The movie Morning Glory provides us with an insight of a poor work environment and the stressors that come along with it. It also shows us the resilience in one Ms. Becky who is a hard working young woman who has seen her dreams crushed after losing her job, then rises up to save her career and dreams. It begins with her expecting to get promotion but she is shocked when she finds out that it is rather a dismissal. It leads her to various job applications until she finally gets an offer at DayBreak. Becky’s job at DayBreak provides her with so many stressors, and the job environment presents countless characteristics of a poor, working environment. Some of them are lack of skills of the personnel in the company. We see this when she approaches Paul McVee to discuss work and Paul McVee is talking about photographing her feet. We also see when Mike Pomeroy is reading the news about a sexual offender, and when he goes to the next story about former president Jimmie Carter, the graphics person goes to the next slide and puts up the picture of Jimmie Carter but forgets to remove the tag below of sex offender. This is one of the characteristics of the personnel at DayBreak, and it describes the lack of skills required for doing their job.
The capability of employees to work effectively and efficiently on the work assigned to them relies on the knowledge or skills that they have. It is imperative for managers to hire qualified people for positions that are vacant, and during the interview process to allow the interviewees to perform tasks that will show their capabilities. It is also imperative for both employees and managers to undergo continuous training in the skills required so that both parties participate effectively (Gennard & Judge, 2005).
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One more characteristic about the personnel at DayBreak is their lack of task identity. Most of the personnel do not complete the jobs given to them. We see a lack of task identity in the movie when Mike Pomeroy is reading the news the first time. He does not do what Becky had asked him. This shows lack of task identity and the inability of some of the personnel at DayBreak to complete the tasks given to them. In a company, task identity is one of the core job characteristics that influence the progress of a company; it helps to identify the employees who perceive their work as meaningful or meaningless. The extent of how employees are able to finish the task assigned to them will relate to how they perceive their work (Cummings & Worley, 2009).
Another characteristic that is lacking with the personnel at DayBreak is the lack of task significance; the personnel at DayBreak do not view their work as significant or pertinent. A good example in the movie is when Becky requests Mike Pomeroy to banter with Colleen Peck in between reading the news to have lively news broadcast, but Mike refuses and the newscast is boring. The ability of employees to perceive their work as significant determines the success of any company, individuals who engage half heartedly on their tasks drag the company backwards (Cummings & Worley, 2009) (Branham, 2001).
The independence of the personnel at DayBreak to make decisions that affect their work is lacking, the employees at DayBreak lack autonomy, we see this when Becky is holding her first meeting with the staff and the staff come up with extremely unusual and unworkable ideas for their tasks. Becky has to step in and provide them with ideas, and this shows the lack of autonomy with the personnel at DayBreak. Most companies nowadays look for personnel who can work without supervision from their bosses; an employee has to perform his or her duties independently, and perfectly as possible. The amount of freedom and discretion an employee has to perform his tasks will make him more comfortable and therefore, perform better (Branham, 2001) (Cummings & Worley, 2009).
The feedback that a manager gets from the job will indicate whether the employee is performing well or not, at DayBreak the manager tells Becky to show that what she is doing is working through the ratings. If the ratings go high, the manager promises Becky that the show will continue but if the ratings do not improve it will shut down. The feedback that Jerry Barnes gets towards the end indicates that the show is doing well, and he extends the show. This indicates that good feedback from the job that one does will tell the management how an employee is performing. Therefore, deciding whether to keep them or get rid of them. Good feedback generates satisfaction (Cummings & Worley, 2009).
Throughout the movie, Becky experiences different stressors that make her life difficult at DayBreak, one of her stressors is her boss Jerry Barnes. He does not give her sufficient support to overcome the tasks he has assigned her. We see in the movie when Becky begs Jerry to allow her to go through Mike’s contract, to compel Mike to co-anchor news with Colleen. Jerry is not willing to do that and, after nagging him for a while, he accepts. Another stressor we witness in the movie is the negativity she gets from Colleen when she attempts to tell her that she is going to make a difference, Colleen tells Becky that she has seen 11 assistant producers in the past 14 years that she has been there. She says, “If they are stupid they get fired and if they are smart they quit, look at what I get” This shows how little she thinks of Becky. We also see in the movie how the office has little space and all the doorknobs broken down, when Becky tries to open various door the doorknobs falls off. Becky overworks, she gets remarkably little sleeping time, and we see this in the movie when she doses off while working on her laptop late in the night. Another stressor that Becky faces is the constant insults that she receives from Mike Pomeroy whenever she tries to talk to him, and this reaches a point where she even cries. She becomes emotional because she has always looked up to Mike since she was a kid; she used to watch Mike on the news with her father, and she was sad because it turned out that Mike was the worst person in the world.
Another type of stressor that Becky is facing is the lack of respect she is receiving from her workmates; most of them are egotistic and we see a good example when Becky tries to bring Mike Pomeroy and Colleen Peck other at one of their offices. She is trying to discuss the show that Mike and Colleen will be co-hosting and both of them are busy playing who is superior to the other. They refuse to go to each other’s office and they end up meeting halfway across the hall because none of them would agree to go to the other person’s office. Another stressor that we see in the movie is the lack of support that she is receiving from her colleagues and her boss, we see during the early days when Mike joins the show the ratings are not going up. She goes to Jerry’s office and Jerry tells her she is just circling the drain, and she is even more naïve than he thought she was. This shows that Jerry is not providing her with enough support and this becomes a stressor to her. The stressors that Becky is facing on a daily basis in the movie do not allow her to have a normal relaxed working space.
