10 tales of backfiring, condescending efforts to boost morale

Manipulation is bad enough; being treated like a kindergartner may be worse. You be the judge.

Companies either make an effort or don’t when it comes to boosting employee morale. Some are done with integrity and show credible appreciation for the staff. And sometimes, it’s just outright insulting and condescending.

These are those stories. Morale boosting efforts that generate the opposite response.

What I’ve discovered is that a quick-fix attempt to boost morale almost always comes off as condescending. Your employees are not stupid. If they were, you probably wouldn’t have hired them.

If morale is low, then there are overall issues in the company that need to be fixed. A party, dinner, or company award isn’t going to erase the negative sentiment that’s been built up over years.

I went out seeking stories from people who have been subjected to these morale boosting efforts’ utter failure. In some cases people willingly revealed their name and/or company. In other cases, they didn’t want themselves or their company to be identified. In those anonymous cases, I have made up a name of the person and put it in quotes.

1. To show my gratitude for working late, here’s this almost completely worthless piece of paper

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