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ANNE-MARIE DOLAN HR Leader, Aus­tralian Hu­man Re­sources In­sti­tute

AS an em­ployee, your first step might be to tell your su­per­vi­sor or man­ager that you are notic­ing neg­a­tiv­ity in the of­fice and ask if there is any­thing you can do to sup­port ef­forts to im­prove morale. Try to keep a pos­i­tive at­ti­tude your­self. Iden­tify the things that you en­joy about your work­place and fo­cus on those pos­i­tives, par­tic­u­larly when talk­ing with oth­ers. Lis­ten when oth­ers com­plain about things they are un­happy about but don’t join in with the neg­a­tive talk. Sug­gest they speak with their man­ager or some­one from HR rather than with other col­leagues. WHEN at­tempt­ing to in­crease morale in your of­fice, start by ex­am­in­ing the root cause of the prob­lem. Rather than make as­sump­tions, try to truly un­der­stand what’s go­ing on for your team mem­bers. For ex­am­ple, are of­fice pol­i­tics get­ting to peo­ple? Is ca­reer pro­gres­sion limited by a lack of op­por­tu­nity? Are peo­ple bored? Do they lack in­spi­ra­tion from their man­ager? Is the work­place too stress­ful? It also helps to re­mem­ber that morale is es­sen­tially an emo­tional mat­ter. One of the best ways to pos­i­tively im­pact morale is to per­son­ally make co-work­ers feel their work is val­ued. NO two or­gan­i­sa­tions are the same, with each char­ac­terised by its own unique dy­nam­ics, struc­ture and cul­ture. There­fore what is driv­ing low morale in one or­gan­i­sa­tion may be dif­fer­ent to the driv­ers in an­other. Typ­i­cally morale will be im­pacted through two key ar­eas: how aligned in­di­vid­u­als are to their jobs and how aligned in­di­vid­u­als are to their or­gan­i­sa­tion. Be­fore de­sign­ing any ap­proach to ad­dress the is­sue it’s im­por­tant for or­gan­i­sa­tions to con­duct some in­ter­pre­ta­tive anal­y­sis to un­der­stand the un­der­ly­ing is­sues. This is best con­ducted through a spe­cial­ist or­gan­i­sa­tion. EACH of us has an im­pact on the at­mos­phere around us through our emo­tional en­ergy, whether that is pos­i­tive or neg­a­tive. There­fore, of­fice morale is a joint re­spon­si­bil­ity. Bright, cheer­ful and en­er­getic be­hav­iours can be con­ta­gious just as moody, glum or sour ones can be. Think about your gen­eral at­ti­tudes, emo­tions and be­hav­iours: are they mainly op­ti­mistic, en­cour­ag­ing and sup­port­ive of oth­ers? Be­gin by mod­el­ling th­ese pos­i­tive at­tributes and of­fer­ing to as­sist oth­ers who may be strug­gling emo­tion­ally. Try to in­tro­duce some fun or so­cial ac­tiv­i­ties that in­ject hu­mour.

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