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Morale matters

Cambridge Judge Fellow Ben Hardy wins Chartered Management Institute award.

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Dr Ben Hardy

Dr Ben Hardy

A research paper on improving employee morale and performance, whose lead author is Ben Hardy, Fellow at Cambridge Judge Business School, has won top prize in the annual Management Articles of the Year competition of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

The winning paper, Morale: unravelling its components and testing its impact within contact centres, examines how high morale enhances productivity. It looks at morale from three perspectives: feeling valued, a focus on future goals and workers’ relationships with others, and provides a practical guide for managers and employers to boost morale.

The lead author of the paper is Dr Ben Hardy, lecturer at the Open University and Fellow in Management, Finance & Physiology at Cambridge Judge. The other authors are Dr Tanya Alcock and Dr Jon Malpass, both from BT’s Research and Innovation unit.

Ann Francke, CMI Chief Executive, said:

Morale matters for managers and this research shows why, with great real-world evidence that the way employees are managed makes all the difference to their morale – and their performance. The winning article is a great example of how business schools and employers can work together to apply research to practical problems. The CMI Article of the Year prize is about helping managers find the very best research from UK business schools.

Hardy said:

How people feel about their work impacts the work they do – a simple observation, but one that can often be forgotten in management. Our article explores the meaning of morale, why it matters in business and how key components increase or decrease it.

The winning paper, which looks into practices at six UK contact centres, draws on interviews with over 300 people. The paper makes three top recommendations for managers to improve team morale: show employees they are valued and add value to the organisation; focus on the organisation’s future; and build and encourage good interpersonal relationships.