Talk, Talk, Talk to Boost Morale

November 20, 2008 ( - A new survey sponsored by Accountemps suggests frequent dialogue with employees may be the best way to raise their spirits.

Nearly half (48%) of executives interviewed cited better communication as the best remedy for low morale, while one-third of respondents said lack of open and honest communication with staff members tops the list of management missteps that can erode morale, according to a press release.

Other remedies for low morale cited by respondents included:

  • Recognition programs: 19%,
  • Monetary awards for exceptional performance: 13%,
  • Unexpected rewards (e.g., gift certificates or sporting event tickets): 11%,
  • Team-building events or meetings: 5%, and
  • Additional days off: 3%.

When executives were asked, “Which one of the following has the most negative impact on employee morale?” their responses included:

  • Lack of open, honest communication: 33%,
  • Failure to recognize employee achievements: 19%,
  • Micromanaging employees: 17%,
  • Excessive workloads for extended periods: 16%, and
  • Fear of job loss: 14%.

The survey was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on interviews with 150 senior executives from the nation’s 1,000 largest companies.