I love reading books about management and office culture. This book caught my eye because it had a guy with a bunch of balloons on the cover. Nothing says fun like balloons.
As a person who has been a working stiff since the 1970s, I have seen more “new” ideas come and go throughout my work history. Things I have been subjected to:
- a laugh therapist (I wasn’t quite sure what that was about. I hardly laughed, though.)
- a talking stick for meetings (hold a stick when it is your turn to talk)
- team building exercises
- ice breakers
- sharing feelings
I am generally very positive about my job and my co-workers and I work very hard at not getting cynical, but every time some new idea shows up to make my life and work better, I just end up annoyed. The reality is that managers and worker bees alike are complex creatures and have complex lives. No one is perfect. Employees need to stop the expectation that a boss will fix your life and career and care about your happiness at work. Managers need to recognize that good morale is not a function of slogans, bonding, sharing feelings, etc.
If you want to improve morale with very little effort, try bringing in cake once in a while. It’s not a perfect solution either, but at least you have cake.