Hey, hey what can I do? – tips for boosting morale


( my graphic of a shared team purpose)  


I am fortunate that living in Milton Keynes I have access to Open University Business School meetings. Every few months there’s a breakfast briefing for local networking and to share learning. The most recent session was about ‘Moral & Motivation’ delivered by the engaging Ben Hardy. (www.open.ac.uk)

Ben recapped motivation theories. You know the kind of thing, incentive based, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, goal setting and process theories. All valid and have their place BUT the key message to me was the importance of the ‘human’ element. The bit that makes us individuals, makes us feel, drives us to achieve, defines our values and behaviours. The message that we should keep this at the forefront of everything we do with our interactions with others.

There was some discussion about the ‘value’ of good morale and motivation on the bottom-line.  Is it the fact that we do a good job, being efficient and effective, that increases moral? Or is it by having a good motivation and ‘good morale’ we are more productive and do a good job? Discuss!

Ben then spoke about the ‘composition’ of morale, which he described as a mix of;

  • Interpersonal – The SHARED PURPOSE, the ‘stuff that binds us’. The idea that when people work well with each, it improves morale. The concept of culture and the importance of the ‘how WE do things round here’. We know that motivated people are the ‘glue’ that keeps a high performing team together. We also know poor relationships at work or in a team will lead to stress, poor performance and poor moral. Breakdown in relationships at work can be devastatingly destructive.  Being on the same ‘side’, working on shared, purposeful goals is very important. What can YOU do to support  this?
  • Future goal based – The WHAT WE DO! We all need clear direction and focused achievable goals. We also need to monitor, measure, as well as have a sense of achievement and share in celebrations. When there is no clear direction, it can lead to destructive organisational politics and breakdown of individual focus.  What can YOU do to ensure clear goals and joint celebration?
  • Emotional aspects – The SENSE OF BEING, the THANK YOU! Such a very important phrase (see my previous blog ‘Is ‘Thanks’ not ‘sorry’ the hardest word? The power of saying ‘thanks’ to others, but being specific, intentional…and MEANING IT). We all need to feel valued, to have a sense of worth and purpose; including a shared purpose. We need to know we are making a difference, that what we do has a value. Please use your ability to say ‘Thank you’ and share your appreciation of others. So, what can YOU do today?


The discussion made me ponder – what is ‘morale’? What is it that creates that sense of purpose in others?  It made me think about what I can do to help others with a feeling of ‘belonging’. To me it is the simple things we all do which creates the culture and the ‘team’ which includes breaking down hierarchy, being honest, creating an environment of trust and being inclusive.

I think it is key that we communicate, learn about the others you work, or play with. Listen to them; learn about what is important to them. I urge you all to consider YOUR part in creating a ‘shared purpose’ and contributing to creating a positive moral wherever you are, at work, in a football team or at home.

We ALL have a part to play and need each other to ensure we achieve what we all aspire to.



 As you would expect there is a link to a fantastic Zeppelin track ‘Hey, hey, what can I do?’ This version is being performed by the wonderful Plant & Page during an American tour in the 1990s. Beautiful

‘I wanna tell her that I love her so! The only one I really love!’

So, tell somebody that today! Enjoy  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtRrhm2ArdA



About Michaela Finegan

Passionate about the NHS and making it better; for patients and staff. An avid fan of social media with the belief that, along with social marketing, social media the potential to positively affect how we use the NHS and how it provides services to us. First love is music, spending as much time as possible at gigs and festivals. Enduring, everlasting love for my two beautiful sons. All views my own.
This entry was posted in call to action, communication, motivation, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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