause their mood to sour. For many, just getting up on Monday morning after a great weekend will dampen their spirits. The type of “bad attitude” I’m referring to is a long term – the person with the “Eeyore” attitude where everything is gloomy all the time.
Long term, bad attitudes are a hard habit to break; but, a habit is what they are.
While individuals on a team may have occasional bad attitudes, morale is more of the overall climate of a team or organization. When everyone is getting along and the overall atmosphere is positive, your group can be said to have good morale. But, when the overall atmosphere is bad, people are edgy, and the mood is generally negative, your group can be said to have bad morale.
Both attitude and morale are leadership issues. While a leader should deal with the person who has a bad attitude individually, dealing with bad morale requires a different approach. Because morale is a systemic problem, it needs a systemic approach. Take a look at your organization or team …
- Has there been a lot of change? Is there a lot of FUD going around? Perhaps some clear and forthright communication will help improve the climate.
- How do your recognize achievement? Perhaps a reward system for good effort ala an Employee of the Month program can offer a fun way to improve morale.
- does your team lack direction? Perhaps offering a clear vision and some goals to the team will help give some “reason to be there.”
This is certainly not an exhaustive list, busomething’s few things to get you thinking in the right direction. The main thing leaders need to remember when dealing with a bad morale situation is that he or she needs to own it. Without ownership, solutions will be hard to come by.
What say you? What do you think about attitude versus morale? What are some of the causes – and their solutions – of low morale. Please feel free to share in the comments.