Staff Morale and Efficiency by Harold V. Ruse

I had long listened to the complaints of our security patrol who daily walked the floors of the museum. Except for a few short breaks they were constantly on their feet and frequently grumbled of boredom and sore legs and feet since they had to stand for hours at a time. Rotation of position helped with the boredom but not the legs and feet.

One day as I watched the security personnel who were watching the security screens, they became so bored through repetition that they were playing solitaire on "Windows 98". Then it dawned on me. These people sat all the time.

It didn't make much sense to supervise a group of people, some of whom sat all day, and another that stood all day. Especially in these days of ergonomic concern.

August 4, 2003, with the approval of upper management a new system was implemented. Extra training sessions were authorized to make our "floor walkers" proficient on our monitor screens. Workloads were adjusted so that all of our security staff would walk the floor but serve two rotation periods per day on the monitors.

Results: All of my staff spent part of the day sitting and part standing. There were no tired legs and feet. Boredom was lessened. Upper management was perceived as more caring and concerned about the welfare of the staff. Those brief periods in observing the monitors were more effective. The short periods of screen observation made the staff more observant of anomalies. Job turnover was less frequent. A happier force made for a happier me.

Harold V. Ruse, Chief of Security, Calquier Museum of Modern Art