Turnover Tuesday: The Impact of Low Morale in the Workplace

Actual Comments on Why Employees Leave:

“The people I worked with on a day to day basis were not happy with their job which is not a great place to put an intern interested in working for the company. They constantly complained about how they didn’t like their schedule, or their boss, or how the company was run.”

The Solution

It appears that neither management nor Human Resources at this company have been involved with this work group and have no idea of the negativity and low morale in the workplace, as you would not put an intern in such a negative environment.

The question is what, if any, HR initiatives are in place to measure the pulse of the organization and the work groups within the organization. Also, what interactions are managers having with employees to ensure they understand and are responding to employees’ concerns?

In today’s environment, there should be more emphasis on work-life integration. Many organizations are focusing on flexible work arrangements as a way to motivate, engage, and retain employees. Allowing employees to help plan their own work schedules boosts morale in the workplace, improves productivity and engagement and cultivates loyalty thereby reducing turnover.

Managers also play an important role in creating successful work groups and retaining employees. Often times, the buck begins and ends with managers. Good managers meet on a periodic basis with their employees to review goals and objectives and to provide a forum for employees to discuss their concerns. In the case of the above comment, it appears there may not be ongoing interaction between managers and employees or worse yet, there is interaction that results in not addressing employee concerns and overall morale in the workplace. Managers need to keep in mind that being a manager is not about their titles or positions but rather it is all about how they can positively impact and influence employees to achieve the objectives of the business.

The comment by this employee is far reaching as not only did the intern leave, but the organization also has some very unhappy employees who are not engaged, are producing less, have no loyalty to the company, and are likely to leave the organization thereby creating higher turnover.

Bad morale in the workplace can spread as quickly as the flu among employees working next to each other in cubicles. If morale continues to drop, there will be a direct correlation between the morale and employee turnover.

(Turnover Tuesday is a blog post brought to you by Human Systems Development, an exit interview company that helps other companies reduce employee turnover by providing automated reference checking, exit interviews and by measuring employee retention. The comments this blog is based off of are collected from exit interviews we have conducted in the workplace with ExitRight, HSD’s exit interviewing service. We put the privacy of our clients at the top of our priority list; therefore we keep the names of all involved completely confidential. Return weekly for Turnover Tuesday, to reduce employee turnover within your organization).

About Deb Dwyer

Deborah Dwyer is the founder and president of HSD Metrics. With over 30 years of combined experience in human resource management and survey research, Deborah’s extensive knowledge reaches beyond organizational research to include significant expertise in work climate improvement, retention, hiring and selection, employee orientation, performance management systems, recognition programs, and career development systems.

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