low morale

In a 2017 study, prominent researchers found a statistically significant correlation between low morale and motivation on employees’ productivity & competitiveness. The effects of low employee morale in the workplace can be devastating to organizational and team success. Here are three ways organizational leaders can conquer low morale and overcome any productivity perils:

What have you done for me lately?

According to TINYpulse’s 2019 Employee Engagement Report, 75% of employees feel like their organization fails to recognize them for the work that they bring to their organizations. On the flipside, Globoforce found that 55% of employees said that they would leave their organization for an organization that values them.

This is a problem. It is also the #1 way to conquer low morale. Employees need to consistently feel like their manager, team and organization appreciates the work that they do.

Meaningful work is what contributes most towards a positive workplace sentiment. Therefore, organizational leaders who curate a culture of appreciation ensure a positive workplace sentiment. In doing so, they bust through low morale and experience higher levels of productivity, engagement and loyalty.

What was that? I can’t hear you!

As soon as we enter this world, we require attention. We long for our parents to hear our cries and come to our crib to comfort us. Wanting to be heard is innate. A critical way to conquer low morale is to listen closely to your employees.

When I refer to listening, I mean the acts of both listening and acting upon what you hear. Most people hate employee surveys. This is primarily because they never hear anything back on their grievances or suggestions. They feel like their voices mean nothing to those who have the power to change their workplace experience.

When organizational leaders act on one-on-one feedback, on survey feedback, on performance review feedback, they say to their employees, “You are significant.”

Want to conquer low employee morale? Listen and act.

Lift me up please!

According to TINYpulse’s 2019 Employee Engagement Report, only one in three people strongly agree that they have the opportunity to reach their full potential at their organization. In that same report, when they asked “what the main reason would be if they were to leave their organizations, a staggering number of workers pointed to a lack of growth opportunities as the most likely cause.”

Employee want their leaders to lift them up. When they don’t feel like they are being lifted up out of complacency, we see low morale take shape.

Some practical ways to do this? Make sure that they feel like they are stretching outside their current roles, make sure they know what career paths are available to them and how to access them, include them in cross-functional teams focusing on solving business challenges.

If you do not create a fertile place for them to grow, employee morale will continue to take a deep dive. Lay plenty of seeds and water frequently!


Many organizations struggle with low morale. What I have found is that they often ignore the signs and the solutions. If you can manage to focus on showing sincere and consistent appreciation, listening to them and acting upon what you hear and lift them up by helping them grow, you will conquer low employee morale once and for all. Remember, none of this is a one-and-done scenario. It takes consistent attention and watering to make it take root.