Some of the things that I would change to reduce the number of stressors that Becky is facing, is first replacing the manager who does not care about his personnel. We see this in the movie that Jerry cares less about the show, but ratings only, he does not see the effort that Becky is putting into DayBreak. In the movie, Jerry is even thinking about replacing the show with other programs instead of trying to help Becky make it work. He tells her that the network wants to cancel the show and replace it with game shows and syndicated talks. He even goes further to blame Becky for the shows demise when he says DayBreak has been on air for 47 years, she has been there for just six weeks, and they are shutting down. In addition, he even tells her to go to CBS and see if she can kill Sesame Street. Managers should support their workers to achieve their goals; workers become more motivated when managers are supporting their efforts. Managers, who put effort in assisting their employees to get solutions of their problems, help in the growth of employees and the company too. Employees also enjoy seeing their suggestions enacted by managers, and this gives them a feeling of a belonging (Branham, 2001).
Another stressor that I would remove from the job that would help Becky do her job with less stress is planning the office, and replacing the run down equipments. In a way, that will help her to relax, replacing the doorknobs will assist in reducing the number of stressors she is facing. We see this in the movie when she tries to open a number of doors and then the doorknobs fall off. Also, when Mike got a new office, space was unusually small. Becky also finds difficulty moving around the office because she has no enough space. Good office space and proper working equipment are the conditions that allow an employee to work well. A well-planned office space helps in maximizing the efforts of an employee (Bowles & Cooper, 2009).
When someone gets exposed to stressors for a long period, he or she develops various problems. One long-term effect is high risk of getting cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and high blood pressure. The study looked at the different work stressors that most people face at the working place, and it showed that working conditions play a key role in causing job stress. Individual factors also play a role in causing stress and being able to balance between work and personal life. The various job conditions that the study showed that might lead to stress include the following. Poor management style, bad interpersonal relationships, unbalanced design of the tasks, uncertain work roles, job insecurity, and unpleasant environmental conditions. Another survey done by Northwestern National Life indicated that 40% of workers reported that their jobs were intensely stressful. They were likely to get cardiovascular diseases. It also showed that one-fourth of the employees perceive their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives. Further findings from the study also showed that job stress had amplified in recent years (NIOSH: Publication No. 99-101, 1999). In 1995 almost one-half of the States granted worker compensation after claims for disability and emotional disorders due to stress. (1995 Workers Compensation Yearbook).
Another research done by Dr. Martin Shain, Senior Research Scientist for the Center for Addictions and Mental Health, suggested that the effects of long-term stressors are both mental and physical. He found that long-term stress associates with high rates of depression and anxiety. He divided the consequences of long-term stress into two categories, mental consequences and physical consequences. Under mental consequences he highlighted the following: depression, anger, easily distracted, nervousness, lack of concentration, and carelessness. Under physical consequences he highlighted the following: eating poorly, drinking too much, being likely to get injured, using too many medications, being prone to infections, being at a higher cardiovascular risk and sleeping poorly. He also found stressful situations are linked with significant high level of alcohol and drug abuse, double the heart rate and heart problems comparable to being overweight, eating poorly, smoking and being unfit. In his final report Dr, Shain also pointed out the high cost of companies ignoring the stressors that affect their employees. Some of the consequences that companies face include: lower efficiency, higher absenteeism, lower productivity, less client satisfaction, higher property damage and higher injury rates. He also believed that employers who directly or indirectly created stress for their employees would face litigation in future (Shain, 2007)
At the end of the movie, Becky turns down a chance to leave all the stressors at DayBreak and work for NBC because she felt that finally, she had become successful and everybody working at DayBreak was more like a family. She also felt that Mike was finally happy, and the future looked bright. Another reason why Becky turned down the offer from NBC was also because Jerry had given them an extension of one year to continue with the show. The company was not going to shut down the show. The prospect of continuing to grow for one year was a good reason for Becky to stay, instead of abandoning the show that was her brainchild. Towards the end of the movie, we see the doorknobs being replaced and attitude in the office change, meaning that things were getting fixed and the number of stressors was reducing.
If it were me, I would have done the same and continued working at DayBreak because it is better dealing with a problem that you are familiar with than going elsewhere to find new problems. When you have gone through the difficult part, and you are just about to enjoy the outcome of your effort, it is hard to leave at that moment. Being a brainchild of a project requires hard work and at the start, it is not always easy. One must persevere through the difficult parts, and efforts that you put into the project will finally pay off. Hard work is always at the beginning when you are trying to adjust to a new environment. The unfamiliar environment has its own challenges, and being under pressure to provide results at the same time is not easy. Most people would give up when faced with such difficulties but it is always important to stand firm and be strong. People always cherish the opportunity of being part of something that you helped grow, and remembering all the struggles that you went through makes it even more difficult to quit.
In the end Becky’s efforts saves her career and dreams, and at the same time save other people careers because she was able to put the show back on the map. The accomplishment that she gets at the end is a testament to hard work pays. At the beginning after she lost her job, she went to see her mum and her mum told her getting a good job at her age is not going to happen. She does not help Becky by telling her “you had a dream, great. When you were eight, it was adorable, when you were eighteen it was inspiring, at twenty-eight it is officially embarrassing. And I just want you to stop before it gets to heart breaking.” Against all odds, Becky was able to persevere through all the criticism and come out on top with her head held high. Even at the end, we see Mike becoming happier and Colleen despite all her negativity she admits that they have a decent show, and a decent producer and everyone is happy. If it was me in such a situation, I would do it the same way as Becky.
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