The "Morale: Who Needs It?" session at the ACES conference had more anecdotes than easily summarized advice. But here are a few tips I gleaned from what the New York Times' Lew Serviss and Arlene Schneider presented.
First, they offered some of the rejected titles for their session: "The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves" and "If It Weren't for Low Morale, I'd Have No Morale At All." That shows you a lot of people's mindset going into the discussion.
Serviss (sports copy chief) made the point that where you work is where you live; you spend more waking hours at the job than you do at home. Do you want to live in a miserable area with fights and back-stabbing? Or do you want a cheerier, safer place where can be creative and flourish? Change your work environment like you would at home. And recognize that some things may be out of your control. If those are really important to you, you may need to consider a move.
Schneider (recruiter of copy editors) addressed the infatuation with media gossip. She said your readers don't care if you're about to be sold, so don't spend half your shift paralyzed with fear instead of editing. Stop hitting refresh on Romenesko.
She held a similar discussion in 2002; ACES has coverage here.