Cashier at a coffee shop​
Nathan Dumlao/Unsplash

The main reason why employees love their jobs is not exclusively due to the line of work they're in or because of the job description.

A lot of it has to do with good morale and work environment -- all of which stem from good management.

However, it takes one major misstep for all the chips to come tumbling down.

Curious to hear about the influence of higher-ups on hard-working employees, Redditor kraam1217 asked:

"What's something your employer did that instantly killed employee morale?"

Companies make business decisions... meaning, it's in their best interest, not yours.

Cleaning House

"I work in a big corporate building. The same older lady came by everyone’s desk towards the end of the day to collect the trash. Just the sweetest lady ever and every time she’d walk to my desk she’d give me a big smile and ask me how my day was and chat for a minute as she got my trash (usually I’d dump it in for her). I had some rough days but she has a way to cheer me up and send me home on a higher note. I know I’m not the only one either."

"So then a few weeks back our work implemented a new policy to ‘cut down on trash usage’. It’s no longer allowed to have a trash bin at our desk and we have to walk across the room and use the community trash to throw anything away. Not a huge deal but the real reason they did it is so they can cut down on cost... ie the cleaning crew."

"Sad to say that I haven’t seen Sharon since."

– schimsl

Big Changes

'We're moving manufacturing over seas.'

"Uhh... all we do at this facility is manufacturing."


"Never seen a less productive or less motivated workforce. And it was announced over a year before the move too. Would have been better for the company to just spring it on people with two weeks. Although props to them for giving people a chance to find new work ahead of time."

– thedankbank1021

Company-Wide Punishment

"Electrical contractor of 35 (27 of which are out in the field), we earn PTO hours based upon the number of hours worked in a given week. Full-time employees earn what is equal to about 6 extra paid days off in a year, which is typically used for errands, sick days, taking care of children, and so on. One of the field employees is a known (to all other field techs) alcoholic, word makes it to office personnel that this individual was using his PTO because he had tipped too many back the night before and couldn’t make it to work on time. Owner denied his PTO claim and he drove into the office to have a shouting match with the owner."

"Very next day a company-wide email is sent stating that PTO will be indefinitely suspended because it is being abused. Not even sure if what they did is legal. But instead of dealing with this one employee, they decided to use it as a way to save paying out around 180 earned days off throughout the entire company. This happened about a week ago, morale dropped instantly. Most field techs started showing up late playing around on their phones and leaving early. Couple guys have already jumped ship and sounds like a large number of others are about to follow. I’m going to wait it out a couple of months as I’m owed a yeti cooler and vacation time on my anniversary 😝."

– longhornduck33

Some companies are just shady.

A Steamy Protest

"Small business. 20 employees +/-. Boss made a big speech about austerity measures and no raises this year. A week and a half later he drives up in a brand new Silverado with all the bells and whistles. Expensed to the business of course. He would hate to have to pay taxes on those profits. One of the less subtle members of the staff took a literal sh*t in front of his office door."

– DentedAnvil

Empty Threat

"Telling employees that they are going to fire you if you don't make more sales. Then when someone quits tell them naww that was just motivation. We were never going to fire you."

– lovelesschristine

Fake Incentive

"Boss Pitched a sales incentive trip to Cancun if the team hit the goal. My team exceeded the goal, and then they cancelled the trip. 2 people quit, I accepted a position with their main competitor, and less than a year later, they closed in bankruptcy. Karmas a beach."

– lifecoachannalisa

Wrong Recognition

"I once had a retail manager who sent out a memo that we worked so hard and did such a great job this month that she gets a bonus. That went over like a lead balloon."

– HoboTheDinosaur

Credit Where It Wasn't Due

"Comment repost: I went through this same kind of bullish*t."

"I, along with 9 other coworkers, did a Kaizen project where we cut customer complaints from over 100/month to single digits due to streamlining our process. The plant manager sent out a company wide e-mail essentially taking credit for the whole thing. He noted how he put together this team and under his direct supervision he got the project done without even mentioning our names. That pissed all of us off until the Continuous Improvement manager sent a reply thanking all of us in a big fu**k you to the plant manager. I was just happy that the CI manager was a no bullsh*t guy. I left that job a few months after we completed it and still use it on my resume."

– 69this

The employers in these examples just lack class and empathy.

Egregious Message

Put up a poster that said 'Complaining is like vomitting. You feel better but everyone around you feels sick.'. The morale was already bad but it was just a sh**ty way to take a hit at upset employees rather than do anything positive."

– wild_flower87

Questionable Credentials

"I told the hiring manager that I was disappointed in one of his hires because he knew literally NOTHING about our job and asked him 'doesn’t that cheapen my knowledge and expertise?'”

"His response: 'Well, let’s be honest, your job doesn’t really need all that, does it?'”

"There were four other people my level, with varying fields of expertise, at that meeting, and it got real quiet after that."

– backstagestitches

​Unnecessary Protocol

"They banned phones, electronics, puzzles, books, etc. from being used at your desk. I work at a call center. We were expected to just sit and wait for the next call to come in 'distraction-free,' even if it was a super slow day."

– forever_a10ne

If you work in a well-paying, positive work environment where your fellow co-workers look forward to showing up and your superiors treat you with respect, congratulations.

You're in the minority.

Not everyone can say the same. But don't lose hope. Opportunities are out there if you keep on the look out.

And if you're an employer, remember to treat your employees well, because that will influence the future of a successful business.