When you are fresh- you are full of a positive attitude. Everyone invariably remembers their first year of job or the first few months of internship. This is because we are full of hope and aspirations while the companies we join often give us a promise of a great future. Well, almost.

What goes wrong?

After only six months of working typically as a software engineer or a coder in an IT company, most workers lose enthusiasm. While there’s ample research on how underqualified many IT graduates are in India, there’s hardly any research on why these graduates even after months of training and decent salaries, lose interest and passion for work.

Before we dig into the patterns, there’s a great model given by Dr Milton Mattox, Chief Technology officer at Castle Shield. Dr Mattox has talked about five stages of workplace apathy. Check out this diagram –

Why do people start with Felicity – meaning hope and enthusiasm – and end  up becoming apathetic? Apathy, if we go by the dictionary meaning, stands for lack of emotion or any kind of empathy for others or the environment.

Here are some common patterns that may help answer the above question –

phases of workplace apathy

# 1 Lack of concern from the leadership 

One of the leading factors observed to affect an IT professional’s motivation is lack of any concern from the leadership in that person’s growth. Most smart people realize this quite early in their first year of job whether or not the company wishes to invest in them for fostering growth and training.

# 2 Unfair practices at workplace 

Any IT professional entering a company is often advised by friends to “play smart” as if doing a job was a game that he or she needs to win. This advice is not dumbfounded. Often IT companies find it hard to control the inner politics, red tapism and unethical work practices prevailing within the company. This really affects any team member’s growth leading to lack of empathy for any work given.

# 3 Ungodly working hours

A common complaint for most employees in the IT industry is the so-called flexible working hours, that actually mean they may need to stay up on some nights or work on a weekend if need be. In the name of flexible work hours, many IT companies subject their employees to work later than usual or give them an unpredictable work schedule.

# 4 Unfulfilled promises 

Employees become apathetic when they witness that the future they were promised is not close in sight or completely forgotten by the company. This may be due to various reasons like the company may not be getting as much business as they had anticipated, or a global pandemic situation where promotions are postponed or salary raises are cancelled. Regardless of the causes, this serves as a classic demotivation for employees who joined a company with some expectations.

What can IT companies do to change this?

# Treat employees like human team members 

A company must treat its employees the way it treats its clients – in the most humane way possible. When all the demands of the clients are met at the cost of the employees’ interests, there’s a disbalance. This needs to change. Employees must be given a clear vision of who they are working for, why they are doing what they do and how this will benefit them. But this has to come out from the papers and be implemented on a daily basis. At Chapter247, we treat each person an equal collaborator and team member, sharing with them about our plans and involving them actively in decision making.

# Invest in your employees

A good salary alone cannot motivate people. You need to invest in your employees – pour in your heart and mind. Sponsor a small online certification course for your employees or organize a special training for someone who is lagging behind. Send people to represent your company at conferences or places of business so they feel seen and important.

Create rewards programmes that go beyond just a salary raise, recognize people’s individual efforts and make them known. At Chapter247, we organize constant upskilling drives within the company, training each of our team members to learn skills of other departments or upgrade their technical or communication skills.

# Consider mental health 

McKinsey reported that 42% of employees all over the world reported a decline in mental health since the start of the pandemic. Mental health has been regarded as vital across all industries including IT. While mental health issues prevailed in the IT industry much before the pandemic, they came to the shore with it. Employees were dealing with impossible situations such as no regard for leave requirements or managers failing to empathise with an employee’s state of mind. At Chapter247, we have infused a sense of empathy among all our team members and especially among the managers to make sure our employees are comfortable. We inquire about any ailing family member, sometimes extending a leave to 1-2 months due to terminal illness. In addition, we provide online Yoga and meditation sessions to help employees cope with any stress they may have.

You may also read : How To Ensure A Happy And Emotionally Strong Workforce During This Pandemic

# Career advancement opportunities 

Most employees will not leave a company when they feel they have enough to do and grow here. They should be able to see a clear future while working with your company. We have laid down clear career paths of advancement for our employees so they know exactly after how much time or milestones, they will achieve a certain position. We also organize active training programmes to make sure they are upgraded and we constantly challenge them to come out of their comfort zones.

# Recreational environment 

Activities within the company should not be limited to the HR calendar of important days or holidays. IT companies must truly care for the interests and inclinations of their employees. We have a practice of channelizing talent of our team members through weekly, monthly and quarterly recreational activities. This is not only limited to anniversary parties or team outings but goes deeper within our culture at Chapter247 where we reward talented people and steer them towards leadership according to their skills and strengths. For instance, we provide vacations to team members and organize lunch/dinner with their family members for them to enjoy in a free environment.

Ethical practice in the IT industry is at the core of our philosophy at Chapter247. We ensure that our people get fair treatment and a great working environment. We have quality checks from time to time to ensure that every team member gets a chance to grow and carve a career path that’s rewarding.


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