Steps to Improving Morale

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Morale in the IT department has been in the weeds for several years now. A bad economy, tight budgets and widespread layoffs have lead to stressed out and overworked techies.

Analysts, however, say corporate executives can go a long way to improve morale -- and business -- by following a few steps. Aneil Mishra, associate professor of management at Wake Forest University's Babcock Graduate School of Management has this advice:

  • With any restructuring move, management should craft a vision of the future for their company -- not just for shareholders, but for employees as well. Company leaders should not just offer rhetoric, but offer specific details about the kinds of products they will make, the customers they will target and what jobs will be needed;
  • Employers should consider retraining employees for different tasks instead of laying off good workers in unnecessary positions and then hiring new people;
  • Managers who do have to deal with layoffs in certain departments may have to be reassigned to other areas. Many companies provide outplacement assistance for employees, but they don't consider the managers who had to deliver the bad news. ''Many companies don't consider the managers who have to deal with the mess (of layoffs). It's a very stressful position.''
  • Managers who have risen through the ranks with certain product lines or products may have to be reassigned when assessing those products because it becomes difficult for them to look at the surrounding issues in an unbiased manner, and
  • Companies should look for internal successes rather than only reacting to external situations. For instance, if a major lay off occurs, companies may want to look for such things as improved safety records and offer incentives for good business practices.

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