General Question

jca's avatar

At work: Do you think the goal of management should be solely to get the work done regardless of morale, or should the goal include high employee morale?

Asked by jca (36043points) July 14th, 2010

Do you think that management (meaning everyone above you) should strive to keep employees happy, within reason, or should management not care about morale, and just “crack the whip?”

Do you think happy employees are more productive employees, or should that not be a concern of your supervisor and upper managment on up to the top of the ladder?

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22 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Morale is very important to getting work done on time and in the best way.

Unfortunately, management in American companies is very short-sighted. Focused only on increasing stock value.

CMaz's avatar

Morale is an important tool in order to get the work done. It enabling the most productivity possible.
Without it, the system would eventually fail.

keeping employees happy, even within reason. Has nothing to do with morale. That might be an end result. But, not part of the process.

Getting an honest days pay for an honest days work is all that SHOULD be needed.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

What ChazMaz said. Morale effects workplace effort.

perspicacious's avatar

The goal is to get the job done. People with management skills understand that employees need to feel they are valued as individual persons, not just as a means to get that job done. So, the way the employees are treated is an important aspect to the eventual goal of a highly motivated, productive work force reaching the goal of the company.

bunnygrl's avatar

Morale is not a high priority where I work (retail), in fact I work with some really lovely people and mainly due to management, morale is in the basement right now and digging, unfortunately.

I still love my job though, doing my job anyway. Profit is all that seems to matter these days, especially to huge companies.
huggles xx

BoBo1946's avatar

Production is a byproduct of good morale!

lilikoi's avatar

They are not separate and distinct. Morale effects performance. I wouldn’t work for anyone that didn’t understand this simple concept for long. If a company doesn’t get this, they won’t reach their potential. Probably why I’m unemployed, lol.

Spider's avatar

“Do you think that management (meaning everyone above you) should strive to keep employees happy, within reason…?” Yes. However, “within reason” is very subjective.

“Do you think happy employees are more productive employees…?” Yes. However, an employee’s happiness involves so many factors that it’s virtually impossible for management to address them all, and in some cases, maybe not any of them. (For example, health benefits. Depending on the size of the organization, many levels of management can do nothing but continually ask for it.)

I think “what is reasonable” for management to do to address low morale also depends on the type of work, type of business, and type of individual that is working.

At the same time, there is a lot an individual employee can do to deal with low morale, but again, it depends on the person and the situation. When morale was at an all-time low at my office due to budget cuts (reduced hours, no cost-of-living raises, etc.), layoffs, reduction in health care options (down to one), lots of organizational changes, an office move, and so on, I just hunkered down, did my work the best I could with what I was given, and all the time being grateful that I had a job. Things change…whether it be my company, my manager, or me… I could be laid off, I might quit. All that matters at any given time is knowing what I need to do, and doing it.

zophu's avatar

The goal of managing any system is to achieve efficiency. Unless it is a purposefully temporary system, efficiency demands sustainability. Workers need a healthy environment if their work is going to be sustainably efficient.

NaturallyMe's avatar

Everything reasonable should be done to make the working environment as pleasant as possible, and also steps must be put in place to motivate employees to do their best becaue they’re usually just there for the money (with a few exceptions) and you have to motivate them to work harder if they want to.
Cracking the whip with no regard to anything else leads to unhappy employees and probably a high employee turnover as well – nobody really benefits from this.

syz's avatar

The two are mutually dependent. Better morale = better productivity.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, I’m with @NaturallyMe

Morale and workplace comraderie is huge, no comprimise.

This is probably the biggest reason I am an entrepreneur, I have never found a company that had the integrity or motivation to appriciate their stable of dedicated workers.

This little filly is treat motivated if you want me to run the fast track, you better have a pocket full of sugarcubes. lol

Austinlad's avatar

Morale-building is certainly a role of management. So is mentoring.

bunnygrl's avatar

@Spider GA, thats all anyone can do really, right now where I work we’re all just glad to have a job.
hugs xx

Siren's avatar

I think management would save money hiring/firing and in general in human resource expenses if they were vigilant in keeping the workplace desirable. This in turn would increase and retain workplace productivity, because there wouldn’t be any gaps in productivity that you see with new recruits.

Of course, there are always a few bad apples in the bunch who abuse the privileges and good work environment (i.e. less micromanagement, more freedom, more responsibility), but those individuals can and should be dealt with swiftly in a well-managed environment, to keep other productive employees morale elevated.

I think good work environment = good productivity = employee retention = saving $ longterm

JLeslie's avatar

Low moral = high turnover. High turnover = low productivity.

josie's avatar

No different than being an officer in the military. High morale means better performance, fewer mistakes, higher survival rate in the field. In business, high morale means more efficiency, better cost effectiveness, higher productivety etc.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Production is a by product of morale, I agree with this but morale isn’t always necessary or invested in. Fear and desperatness sometimes get the production and at a minimal cost too.

boffin's avatar

If you can’t have fun and get the job done then you are in the wrong profession.
I work at a State Prison I find a way to have fun and get the job done, done right and with public safety a priority. Regardless of where you work it shouldn’t be a drudge. Life’s to short!

JLeslie's avatar

I wanted to add that high morale builds loyalty, and employees will go above and beyond expectations if they like their managers and feel a personal obligation to the team.

Haleth's avatar

@zophu That’s a good way to put it. Everything in business is driven by incentives- businesses want to make as much profit as possible in order to survive and grow, and management has to promote that. Employees want to enjoy their work and be paid as much as possible for it. Hopefully you end up at a happy medium where everybody is productive and happy. People are motivated by a lot of things other than money, like recognition, advancement, and even fulfillment from the work itself. Getting the work done is the first priority, though- without the work and profit, there can’t be any jobs, and then there won’t be any benefits or salary to make people happy.

LostInParadise's avatar

Well said @Haleth . One thing that I would is that in large organizations people sometimes are not aware of how what they are doing fits into the overall scheme of how the company operates. If you do anything for 8 hours a day, you want to feel that what you are doing has some meaning. Companies would do well to make clear how each person contributes to the enterprise and how their efforts related to those of others.

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