Employees serve as the backbone of any business. Motivated employees, in particular, contribute tremendously to any business’ day-to-day operations. Self-motivated employees who show up early for work and put in more than 100% effort display the commitment necessary for a company’s success. They know a thriving company means their careers also thrive. Unmotivated employees who go through the motions aren’t exactly the ones a company likes to keep in their employ. The differences between great workers and slackers are huge.
What can a company do when the top performers slowly turn into slackers? Assessing the reasons why employees don’t put in the right amount of effort would be a good start. Often, the revealed reason behind poor performances is employee morale has dropped. Improving poor morale isn’t easy. The worse morale declines, the harder it becomes to fix things. This is why it is critical to notice instances of dropping morale as quickly as possible.
Increased Sick Days and Downtime
Out of the blue, employees seem to be getting sick a lot. Likely, they are becoming sick of work and don’t want to come in. So, they start to abuse their sick and personal days. When they are in the office, it might not seem like the employees maintain a desire to be productive. Downtime seems to be a serious problem with several employees. Neither of these issues indicates employees happy with their work environment. Take excessive absences and a lack of dedication to doing things in the office as a major first red flag of low morale.
Problems Between Employees
People in the workplace don’t always get along. Problems and disagreements between employees do happen. The same can be said of interactions between employees and managers. When disagreements, personality clashes, and problems between people in the office arise with alarming consistency, something may exist underneath the surface. Low morale plays a role in workplace disagreements and other issues.
Low morale leads to be people being on edge and unhappy. Tempers flare under such circumstances. When personality clashes occur in the workplace, addressing and improving overall morale must be part of the process of fixing things.
A Lack of Self-Motivation
Employees who feel positive about their workplace don’t need to be nudged to do things. They take their own initiative to perform tasks in the office. Many employees may turn out to be proverbial fountains of ideas as they come up with new ways to do things. When morale declines, self-motivation diminishes and does so rapidly.
Indifference sets in when morale takes a drop. Workers don’t take the same pride in their work as they did when enthusiasm levels were much higher. Taking the initiative to do things decreases dramatically. Managers must keep an eye out for decreased self-motivation.
Also be on the lookout for outright work stoppages. Deliberately cutting back on work productivity is one way employees with low morale try to force changes in the office. Such actions hurt everyone, but workers don’t always think things through when their morale takes a tumble.
Reverse Problems with Low Morale
Morale won’t improve if management threatens employees with poor performance reviews or termination. Frequently, poor treatment by management plays a significant role in harming morale in the first place. Managers must come up with a more positive approach to reversing problems with low morale.
Managers confused over what might be driving down morale may discover simply asking employees about what bothers them tells the tale. Asking employees to submit anonymous suggestions or answer confidential surveys could provide insights into what hurts morale. After reviewing the comments, managers can take steps to address employee concerns.