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4 Causes of Employee Demotivation & What HR can do about it!

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4 Causes of Employee Demotivation & What HR can do about it!

​The world is evolving rather quickly in our day and age. As such, attaining a balanced lifestyle can be quite a challenge when trying to manage a career, social life, family and finances. It’s hard to earn a sufficient living while being content at the same time which is why many lose focus and start being demotivated, especially when it comes to their career as it takes up most of their day. 

Their mood is affected when they have to spend long hours, not getting paid enough, feeling underappreciated and dealing with difficult bosses. It can make a person feel discouraged and upset which could ruin their whole day. How does this affect your company? Having disengaged employees can tarnish the productivity of their performance which will result in low profit. This is a red alert for HR to act on this pressing issue to uplift the employees and create a better environment at their workplace before the turnover rates keeps on increasing. 

Let’s take a look at some of the roots of this problem: 

Lack of Appreciation

Money is no longer the only motivator these days but a company’s work culture can be just as important. Employees want to know the effort they are putting in is being valued by positive affirmations from their boss or a small token of appreciation like dinners and birthday celebrations. When you water a plant and compliment it, it is bound to grow and this goes the same with your employees. 

HR can organize small gatherings when the company achieves their targets for the month and thank the employees for their hard work as a team with some incentives. 

Negative environment 

At times, working in a toxic work environment can affect your mental health. Studies have shown that workplace incivility can significantly impact one of our most critical assets mental health. Indeed, data from the health promotion board of Singapore indicates that the mental well being of working adults in Singapore is 13 percent lower than the general population.

Hearing negative remarks or complaints day after day from your peers or bosses can make you uninspired and this will hinder your efficiency. If this continues, you’ll start losing passion towards the work you once had. An environment that is supportive is vital to assure employees are always inspirit to produce their best work. 

Having frequent meetings to look into the challenges that employees are facing is critical in ensuring  unnecessary workplace negativity from spreading. Employees should also not be afraid to voice out their opinions on improvements that can be made to enhance the working environment for the benefit of both parties. 

Conducting team building exercises can also build trust and friendship between employees thus boosting the company’s teamwork strength. Global insurer Aviva for example, arranges a range of weekly activities for its staff to bond and build friendships - from outdoor nature trails, community volunteering and even a weekly yoga or pilates class. These types of activities can be fun for everyone and is a way to escape from work stress. 

Overload of work

Imagine trying to balance motherhood, your household, family issues and on top of that more work at the office. That is an immense load to deal with and if we don’t manage it properly, it can lead to mental and physical strain. Speaking up about your problems to your employers will be able to lift some of the pressure off your shoulders. You’ll be surprised that they could also be facing the same problems. I’m sure they will understand and be willing to offer you flexibility in your working hours as long as you get the job done well and on time. 

Google practices this by allowing employees the freedom to work in a way where it’s suited to individual lifestyles.This flexibility is perfect for working moms as they will not have to bare the guilt of choosing their career over their kids. HR should also be responsible in monitoring newbies who are taking on more roles than they are required to. As they are new to the company, they will be willing to do everything they are asked but over time they’ll be worn out from it and won’t be as vigorous.  

Poor internal communication

Communication is an act we can’t avoid and is a necessity in our daily lives. Having a two-way communication is crucial within an organization as employee involvement will grow. Yes, everyone could be busy handling their own workloads but with the help of social media, this barrier can be solved. Asking about employee’s day or problems at the office can make them feel cherished. Employers should also reciprocate to share transparent information about the company’s issues to show that employees are trusted and gives them confidence. A solid foundation internally can be a life saver in times of crisis because you will have your employee’s full support and reliance. 

PayPal the global financial technology company,  has a record for consistently winning a ‘world class’ employee engagement score by their innovative practices  which includes“ PayPal Gives program” that unites employees around the world to participate in volunteering and community investment programs that can make a difference in the communities where their employees live. The company knows that rallying more of their global team members around doing good is a key communicator of shared values that can create  deeper engagement for both company and employees alike.


All in all, employee engagement should be the main focus of companies in curbing demotivation. Look at it as an investment to the company in the long run. Employees just want to be associated with a firm that values their well-being. Anne M. Mulcahy, former CEO of Xerox simplifies this motion by affirming - “Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just an employee – are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.” 

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Half the Sky's mission is to supply the tools that can give every woman the ability to build a successful career and be fully prepared for the future of work. So, that they can lead a healthy, prosperous and more balanced/blended lifestyle of their choosing.  By building your confidence, you’re setting foundations to empower yourself and your career.  The world is your oyster, and it starts with you. 

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