Two researchers studied employee morale via work journals from 238 professionals.  A Harvard business professor and a Harvard psychologist collaborated to find four ways managers can ruin morale:

  1. Stall the worker’s most meaningful projects.  Such as one manager who routinely moved people on and off projects apparently at his whim.
  2. Block progress on goals.  Such as one manager who issued conflicting goals and allowed no ability to resolve the conflicts.
  3.  Blame bad morale on personality conflicts or the poor work ethic of the workers. 
  4. Retaliate when someone brings up problems.  As one chief operating officer said in responding to claims of bad morale, "We do not have low morale here.  Anyone who thinks so, there is a bus waiting outside to take you wherever you want to work." 

See ABA Bar Journal report. 

Yep.  That is why the Army requires a survey every year in every unit regarding many issues impacting morale.  The private sector could learn some things from the armed services. 

The Army is also very good at teaching leaders to recognize achievement.  A little recognition goes a long way.