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The Reason Employee Morale Is On the Decline

Credit: Bored employe image via Shutterstock

Despite an improved job market, employee morale is on the decline, new research shows.

A study by Salary.com revealed an increased number of U.S. employees are lacking fulfillment, pride and commitment when it comes to how they view their work. Specifically, just 38.5 percent of workers are personally fulfilled by the work they do, down from 59 percent a year ago.

Additionally, just over half of employees are committed to their work and career, compared to more than 70 percent who felt the same last year.

Abby Euler, general manager at Salary.com, said that with the economy slowly improving employees may be taking a harder, more critical look at their lives, their work and personal situation.

"They're evaluating their careers by measuring overall fulfillment and asking, what does my career add to my life? Am I where I want to be in life?" Euler said. "The psychological toll of the great recession may have caused people to feel 'burnt out'; where in a down economy employees tended to put their head down, accept lower pay with more responsibility, and were often underemployed or even unemployed."

The study shows that today's workers aren't as willing to do extra work and are more concerned with just collecting a paycheck each month. Less than 20 percent of those surveyed are willing to put in extra hours simply because they enjoy their work, down from 48.5 percent in 2012. At the same time, more than 70 percent are primarily working for their paycheck, up from 55 percent last year.

Overall, less than 15 percent of those surveyed report their job provides a sense of accomplishment.

Euler said the research paints a telling picture for employers when it comes to retaining their most valuable employees

"Employers need to pay attention to their work force," she said. "With the economy slowly on the mend, the grass may indeed be greener."

The study was based on surveys of more than 2,000 employees.

Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer who has nearly 15 years' experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.