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Thread: How to improve work morale?

  1. MilitarySOS Jewel
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    #1

    How to improve work morale?

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    Negativity is building at my work. I'm not the big boss, so I don't have any power to make actual changes needed, but I want to see morale improve. (mostly because it SUCKS working at a place where everyone is so pissy)

    In previous places, I've been a part of employee 'fun' committees where we get together and just plan fun things for staff, like a BBQ or themed dress down day, just little things

    I wont be at this job forever, so I'm tempted to just worry about my own job and let the shit storm around me continue.

    Anyone been in a negative work space before? I'm sure many have
    Did anything make it better, or any advice on how I can make it better without having any real power
  2. Dancing Backwards in High Heels
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    #2
    Is there anything in particular that is causing the most grief? (program that's buggy, client that's problematic) If that's the case I would take that to the "big boss" to see if anything can be done.

    Otherwise, I try to lighten the mood in my office by sharing silly stories about what my kid is doing, or buying Starbucks for everyone.
  3. MilitarySOS Jewel
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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by HisJuliet View Post
    Is there anything in particular that is causing the most grief? (program that's buggy, client that's problematic) If that's the case I would take that to the "big boss" to see if anything can be done.

    Otherwise, I try to lighten the mood in my office by sharing silly stories about what my kid is doing, or buying Starbucks for everyone.
    Its a nursing home, so just in general staff feel underpaid/overworked. I do think the administrator could do more but she is already aware and handling it how she see's fit. There is a lot of staff, but I could maybe bring in a bunch of munchkins for staff to share
  4. Team Rocket
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    #4
    Oh man, just this week, myself and another middle manager went to Big Boss to try to talk about some morale problems and individuals who are struggling because the work they are being asked to do isn't what they were hired for, and it totally backfired. There's a total lack of understanding from the highest-ups that people might actually be unhappy at work! Big Boss even said "I don't understand why R gave up a great opportunity like this!" (Referring to another manager who quit in June and had to have inpatient depression treatment afterwards because she was so unhappy with the job).

    I feel ya.

    Umm, generally most people won't care about bonding/fun time when work is tough. They just want to do the job, get paid, go home. Anything you can do to expedite that process would probably help. Do you read Ask a Manager? If not, you should. I don't know exactly how a nursing home is managed but if you can do anything about making sure shift coverage is fair, scheduling out farther so people know exactly when they're working, buy new equipment to make their jobs easier. Talk to big boss about raises?
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  5. Team Rocket
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    #5
    This is the AMA post I was thinking of when I read your post: https://www.askamanager.org/2013/07/...cook-outs.html
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  6. MilitarySOS Jewel
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by rocket_lizz View Post
    Oh man, just this week, myself and another middle manager went to Big Boss to try to talk about some morale problems and individuals who are struggling because the work they are being asked to do isn't what they were hired for, and it totally backfired. There's a total lack of understanding from the highest-ups that people might actually be unhappy at work! Big Boss even said "I don't understand why R gave up a great opportunity like this!" (Referring to another manager who quit in June and had to have inpatient depression treatment afterwards because she was so unhappy with the job).

    I feel ya.

    Umm, generally most people won't care about bonding/fun time when work is tough. They just want to do the job, get paid, go home. Anything you can do to expedite that process would probably help. Do you read Ask a Manager? If not, you should. I don't know exactly how a nursing home is managed but if you can do anything about making sure shift coverage is fair, scheduling out farther so people know exactly when they're working, buy new equipment to make their jobs easier. Talk to big boss about raises?
    Quote Originally Posted by rocket_lizz View Post
    This is the AMA post I was thinking of when I read your post: https://www.askamanager.org/2013/07/...cook-outs.html
    Thanks for the input girl! It's so true, higher ups just don't get it sometimes and what's worse is when they don't care to get it. Even if conditions cant be changed, the top boss can have some positive impact to at least know how much staff are appreciated.

    That AMA page looks really interesting, thank you!
  7. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
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    #7
    I agree with PPs that it really depends on what's causing it. I also agree that people won't care about bonding/fun stuff or it could even backfire. Back when I first started my job and we didn't have a manager, I was really unhappy because the workload was severely unbalanced (basically a few of us doing all the work while the rest just dicked around all day). The senior rep at our work who was nominally in charge decided to help by bringing in cupcakes and it really irritated me even more. What I wanted to say was "I don't want a goddamn cupcake, if you want to help me take this file and work it so it's one less thing I have to do!"

    Lizz has really good advice and it sounds exactly like the headspace I was in. Not sure how much you can do on your end, but I do agree recognition from higher ups can help, although I would consider it a band-aid. After being singled out for praise, I felt really good for a day or two, then the drudgery took its tool again, then I would get more recognition and the cycle would continue. Eventually I stopped caring about tokens of appreciation at all. I also think AAM is a great resource! It's hard when all you can really do is treat the symptoms and not the problem.
  8. Team Rocket
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    #8
    Tojai has a good point about the recognition cycle. Recently my new manager told me to quit being so humble when she was trying to praise me and I was like "... I'm not humble, I just don't care about external validation anymore."
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  9. Senior Member
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    #9
    Seeing as you don't have control over the bigger issues, I would start small. You can't make everyone happy. I HATE "forced" fun activities that are after work hours, but I actually quite enjoy them during work hours (go figure ). Are there a few people that are in your smaller team or that you're closer with? Maybe just going out for lunch and having a safe/manager-free vent session can help. Obviously it needs to be with people you can trust, and not the whole team but whenever I had really chaotic work situations it helped to get out for a bite and vent. Finding people who feel the same as you and you can trust makes a huge difference. I've actually left jobs where I didn't bond with anybody because it was miserable.

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