Thursday, March 28, 2013

How Not to Raise Morale

At work, we have a new uber-boss, and he has a good idea: he'd like to increase staff morale. Unfortunately, his ideas about how to achieve this goal are less good. His first effort was to create (additional) awards, and have managers - who, by and large, are paid no more than the staff - fund these awards.

That idea had a number of practical problems, including running afoul of at least two ethics rules. Thus idea number two: have the managers hold staff meetings for their divisions, at which time one lucky person would get to hold court on a current investigation. It's hard to imagine anyone would have his morale increased by yet another meeting, this time to discuss someone else's case. Good grief.

We're all professionals. What we'd really like is a raise - four and a quarter years and counting - but that's not in the cards. Fine, we accept that. Beyond money, what would be nice is not recognition per se, but being taken seriously as professionals. Unfortunately, in an organization where everyone wants to be a laird and no one wants to be a serf, it's hard to get others to accept one's ideas. Fair enough, professionals sometimes get to suck it up.

But for goodness sake, don't suggest that having more meetings raises morale!

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