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Warning Signs of Low Morale In The Workplace

Angry executive pointing out his employee in bright office

Warning Signs of Low Morale In The Workplace

Posted by Payroll Data Processing in Blog Jun 05 2016

Managers and HR professionals often feel like they have a growing to-do list. Even if you cross one thing off, another five tasks take its place. This means that sometimes low morale in the workplace can go unnoticed. Most HR professionals and managers have great ideas for treating low morale, but spotting this workplace disease in the first place can be much trickier. Keep an eye out for these warning signs of low morale in the workplace to nip this problem in the bud, before it becomes another, greater task on your to-do list.

Is there a lack of smiling faces in your office these days? Though it may seem way too simple, managers and HR professionals should do a smile check when scoping out the morale situation in your workplace. If your employees are generally happy and have plenty of smiles to share, the disappearance of smiles is a big red flag indicating low morale. It’s easy for HR professionals and managers to miss this sign because it is so basic and simple. Look around the office and see if there’s any smiling. True, your employees could just be very focused at the moment. So strike up some light conversations, and if there’s still no smiling, or the smiles seem to be forced, you could be looking at a group in desperate need of a morale boost.

Does it seem like numerous employees are taking sick days more frequently? Managers and HR professionals may first assume that it’s just a bug going around, but check out your absentee data more closely. Who is calling in sick and when? If you notice any trends in the data, such as employees calling off more than usual during a time when their department is under pressure, this is a good indication of low morale. No one wants to work in an unpleasant place. If employees are using their sick days more and more, this could mean that your once cheery environment has started to falter. HR professionals and managers need to keep an eye on their data to track trends in absenteeism and see if those trends could be traced back to low morale.

Have you noticed more conflict among your employees? Again, this could be caused by declining morale in the workplace. Your employees probably work closely together in their departments or on teams during special projects. Managers and HR professionals should take note of how their employees interact, and pay special attention to any changes in these interactions. Conflicts will happen, especially if the stakes are high during a project or a busy business period, but when HR professionals and managers start to see that there is more tension and more conflict among employees for seemingly no reason, the team is telling you that their morale is dipping down.

A positive morale is extremely important in the workplace. It inspires your employees to be more productive and think outside the box. As such, low morale can be really bad news. But before HR professionals and managers can start treating the issue and bring morale back up, they first need to know the warning signs.