Manage Your BusinessCompany CultureHow can SMBs navigate low employee morale?

How can SMBs navigate low employee morale?

Employee morale is an intangible business aspect that you should never overlook. If you underestimate the power of high employee morale, your company can never reach its full potential. Of course, there is nothing wrong with focusing on business goals and setting certain rules. But prioritizing the company’s objective at the expense of employees’ emotional state and sentiment can lead to several problems.

Well, if your employees are not satisfied and hate to do their job, how can you expect to reach your strategic objectives? Hence, employee engagement and morale are key to success in the market. Without it, no company can expect to grow and expand in the industry. Read further to learn how you can improve team morale.

How to Detect Low Employee Morale?

Lack of Engagement and Attendance

Is the task getting monotonous for employees? Are your employees doing the same things every day? A project that once inspired them because of its significance has become a series of tasks they must complete before the month’s end.

Office work turns into rote tasks, and the reason to perform the work fades, taking passion and motivation with it. If this happens in your office setting, employees will not be engaged and will often go on leave.

Super Stress Workers

It’s not uncommon to see emotional outbursts in employees and frequent sick leaves. Stress often affects the well-being of employees. This can lead to depression, anger, and spikes in cortisol, leading to poor immune function and high blood pressure. Obviously, unwell employees take more sick leaves than happy and satisfied workers.

Research, as of 2010, indicates that employees with low well-being can cost an organization more than $28,000 a year due to low productivity and sick day expenses. Contrary, engaged and happy employees cost only $840 a year.

Low Productivity

When employers turn into taskmasters, workers often lose the motivation they once had to complete the project. The work becomes an eye-roll-worthy obligation instead of an important step toward a fulfilling career.

Additionally, when a boss tries to push everyone to complete the project, people stop doing their work and lose productivity. It might surprise you that the highly productive workers are those who work with minimal supervision.

Apathetic and Sluggish Employees

There are three main reasons for burnout:

  1. Depersonalization
  2. Emotional exhaustion
  3. Reduced personal accomplishment

Employees struggling with burnout might love their jobs, but they are so much overworked and exhausted that their morale plummets.

What are the Causes of Low Employee Engagement and Morale?


As effective as it sounds, it isn’t good for employees and business growth. Micromanagement is one of the primary reasons for low employee engagement in any company. With this approach, managers don’t act like bosses, but they are dictating employees what to do at every step. In this case, employees hate to come to work every day. This type of management can cause loss of employees and low productivity levels.

Extra Unpaid Working Hours

Many companies overload their employees and assign work more than their capacity. This forces people to work extra hours regularly to meet deadlines. It will impact the entire routine of an individual, leading to no work-life balance and no social life.

If your team has to work extra, they will surely hate your company and always look for ways to find another job. To maintain high morale, it’s important to ask every team member to work according to their capacity.

Poor Employee Treatment

When you don’t treat an employee respectfully, they will have low employee morale. Poor employee treatment also leads to a negative work environment. If you always go against your employee, point out their mistakes every time, do not accept their petitions, and constantly schedule meetings to identify their issues, it’s hard to get the most out of every worker. This treatment will frustrate and stress your employees, forcing them to leave the workplace as soon as possible.

How to Deal with Low Employee Morale?

Help Employees Understand their Work Importance

It should be the manager’s responsibility to make their employees feel that their work is more than just a job. You need to make them feel valued and show them that their work has a higher purpose. This will help employees feel they have an important role in the team and naturally increases employees’ morale to put more energy and effort into the task. They will feel valued.

It’s impossible to make every employee feel happy or continuously motivate each employee every day. But the least a team lead or manager can do is acknowledge workers’ efforts. When you praise a few employees who have worked hard, others also get motivated and try their best to acquire your acknowledgment.

Communicate Clearly and Regularly

Communication is an ideal way to boost employee morale. Interact and engage with your team members regularly. Build a good relationship with each member of your team. Ask how they are doing, what challenges they are experiencing, and how you can help them.

If there is any new program that the company will launch or looming adjustments in the department, make sure to tell employees in advance. Don’t just announce big decisions that can affect them suddenly.

No employee enjoys these types of surprises. Instead, engage your team in discussions and take their opinion on the new project a few weeks before you launch the program or make any changes. This will help you gain their trust and allow them to prepare for changes to regulate their emotions.

Comfortable Workplace Setting

A well-design, comfortable workstation is a part of employee satisfaction and workplace wellness. Clean and tidy desks, private workplace stations that are free of distractions, promotion of good posture, and ergonomically designed sitting areas can boost employee performance and improve employee morale.

If an individual is not satisfied with where they are sitting, this will undoubtedly impact their performance. You can ask for employees’ suggestions to improve the workplace environment. Also, you can incorporate modern ergonomic furniture, such as standing desks, to allow workers to do their work without causing strain on their bodies.

Embrace a Unique Culture

Whether you realize it or not, your company has a workplace culture. It’s high time to understand what it is to determine how it’s impacting your employees. Is your workplace culture engaging and fun? The more fun and unique your culture is, the more employees will enjoy working with you, and the more people will know you in the market.

Keep things casual and lighten the company’s mood by making things fun and engaging. This will help make employees feel comfortable, and they will no longer be wary of things they usually dread, such as meetings. It’s best to do things out of the ordinary to surprise your workers.

Reward the Achievements of Team Members

Whether you believe it or not, every employee craves recognition and acknowledgment, especially when they have done great hard work to accomplish something for the company. If your team isn’t recognized and doesn’t get the rewards for their accomplishments, they will feel directionless and sad. They will feel that they aren’t valuable members of your organization.

To ensure your employees feel valuable, reward and recognize all the members of the staff for their achievements- no matter whether they are small or big. It could be a get-together or celebratory meal where employee reflects on their hard work. You can also offer incentives or appraisals to make them feel special.

Focus Work-Life Balance

Many researches indicate that employees love to stay with their current employers if they have the option of flexible work timings. If you notice your staff discouraged or disengaged, offering flexibility is one of the simplest, most reliable, and fastest ways to boss productivity and raise their spirits.

Bosses who constantly encourage employees to maintain a work-life balance have a higher employee retention rate. They can build a more productive and healthier workplace. Not to mention, as a company leader, you need to set an example to the employees by modeling a promising work-life balance.

You can take breaks to show employees its importance. You can encourage co-working or hybrid working for your employees. Do whatever you can to show employees how to maintain a work-life balance.

In a nutshell, SMBs need to consider employee engagement and morale as any other big corporation. Keep in mind that leading companies in every industry were once at your stage. They were also struggling like you but always tried to motivate and acknowledge their employees. That is why they now set the industry’s rules and give tough times to their competitors.

Employees are the foundation of a successful business. Contented and satisfied employees can take your business to new heights, and unsatisfied ones can even result in big losses. So, to grow your businesses, start focusing on your employees.

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Brandi Marcene
Brandi Marcene
Brandi Marcene is a contributing writer and investigative journalist for ASBN. Over the years, her writing has been published by several Fortune 500 companies, including Dell, Haute, Audemars Piguet, and Harry Winston.

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