Headlines: June 7th, 2007



Low morale at work is a bigger problem in public bodies than it is in the private or not-for-profit sectors. Research by Roffey Park, the management institute, showed four out of ten public sector managers believed morale was low in their organisations.

The research looked at a range of areas surrounding how managers from across the three sectors viewed motivation and commitment within their organisations. It found almost 40 per cent of those in the public sector felt morale was low, compared with 16 per cent in private businesses and just 6 per cent in the not-for-profit sector. The third sector also had the highest number of respondents, just under a third, who believed morale was high.

Emma Stirling, co-author of Roffey Park’s Management Agenda 2007, said it was important to maintain high levels of morale to retain employees and to get the most from them. “Low morale can be a result of many factors, including lack of motivation, poor management and stress. As part of their leadership role, it is important that leaders look at how they can boost morale and maintain a happy and productive workforce,” she said.

The research found that financial rewards and perks came lower on the list of motivating factors than ‘making a difference’, which was cited by 86 per cent of those taking part. Three quarters felt personal achievement was most important and a similar proportion rated enjoyment of the job as the main motivating factor. Challenges and recognition by others were named as most important by 69 per cent of managers.

Among de-motivating factors, bureaucracy was considered to be the main problem followed by poor management, which the authors say reinforces the view that managers have a key role to play in motivating people in the workplace. More than a third of respondents felt lack of recognition and lack of time to deal with the workload were key de-motivators.