An issue every company deals with at some point is employee turnover. Unlike layoffs, which occur at the employer’s discretion, employee turnover takes place when an employee voluntarily leaves. Depending upon the employee and the vacated position, a turnover can have serious consequences for a business. If a company has a high turnover rate, finding and eliminating the cause might reduce that turnover rate. Low morale rates and high turnover rates indicate problems within a company.

Workplace Conditions

Although some employee turnover cannot be prevented, a company with a high turnover rate might examine employee conditions to determine the problem. Should the high turnover rate be linked to low morale, addressing the morale situation provides an opening to fix the problem. Morale is the driving force behind a company. High morale pushes the company forward and keeps employee turnover low. Low morale slows things down, reduces productivity, and accelerates employee turnover.

Identifying Causes

Finding the cause of low morale is the first step to fixing the problem. For some employees, not utilizing their potential in the positions they currently occupy causes workplace discontent, leading to lower morale. If an employee can do more than she is asked to do, giving her the responsibility to go above and beyond her normal limits might increase her job satisfaction. Other causes of low morale can be poor communication between management and workers within a company, as well as workers feeling unappreciated. Acknowledging and addressing the issues lets employees feel as if their voices are heard.


Employee empowerment improves morale. Empowering an employee means giving the employee flexibility in making decisions, as well as providing the opportunity to try different approaches to problems. A study conducted by the University of Iowa in 2011, authored by Professor Scott Seibert, reviewed nearly 150 research studies examining the effect of employee empowerment in the workplace. In Seibert’s paper, the research team discovered companies adopting employee empowerment techniques produced better work improvements in team performance, as well as within individual employee attitude. The study also showed both men and women reacted equally well to empowering techniques.


Spotting low morale can help prevent high turnover rates. By finding workers with low morale and addressing the problem, the resulting improvement in morale might keep the workers at their current jobs. Signs of low morale can include workplace hostility, production slowdowns, arguing with superiors and other coworkers, and an increase in workplace absenteeism.