How To Tell If Morale Is Low


If you’re in a leadership role, one of the most challenging roads to navigate is employee morale. Low morale can begin quietly and escalate quickly. If you’re wondering whether your employee morale is low, it’s important to catch the warning signs and address issues to work toward solutions. We’ve rounded up some key indicators that your team’s morale is taking a dip:

Widespread Fatigue or Silence

If you have an employee or multiple employees who are normally the life of the office party but who have recently become more recluse, this could be a warning sign that something’s wrong. Employees who were once full of bright ideas and enthusiasm that have taken on a more quiet demeanor may be struggling with something work-related internally. The best way to approach the subject is to solicit feedback or generate an informal conversation to ask what’s wrong. If employees are feeling overworked or overwhelmed, they may just be simply too tired to bring their normal energy level to the door each day.

Lack of Initiative

If you’ve found that recently your micro-managing skills are being tested on employees who are usually self-starters, it may be a result of low morale. Employees that are dropping the ball or not giving 100% to a new project or task may be in a negative spot. Check in with their workload and see what’s going on. Getting to the bottom of even a minor issue can make a big difference in the day-to-day for that teammate.

Pay Attention to Social Media

If you normally have a team that loves to post a #lovemyjob hashtag but has recently faltered from their typical social media cadence, this may be a red flag. Social media is a subconscious indicator of how your team is really feeling. If you’re seeing an influx in TGIF posts vs #lovemyjob posts, there may be something going on that needs your attention.

Client Complaints

How your clients or customers are feeling has a correlation with employee morale. It’s hard to fill someone else’s cup if yours is feeling empty, and the same goes for an team-client situation. When listening to client feedback, make sure you search for the source of the problem and keep in mind that it may be linked to your current cultural climate.

Attendance and Turnover

When there is an increase in absenteeism or tardiness, this may be a warning sign that something is wrong within the team. Avoidance is one of the easiest ways for a team to passively confront a problem and could be in an indicator of a larger issue at hand. Touch base with your team frequently if you’re noticing a problem with attendance. Poor attendance can lead to the ultimate morale problem: Turnover. If you’ve experienced a large amount of turnover it can be a dangerous circle. As one employee leaves if their responsibilities are added on to existing employees, they can feel overworked which can lead to more turnover. Keeping an eye on the project or task distribution is so important to prevent and manage turnover.

Confronting problems with team morale head-on is the best approach to protect your company culture. This could mean that as a leader you will have to face difficult conversations, complex problem solving and hear uncomfortable feedback, but it will make you, your team, and your business stronger in the long run.

Story By: Sophie Duncan