Six Things That Kill Employee Morale

Want a healthy, happy workplace? Eliminate these habits.



Managers are often blindsided when their best employees leave without much notice or reason. They speculate the motive for departure: Was it family matters? Health issues?

But the often overlooked answer is this, according to Forbes: “people don’t leave jobs; they leave managers.”

Bad management can exist in any industry and include many contributing factors. However, there are a few surefire ways bosses can kill workplace morale in any career-type, Forbes says. Below are some of them.

Not giving praise

Employees sometimes need to know when they’re doing a good job, especially if they’re quick to be told when something needs improvement. All it takes is simple acknowledgement of their commitments to projects and tasks.

Overworking staff

Giving employees larger workloads because they’ve proven they can handle it may seem like punishment over reward, especially if they feel overburdened. A good work/life balance has proven to be important to employees, and feeling burnt out may lead to less productivity. If an employee commits to a larger workload, he or she should also be considered for a title change, raise or promotion, Forbes says.

Holding employees back

Employees should have the opportunity to climb the ladder when they’ve proved their worth, and it’s wrong for bosses to hold them back for personal benefit. Keeping staffers from moving up can also make them feel disinterested in their current job.

Blaming others

Singling out an employee in front of others for a mistake causes fear and anxiety in the workplace, which can make it difficult for staff to perform at their best, Forbes says. Bosses should instead talk to the worker in private and collaborate with team members for better solutions going forward.  

Threats of firing

Bosses should never threaten employees with termination as a way to keep them motivated. It can make workers feel undervalued and disposable, and leave them desiring another job that promises the respect they crave.  

Not leaving room for passions

Employees encompass all sorts of different talents, and they should be able to express them when possible. If a staffer is presented with an opportunity to showcase his or her less-utilized skills at work, managers should not keep them from it in fear that their productivity will decline in other areas. In fact, it may lead to opposite results, Forbes says.

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