Surveys will continue until morale improves

Q. We’re thinking of surveying our entire workforce specifically about their morale. Do you think that’s a good move, or might it come across as weak?

A. I’m cautious about surveying like that because indeed, it’s a very passive way to approach a problem, and makes the leadership group seem distant and remote, sending out surveys from a safe room somewhere, creating the image of a bunch of suits sitting in a conference room flipping through the responses. If you feel the need to survey about a morale problem, guess what—you have a morale problem. Maybe it’s better to take some proactive steps to solve it rather than collecting numbers and anonymous gripes. Get people talking. Give managers action steps to get the ball rolling toward fixing things. Assume the worst and go on the attack.