Twit twoo

Who’s a moody, misery guts in your business?

Yesterday I heard a guy on the radio saying, it’s now possible to monitor the overall daily mood of the world by analysing global tweets on Twitter. So what you might say! But they have also worked out that the Dow Jones index actually responds to the global mood and apparently three days after the world gets moody (low) the Dow Jones plunges. They predicted the August drop in share prices using this software and are now selling ‘mood’ data to investment companies.

But what’s this got to do with HR? Well, it got me wondering about how long you actually have in a business to turn the mood around, before the low mood impacts on business generally and everything starts to spiral downwards.

Today, I read about the business sharks starting to creep around Michael Page Recruitment Agency as a result of the sharp downturn in banking jobs. I would imagine the impact of this on the staff is instant with the press talking so openly of the financial uncertainty. So will such uncertainty start to plunge the business even further downward irrespective of ongoing business opportunities and business development activities? How can a business like this, raise the mood in order to start a renewed upward trend?

Michael Page aside, if Miss Misery Guts arrives at work at 8am and by lunchtime has plunged all her colleagues into the depths of depression as well, given that bad mood spreads like wildfire, how long do you think you have to turn it around before work, clients, revenues, quality etc. are all affected?

No doubt it will depend on the organisation: what you sell; how you are structured; how you work etc. You may take the view that like the Dow Jones, you probably have just three days of gloom before it starts to impact. Alternatively, you may take the view that it’s got to be sustained bad mood in your workplace to have an impact in which case you have 30+ days to put in place your turnaround strategy. Or perhaps, you are of the view that the impact on work is instant in which case you might need ready prepared strategies to deal with it.

It might even be worth you taking a view on the likely period and then testing your thoughts on a few of the business directors or leaders, before agreeing what the correct time period for your organisation is.

But once you have agreed the time period, my next question of course is how prepared is your HR department to implement motivational policies and strategies if there are just a few days or weeks to turn it around? I suspect not many HR departments are up to this job, or anywhere near capable of fast enough response rates necessary to combat a downturn in morale.

What do you think?

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