When morale, pride, and spirit are present within a team, productivity is high, relationships are strong, and it is actually fun to go to work. Without morale , pride , and spirit, the situation is very different. There will be dissatisfaction, lethargy, negativism, friction, and a lack of cooperation.
People have a variety of needs: physiological, safety, and social. The social needs generally have two components : the desire to be validated by others and the desire to be part of something that is greater than oneself. Building morale, pride, and spirit helps to meet these social needs.
Two components must be present to build morale, pride, and spirit. The first is an easily understood and routinely emphasized vision, mission, and goals. The second is a uniform and clear set of operating rules, standards of performance, values, norms, boundaries, and conventions of behavior. These should be written, constantly reinforced by leadership, clearly understood by every member, and consistent with each other.
A leader trying to create an environment where morale, pride, and spirit can thrive should possess certain characteristics and skills. You can assess your current level of readiness and determine areas that you need to develop further.
There are two key factors in the building of morale, pride, and spirit: the time spent together in shared experiences and the communication among team members. It is the quality and quantity of both time and communication that bring success. Shared experiences cause team members to change from focusing on themselves to identifying with the team. Communication is a key link that bonds a team. It is fundamental to positive and lasting relationships.
Building morale, pride, and spirit is a challenging process. The leader is the key to its success.