Low employee morale is a far too common problem in many workplaces. Employee morale refers to the attitudes and opinions that an employee has towards their management or work environment. In many ways, low employee morale directly impacts the profitability of your company. Unfortunately, low employee morale is often caused by the business owner.
In order to alleviate this common issue of negative attitudes and opinions, you must know the signs. There are many signs that can help you detect low employee morale such as:
- Poor communication with management and team members
- Frequent days of absence
- Excessive complaining over small matters
- Increased employee conflicts
- Poor work quality
- Increased customer complaints
Fortunately, there are many ways that you can fix these issues, improving both the atmosphere and profitability of your business. Unfortunately, a lot of the methods that are commonly used act as a band-aid rather than fixing the problem from its root.
3 Ways Business Owners Cause Low Employee Morale
To truly solve the problem of low employee morale, you must come to terms with the most common cause. In many cases, a less than ideal work environment is caused by the business owner and management team. Here are three ways that you could be creating a culture of low employee morale.
Your Goals Are Too Ambitious
This problem is quite common in the business world. As the business owner or manager, you see that your company is quickly growing and become obsessed with continued growth and productivity. While this is not all bad, it can cause problems within your team.
As you begin to see greater success, you begin to take unrealistic measures to continue with that trend. In a case study performed at the University of Buffalo School of Management, Jim Lemoine found the following to be true:
“Some managers attempt to rapidly improve their organizations’ competitive position by adoption goals for impressive achievements that will excite staff and stakeholders…. But if those goals are unrealistic because of current resources, employees may lose confidence in their performance and the organization.”.
To remedy this cause of low morale, always garner your employees’ feedback when setting new goals and tasks to make sure that they are reasonable and realistic.
Lack of Communication
Another problem that can cause low employee morale is a lack of a streamlined, comfortable environment for communication between the boss and employees. Employees often have outstanding ideas that can contribute to increased performance and a better work environment.
If you create an environment where employees do not feel free to speak their minds and share their suggestions, you are going to cause great damage to employee morale. This, in turn, can cause great damage to your company.
Employees should be encouraged to voice their ideas and concerns to management without fear of repercussions. Set up a system to let employees know how to discuss issues with you in a way that makes them feel seen and validated.
Not Realizing Employee Potential
The third way you could be causing low employee morale is by not identifying and making use of your employee’s potential. In most situations, employees are hired for positions that they are over-qualified for. It’s important to acknowledge their knowledge and skillsets, providing them with opportunities to exercise their abilities.
Doing so provides opportunities for employee growth as well as growth for your business. If you have resources to flourish, it’s up to you as the business owner to realize the potential and use it in the right ways.
Identifying the cause of low employee morale and working tirelessly to remedy the problem will create a more productive work environment and generate loyalty amongst your employees. For more information on our HR services or other business solutions, contact our team today.