Low Employee Morale | 4 mins read

What Causes Low Employee Morale?

what causes low employee morale
Dakota Sheetz

By Dakota Sheetz

What Causes Low Employee Morale?

what causes low employee morale 1602192892 1584

There is no single reason for low employee morale. As a result, there is no individual fix. As a business owner, what you can do is identify many of the potential causes, then put a plan together to fix it.

Failure to act on a problem with morale in your workplace can lead to lost productivity, high staff turnover, and general dissatisfaction. Act now and turn your ship around.

Causes of Low Employee Morale
Any business owner wants their company to succeed. But without a happy, healthy, and motivated workforce, you may never know the full potential of your business and how it could succeed.

If low employee morale is to blame, it's essential to get to the root of the problem. Otherwise, you'll continue to experience low productivity and general workplace unrest.

A Lack of Communication
A disengaged workforce costs companies in the United States around $550 billion annually. All employees want is for you to listen to them, engage with them, and help them feel heard. When they are, they are likely to enjoy their work a lot more. A happy worker is also a productive one.

A lack of communication can cause chaos in a corporation that requires order and organization. If you and your team can't talk or outline expectations, then productivity can suffer. What follows can be a hit to your bottom line.

A Lack of Tools
You wouldn't give a concrete layer a kitchen mixer and expect him or her to mix concrete. One of the many reasons for low employee morale is a lack of appropriate tools. Invest in technology not only for productivity but for a happy workforce who can do their job to the best of their ability.

No Advancement Opportunities
Over half of Americans say they are unhappy in their jobs. While the reasons vary, a common one is a lack of advancement opportunities. If you don't provide opportunities to grow or rise in the ranks, employee morale can be at an all-time low.

The next time you advertise a position externally, consider whether current staff members could be educated and trained to suit that role instead. You could save recruitment costs and increase your staff retention rate.

How to Fix Low Morale

how to fix low morale 1602192892 7949

You now know that you can blame poor communication, a lack of advancement opportunities and tools, and even your management style for low employee morale. But how do you fix it? Identification is half the battle, so you now need to move onto problem-solving.

Work on Your Communication
It's not going to be easy, but it's going to be worth it. When you work on your communication, you become far more approachable to your team.

Your employees can feel comfortable coming to you with concerns, problems, and ideas. They can even be more passionate about making sure your business operates at its best.

But how do you go about it?

Be approachable. Make time for one-on-one meetings and make sure your team knows they can come and see you in your office at any time. Make a point of visiting the main working areas to talk to your workers. Most importantly, don't stay locked away in your office.

Get Feedback
If you still aren't entirely sure why employee morale is at an all-time low, then get feedback. Hear it from the horse's mouth.

You can request this feedback by way of an anonymous survey, or foster an environment that allows people to feel comfortable to bring their concerns to you. Unless you find out the problems in your workplace, you won't be able to solve them.

Provide Educational Opportunities & Programs
Many employees decide to change jobs when they realize they are stagnating in their roles. Sometimes, a lack of educational opportunities and chances for growth are contributing factors.

Provide these, and your workplace can likely benefit. Employees then get to advance through the ranks and work on their skills, and you get to reap the rewards of those skills. It's a win-win situation.

Poor Management Techniques
People don't leave jobs; they leave managers. In fact, a 2015 report found that as many as half of employees left a position to get away from the boss. It may be sobering to hear that you or your management team are to blame, but at least you have a starting point.

Invest in management training for those at the top. They can then work on vital skills such as leadership, communication, and how to retain top-performing employees.


Low employee morale isn't a problem that impacts businesses by chance. It's the result of poor communication, poor management, lack of growth or advancement, and not having the right tools for the job.

You may not be able to solve the problem overnight, but you can solve it. It's just going to take a team effort.

  • Identify the likely causes of low staff morale in the first place.
  • Ask for feedback from your team on changes you can make.
  • Work on communication.
  • Provide the necessary tools and technology for your employees to do their job.
  • Invest in management training to provide a positive work environment for all.
  • In general, make an effort. Care for your staff and be attentive to your needs. They will reward you with productivity and a healthy bottom line in return.