With its small staff treading its broad but hushed hallways, the Supreme Court is able to instill in those who work there a sense of common purpose and esprit de corps that cannot possibly be created in a huge bureaucracy.
Police officers need to be able to trust each other, and if that trust is broken or abused, it creates a dangerous situation in a job where they sometimes have to put their life on the line.The allegations have yet to be proven in court, but there is no doubt that some strong male attitudes persist in traditional male fields like the military and policing. Policing is similar in its training, duties and associated risks as these traditionally male-dominated fields.It demands an esprit de corps, and the creation of a band of brothers to provide a duty of care to each other.But society has changed and it is important that our institutions change with them so that it isn’t a boys’ club, with the resulting intolerance for those who don’t fit the mold.The police force represents us all, whether we are in uniform, or out. That’s something that all officers have to remember.
More organizations are trying similar activities outside of the office in order to build morale. From CrossFit to escape rooms to simulating a catastrophe, team building has become big business for facilities usually frequented by the casual public. In 2012, U.S. companies spent $46 billion on team-building firms, according to the Association for Talent Development.
The economy of esprit de corps isn’t for naught. According to Gallup, disengagement in American organizations accounts for more than $450 billion in lost productivity annually. And with less than a third of employees actively engaged in their work, according to the analytics company’s State of the American Workplace report, losses pile up quickly. Studies by the Queens School of Business and Gallup found profitability, job growth and share price all fell by more than 15 percent in organizations with low employee engagement.
Individuals are more loyal to the people they work with than to the actual company. A recent Harvard Business Review study noted the significant role of friendships on our level of satisfaction and engagement at work. This study revealed that “camaraderie promotes a group loyalty that results in a shared commitment to and discipline toward the work. Camaraderie at work can create ‘esprit de corps,’ which includes mutual respect, sense of identity and admiration to push for hard work and outcomes.
My one and only time working in retail was a summer job while I was in college, hauling merchandise to the sales floor at a big box store. The fellow workers were great, and I remember an esprit de corps that helped get us through the day.