Saturday, 28 May 2011

New Survey Demolishes Established HR Thinking

Regular readers of HR case Studies will be aware of the editorial team’s scepticism at the number of surveys that are commissioned in the HR world. Normally such surveys are thinly disguised marketing tools to “prove” that the service offered by the sponsor is the answer to all the world’s problems, and that you’d be daft not to give them a call and beg them to help you. Generally the surveys tell us in quantitative terms (and attempt to blind us with statistics) something that even the dumbest of us would have taken for granted anyway.

But a recent survey undertaken by the Chartered Management Institute radically breaks with this tradition and reveals something that will leave readers slack-jawed and wide-eyed with amazement.

It seems (brace yourselves) that managers might be to blame for worsening workplace morale.

Recoil with shock all those of you that thought that good morale in the workplace was actually the responsibility of the outsourced catering staff (See Gary Hamel’s seminal work, “Syrup Sponge and Custard: Unlocking Employee Engagement with Tasty Desserts")

Faint with horror anyone who still clings onto the well-researched theory that there is a demonstrable link between the United Kingdom’s performance in the Eurovision Song Contest and workplace productivity (See Ulrich and Brockbank’s influential Harvard Business Review article “Boom Bang-A-Bang: Competitive Advantage Through Employee Polyphony" (Foreword by Sir Terry Wogan)

Stagger under the impact of the paradigm shift that explodes the view that it’s really the responsibility of the employees themselves to keep morale high (see Paul McKenna’s bestseller, “I Can Make You Rather Jolly”)

The ground-breaking conclusion came as a result of the CMI's "Spring economic outlook survey" which found that 70% of managers admitted that morale in their organisations has dropped over the last six months. Throwing all the well-attested theory aside, the Chartered Management Institute has responded to the findings by suggesting that managers themselves could be responsible for the decline in morale.

Incredible, isn’t it? Just not at all what you'd expect.


  1. Expect your tongue was in your cheek when you wrote this... LOL

  2. mwh: Oh you cynic! My tongue in cheek? Whatever gave you that idea!