Lack of Straight Workplace Talk Can Slam Morale

June 21, 2004 ( - Both employees and employers think that a lack of open, honest communication has the most negative impact on employee morale (cited by 30% and 52%, respectively).

The second most negative impact was thought to be a failure to recognize employee achievements, cited by 21% of employers and 27% of employees, in a survey by OfficeTeam, a staffing service. Both employers and employees (17%, 16%) also cited micromanaging employees as a morale buster.

The poll also covered suggestions for how companies can deal with morale woes. Both employers and employees suggested giving rewards such as gift certificates or sporting event tickets (38% versus 34% respectively).

Rounding out the list of suggestions were:

  • Team building
  • Monetary rewards
  • Better communication
  • Recognition programs
  • More days off.

“Consistently sharing good – and bad – news with staff members builds an atmosphere of trust and can forestall potential miscommunication on business issues,” said Diane Domeyer, executive director of OfficeTeam, in a news release. “People often fear the worst when they have limited information.”

Informal rewards also influence the mood in the office, Domeyer added. “Unsung heroes become another firm’s rising stars if their good work is repeatedly overlooked,” she said. “Rewards do not have to be monetary as long as they demonstrate to teams and individuals that their contributions are valued.”