Factors affecting morale of school district employees
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School districts reacting to recent criticisms of public education have intensified the process of self- examination, seeking ways to improve. The problem of this study is that assessment of employee morale should be included in any investigation of education in a school district. The staff members of a school district impact the community not only through students, but through job-related attitudes expressed in behavior outside the workplace. Morale affects this behavior. This study ranks specific work factors identified in previous studies by Herzberg, Sergiovanni and Rubenstein, relative to a specific school district employee population. After ranking was achieved, an assessment was made of how well the employee's needs were being met in one school district. Methods for gathering the data were selected, in-depth interviews and a survey of the entire population by questionnaire, covering the following work factors: interpersonal relations, praise/recognition, communication, freedom to try new methods and procedures, availability of supervisor, participation in job-related decisions, and morale itself. The population of the study ranked work factors in the following descending order of importance: Interpersonal relations, freedom to try new methods and procedures, availability of supervisor to talk over problems and concerns, participation in job-related decisions, praise/ recognition, and communication. A ranking of employees from "most satisfied" (16 years of service or longer) to "least satisfied" (11 to 15 years of service) is extrapolated from the data, and recommendations are made for improvement of work factors in the school district. In general, the employees rated morale "poor," and suggested the following remedies: better relations with the administration, less paperwork and more time for preparation, and better pay. Other data assembled from this study indicated a need for more employee input, and more opportunities for two-way communication, especially between employees and administration.