- Uncertainty about the direction (or the nobility of the direction) of the organization.
- Feeling devalued by leadership.
- Lack of voice in organizational decisions.
- Absence of transparency within the organization (usually springing from dismal communications).
- Ambiguity about expectations.
- Concluding that member talents/abilities/skills/knowledge are being wasted.
- Loss of trust between/among other organizational members and organizational layers.
Rarely is low morale about feeling overworked and/or underpaid (these are just less abstract symptoms of the root causes in the list above).
Leaders should think of every one of those catalysts as a form of "disease" that can infect an organization. Skillful and effective leaders can and do proactively interdict the "infection" likelihood of each.
Takes some thought, takes effort, takes work, takes integrity... It also takes intentionally deploying immunization countermeasures for each. And, the work is never done - attention to the health and wellbeing of the organization (just like our bodies) is a daily endeavor.