I love Christmas time, especially now with the children. It is a blast to be around family and enjoy the time together. But does anyone else have that one relative who complains about everything at the family get-together? That one relative who shows up for the family functions, but constantly complains about everything. Nothing will satisfy. The date everyone chooses to get together is wrong. “Someone brought the exact same sweet potato pie recipe as me, and they did it on purpose to make me look bad!” This person is nice to everyone face to face, but complains about every other family member behind their back. Am I the only one with family this way? We could classify this person as a complainer. That is what they really are. They ultimately can destroy a family function if allowed to, and they can drag you into an argument at the very least. They can make a family function boring, or uncomfortable, and brings everyone’s spirits down.
It’s no different at the Fire Department. We are our own family here. We look out for each other, and we know the strengths and weaknesses of each member. We all know that coworker who is never happy. He could be at work sitting in the recliner, and is still going to complain about something. The truth is I’m not sure what we have to complain about? These employees, these coworkers, our family, can ruin good morale and bring an entire department down. So with the start of the New Year, I want for us to look at ways to encourage each other. So with this in mind, I want to look at what I feel can bring happiness and boost morale to a department.
Whether you believe the Bible to be the true Word of God or just another book on the shelf, you cannot deny the fact that there are truths found in scripture that if we all lived by would make this world a better place. That being said, I believe there are some key points found when discussing happiness and good morale.
Proverbs 14:21 “Happy is he who is gracious to the needy.”
You realize that is what we do, right? We help those who are in need. Morale always seems to be the highest when you have just got back from a kicking structure fire. Doesn’t it feel great to help someone? You want to boost your morale? Run a call. Officers- you have someone on your shift with low morale and constantly complaining, assign them to the truck that runs the most calls. Get them active with the shift, and helping. It tends to give them purpose.
Psalm 128:2 “When you eat from the fruit of your hands, you will be happy and it will be well
Hard work pays off. If you want to be happy at work, do a good job. Take pride in your work and what you accomplish. Most complainers feel like someone else is getting away with not working, while they do all the work. However, the truth is we can only control our own actions. You are letting someone else control your morale and happiness. You want to have good morale at the Fire Station, go to work. Get busy working on something. Go train or teach a new guy something you have learned and they will never learn it by sitting in a classroom. Get up and go do something.
Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, but happy is he who keeps the law.”
A department without vision hurts the overall morale of the entire department. We have to know where we are going and what our goals are. That’s why it is important to set goals each year. Just like the verse said above, “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained.” Your shift needs vision. Your Truck Company needs vision. Your personal career needs vision. If you do not have a personal goal for the Fire Department, you become complacent. When you become complacent, you lose your need to be here, and you lose your happiness. If you want to be happy at the Fire Department, set some realistic goals for the year.
In conclusion, good morale is a necessity for the survival and well being of any department. We can help each other by helping those in need, working hard, and having a vision. Together we can make this a great year for all of us! Happy New Year!