Employee Morale Literature Review
A. Employee Morale
Employee morale is an issue actively discussed by researchers, while it is one of the determinants of an organization’s success. Employee morale is especially important in services sector, while quality of the services provided is highly dependent on it. Raja and Kumar (2015) provide detailed review of the category and specify the key factors affecting it. The researchers define employee morale as a combination of total job satisfaction and the atmosphere prevailing in the workplace. It is a complex phenomenon constituted from individual’s feelings and attitudes, largely influenced by the level of mental strength of a person, expressed in such characteristics, as self-confidence, optimism, and positive mental attitude.
Since employee morale is a complex category, it is affected by a range of factors. Firstly, it depends on objectives of the organization and their correspondence with objectives and goals of an employee. Organizational design is another important factor. Thus, in small and medium-sized organizations with relatively flat structure vertical downward and upward communication is typically smoother benefiting the employee morale. Compensation fairness influences employee morale as well, while they expect their services to be adequately compensated in wages, salaries, promotional opportunities and other incentives. Among other factors the authors point out importance of competent leadership and supervision, opportunity of employees to participate in profits of an organization, job satisfaction, and satisfactory work environment.
The researches provide insights into the ways to improve morale. They emphasize the importance of two-way communication between organization’s management and staff, particularly specifying the necessity of informal discussions on an organization’s objectives, policies, and programs. It is also needed to enhance work environment, enrich job through motivation mechanisms, improve employees’ welfare and job satisfaction, encourage participation in social activities among employees, and show concern in employees’ opinion on job conditions (Raja & Kumar, 2015).
B. Stress at Workplace
Job-related stress is the central area of the research conducted by Trivellas and colleagues (2013). The authors point out that stress is a part of everyday work life routine as a reaction to pressure, anxiety or fear. If experienced in moderate amounts, stress may be a positive motivating and energizing factor, however, working in conditions of constant excessive pressure typically leads to side effects including employee dissatisfaction, worsening health, and mental disorders. In healthcare industry, employees are particularly exposed to various stressors, and their performance is highly dependent on the level of stress they experience.
The authors determined the major stressors influencing clinicians as following: heavy workload, lack of autonomy and career development opportunities, and limited access to information. Heavy workload is the most important stressor dramatically affecting quality of services provided and diminishing job satisfaction level. Work overload, constant pressure to improve performance, and necessity to perform multiple tasks at the same time lead to increase in employee turnover rate and make staff shortage problem even more acute. More importantly, increasing personnel shortages result in increasing workload per employee, thus this problem is a vicious cycle difficult to break.
Occupational stress is identified as the second major …