LEADERSHIP: Morale.

morale

Morale. Its corporate, it’s collective. When moral dips, falls below the normal then it becomes a kind of corporate depression. Its affects everybody, indeed it infects everybody. From the bottom to the top and back down again. A lack of moral is a very quick wake up call for those in leadership.

As it affects everybody including the leadership group then despite everybody’s effort’s there is no effort. No will to act despite training. Without the will to act there is nothing. So how does this will to act or lack of it manifest itself? Coming to work longing for the end of tour. Doing what is necessary not going beyond. Doing the minimum not the max. Slowly becoming a robot, recording crime not necessarily solving it. It even affects your day-to-day ability to function on a personal level. Responsibilities become delineated. It’s not my area you need to speak to so and so. How many times have you brought an handover package into your sergeants office to be told “Its not my area, you need to speak to…..” that other person sits across the desk but aren’t there at the moment! Madness. Can you not just pass it on? Taking no responsibility outside of your own remit.

That goes for coalface workers and leaders. Remember the phrase “Health and safety is everybody’s responsibility!” Well solving crime is the same. Protecting the public is the same. Looking after each other is the same. Yet we compartmentalize ourselves. It’s not my responsibility; it’s somebody else’s. Doing a job so wide ranging yet doing it with blinkers attached, held on by low morale. Departments, teams, individual’s. Eventually becoming so obsessed by their own workload they forget they are part of a bigger picture.

Failing to speak with each other and ultimately losing contact with themselves and in doing so ourselves. Struggling to get a handle on the moment. Part of a team yet so marginalized people feel alone, unsupported and afraid. Morale is a bit like street gossip for the soul. If everyone felt happy then everyone would. If a few feel down it wont be long before the rest of the team feel it, then the section, then the department.

So how does one combat this? Well, as with everything in this current thread it is becoming apparent it is down to the individual. The change starts with you. That is as much aimed at the coal face worker as it is to the leader. There will be things that you cannot change. Accept it, get over it and be at peace with it. But the things that you can change and be willing to change, now that is a different matter. Start with the little things.

Coal face workers, have a look at your kit bag for example, when was the last time you had a good sort out? Chuck out the things you don’t need and put in the things you do. Leaders, you have a big plate. You may not be able to have influence over your budget but you can change things for the better in the matters you do have influence over. So don’t sit on that outstanding matter of an IT issue at a particular station. Fixing it will not only improve your troops morale, it will improve your own. Because as they see movement, you will also feel it.

Start to help each other out again as you used to do. Stop looking inwards. Lack of morale stops you from giving but in the end you have to give to live. That is the paradox problem. And its no good just a few trying to change the mood. If the mass don’t follow then very quickly those of you that made the effort will very quickly get sucked back into the abyss. As much as morale starts with the individual it is equally as important a group effort. So if individually we all start together then our group morale will take care of itself. Sounds so simple doesn’t it? Well it is. The difficult part is ourselves taking that first step.

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About Walk the Talk

I have been a Police Officer for 20 years. It’s fair to say I have just about seen it all. I have spent my service working major town centres on response seeing all that life can throw at a human being. But, for the last eight years I have been on the road policing unit in its various guises. It is on this unit that I have seen life transpire to deal its cruelest hand. Both as an investigating officer and a family liaison officer, I have witnessed tragedy that at times I am at a loss to understand and at worse comprehend. Wholly committed to saving lives, this is the role of the road policing officer. As I have gotten older and realising that my emotional sponge is saturated I have looked and taken a very real interest in personal wellbeing and how WE can make our life experience better what ever we do. Taking the media of blogging a stage further I now produce podcasts on that topic. Join me if you would on an evolving journey that no doubt will produce a few surprises along the way.
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