Definition of low morale

Updated February 21, 2017

Low employee morale can be bad for business. To prevent it from disrupting the work environment and becoming costly to your company, address low morale as soon as you observe it.


Morale is the spirit of your employees. It's based on a series of feelings, such as appreciation, and can be either high or low.


Morale affects employees’ willingness to complete assignments, as well as their behaviour, cheerfulness and discipline. Low morale impacts these areas negatively, and, according to the CBS Business Network (, it can be contagious among your workforce.

Reduction in Productivity

Low morale breeds a reduction in productivity and performance. When your staff has low morale they are less eager to give you their best, which leads to poor quality work or assignments that are not turned in on time. Additionally, low morale has a direct correlation with high absenteeism.

Financial Harm

Low morale comes with a high price tag. Unproductive work hours are wasted employer dollars, which cannot be recovered. When employees are getting paid to work, but use their work time for other things, they are harming the company's financial health.


High employee morale is the ultimate goal, because it means that employees are happy in their jobs and are willing to give employers their best.

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About the Author

Kyra Sheahan has been a writer for various publications since 2008. Her work has been featured in "The Desert Leaf" and "Kentucky Doc Magazine," covering health and wellness, environmental conservatism and DIY crafts. Sheahan holds an M.B.A. with an emphasis in finance.