Report: Low-Morale Experience Assessment Survey (May 2019)

The second session of my Library Juice Academy course, “Deconstructing the Low-Morale Experience in Academic Libraries,” is now in its third week. 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 looks like for this cohort.

Course attendees agreed I could share the aggregated results. There are sixteen people enrolled in the class, and they hail from from public, academic, and school libraries in North America. The following results reflect the responses of fourteen participants (survey participation was optional). 

  • 86% agree they have experienced low-morale according to the 2017 Kendrick study definition.
  • 50% indicate their low morale experience occurred/is occurring in their current and past workplaces.
  • 50% indicate their experience has lasted three months or fewer.
  • 79% indicate that the perpetrators are library administrators; 57% indicate library supervisors or managers; 43% indicate library colleagues.
  • 93% indicate they experience(d) system abuse; 71% experience(d) negligence; 57% experience(d) emotional abuse; and 50% experience(d) verbal/written abuse.
  • Uncertainty & Mistrust (93%), Leadership Styles (79%), Staffing/Employment (71%), Contagion (64%) and Human Resources Limitations (50%) are major contributors to the LME.
  • 93% of respondents indicate feelings of Disillusion; 86% of respondents indicate Anger; 77% indicate Regret; 71% tied with Sadness and Worry; 64% tied with Depression and Skepticism, and 57% indicated Despair.
  • 50% have developed physical health conditions as result of their LME, including hypertension, insomnia, stress-induced muscular conditions, and gastrointestinal distress.
  • 64% have developed mental health conditions as a result of their LME, including anxiety and (increased) depression, reduced self-esteem, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • 64% have noticed/experienced a desire to change careers; a four-way tie of 54% of participants have also noticed/experienced decreases in work productivity, professional engagement, and willingness to collaborate and an increase in absenteeism; and 50% have noticed/experienced increased procrastination.

These results give a real-time snapshot of the low-morale experience as perceived by colleagues currently dealing with this phenomenon. I appreciate their willingness to allow me to share this data with the public.

View the October 2018 cohort’s Low-Morale Assessment Survey results.


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