HR Execs: Lousy Leadership Is Leading Cause of Low Morale

Poor leadership, not dissatisfaction with salaries or benefits, is the leading cause of low workplace morale, according to a new survey.

Poor leadership, not salaries or benefits, is the leading cause of low workplace morale, according to a survey released July 24 by Challenger, Grey and Christmas, a Chicago-based outplace consulting organization.

Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of the responding human resources executives put the blame for low morale on leadership problems.

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"Leadership, or the lack thereof, creates the work environment. If there is confusion about what leadership expects, frustration sets in and morale sinks," John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Grey and Christmas, said in a statement

Eleven percent of the executives blamed bad workplace vibes on salary and benefits, while 16 percent attributed low morale to heavy workloads.

Respondents didnt consider morale the most pressing workplace issue, however—35 percent chose "managing change."

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In its daily tracking of CEO turnover, Challenger has counted 728 changes so far this year, 7 percent ahead of the first six months of 2005.

"Some may see this as a striking disconnect, but the fact is that leadership change is often very difficult to achieve, so organizations may put their priorities elsewhere and hope the changes they make in recruiting and change management lead to improved leadership," Challenger said.

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