Report: Low-Morale Experience Assessment Survey (October 2018)

I am in the third week of my Library Juice Academy course, “Deconstructing the Low-Morale Experience in Academic Libraries.” I asked students enrolled in the course to participate in a quick Low-Morale Experience Assessment survey, just so we could get a quick gauge on what the landscape is.

Course attendees agreed I could share the anonymous results. There are thirteen folks enrolled in the class, and the survey reflects the responses of ten participants. Survey participation was optional.

  • 90% agree they have experienced low-morale according to the 2017 Kendrick study definition.
  • 40% indicate their low morale experience is occurring in their current workplace.
  • There is a tie on length of respondents’ low-morale experiences: 40% indicate more than three years; another 40% indicate one to three years.
  • 80% indicate that the perpetrators are library colleagues (60% indicate library administrators; 60% indicate library supervisors or managers).
  • 90% indicate they experience(d) verbal/written abuse; emotional abuse is at 80%; negligence is at 80%; systemic is at 60%.
  • Uncertainty & Mistrust (90%), Leadership Styles (90%), Staffing/Employment (80%), and Library/Librarian Perceptions (60%) are major contributors to the LME.
  • 100% of respondents indicate feelings of anger; 80% of respondents indicate Disillusion and Sadness; 70% indicate Worried; 60% indicate Depression, Skepticism, and Despair.
  • 60% have developed physical health conditions as result of the LME, including hypertension, shingles, headaches/migraines, and various muscle aches and pains.
  • 50% have developed mental health conditions as a result of the LME, including anxiety and (increased) depression.
  • 80% have noticed/experienced a decrease in work productivity; a three-way tie of 70% of participants have also noticed/experienced decreases in professional engagement, increased procrastination, and a desire to change careers. 60% have noticed/experienced a decreased willingness to collaborate; and 50% have noticed/experienced increased lateness (to work).

These results give a useful snapshot of the low-morale experience as perceived by colleagues currently dealing with this phenomenon. Thanks to them for offering and agreeing to share this data.


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