The Trouble with “Low” Morale

It’s come to my attention recently that morale is low in the workplace.  A couple of my fellow worker bees had to tell me such was the case because I had absolutely no idea we suffered from low morale.  What is this?  Where does it come from?

My dictionary defines morale as a “state of mind, especially associated in some enterprise, with reference to confidence, courage, hope, zeal, etc.:  the high morale of the workers.”

So if you suffer from low morale I guess that means in your state of mind you’ve lost confidence, courage, hope, zeal, etc.  You’ve lost enthusiasm for what you’re doing.  If that’s the case maybe you should be doing something else.

Notice the definition refers to a state of mind.  Which is your perception, your attitude.  So if you’ve decided you have low morale, you probably do.  You’re miserable in your job, you’ve got a bad attitude about it, your morale plummets, and sadly you start to bring everyone else at your place of employment down with you.

I’ve noticed how quickly low morale can spread.  One person’s discontent shared with another adds a layer, shared with another, adds another layer, until wah-la!  We’re all miserable and we don’t know why.  It’s because negativity spreads like wildfire.  All you need is to drop one unhappy person into the middle of a group where everything was just fine and pretty soon, one of two things will happen.  Either Mr. or Ms. Unhappy will find him or herself in the minority, ignored and ousted or their unhappiness and discontent will seep into the environment and poison it and everyone they touch.  Sadly, the latter happens much too often.

It’s surprising how often the misery has nothing to do with the workplace.  Unhappy people are unhappy with virtually every aspect of their lives, so naturally they bring that state of mind to work with them every day and look for some more things there to add to their misery.  They look for more people to pile on to their sympathy bandwagon.

Frankly, I don’t want to hear about how low morale is in the workplace.  What I want to know is what are YOU doing about it?  Are you part of the solution or part of the problem?  Have you lost your enthusiasm for your job?  Too bad.  It might be tough to duplicate or improve upon in the current market, but I encourage you to try, because I’m tired of your attempts to bring the rest of us down with you. 

My dad used to always say, “I felt sorry for myself because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.”

Maybe a little gratitude for what you do have in the workplace would help.  Maybe if you tried to lift up and encourage your coworkers instead of reiterating how miserable they should be you would find a little more joy in your job.  Maybe, just maybe, you should consider what your life would be like if you lost the job you’re complaining about now and were unable to duplicate it.

It isn’t anyone else’s job to lift your morale.  Go back and read the definition of what morale is.  It’s a state of mind.  It’s your state of mind.  Your choice.  Your opportunity.

1 Comment

  1. Monica

    I really needed this morale pep talk, Barb! I have a sign above the door of my classroom that reads, “Of all the things we wear, our attitude is most important.” It was meant for middle schoolers, who are soooo concerned about appearances. Now, if I could just live by that on a daily basis!

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