Helping your employees get through the chaos of 2017

 Productivity Series:

4 Ways to Combat Employee Disengagement

Written by: Dr. Rita Maselli

Edited by: Yara Mohamed, Mona Timor Shehata

Publsiher: Amira Haytham


Our current, “tough” situation: It is already quarter 4. This year, 2017, has been very challenging—it has been especially difficult these past 10 months. And the year seems ready to end the same way. We have all suffered through the devaluation of the Egyptian pound, and the  great price hikes, with white-collar employers being hit very hard, and blue-collar employees even harder. Most, if not all, companies have increased their prices; some to survive, some to keep their profit margins stable, and others to take an unfair advantage of the situation. In addition, the general instability, and the fear of recurring terrorist attacks affects everyone, even if


What are businesses doing to manage the situation? Some companies have adjusted their employees’ wages; some have given a one-time adjustment, a travel allowance, or other benefit. Some have allowed employees to work from home on certain days of the week to decrease their transportation costs. And some may have done none of the above. Whatever you have done, as an HR professional, it is not nearly enough.


But let’s talk more about our people. When the national work climate is destabilizing, hard to predict and goes on for an extended period of time, all kinds of strange or extreme behaviors appear in the workplace. Employees become more stressed than normal because “tight” finances usually negatively affect the relationship between spouses and being unsure of the future adds even more tension. Of course, employees take all those stresses to work with them, and people are less patient and accommodating. We see more minor conflicts or at times even outright aggressive behavior. Add to that the nature of mergers and re-organization projects; you have so much change being generated that the situation becomes a recipe for increased employee disengagement. Even during normal times, disengagement can be a serious business risk. It can lead to lowered productivity, more overall mistakes, more safety incidents, less team work, slower outputs, lowered quality of products and services, and usually more turn-overs, as the most marketable employees leave for better, more stable opportunities. The people who remain become even more stressed as they see their colleagues leave.


Disengagement costs businesses a lot of money. How much employee disengagement do you have? And what are you doing about it?


Four Things You Can Do as HR Professionals to Battle Employee Disengagement: 1. Really Listen. 2. Keep your Focus. 3. Show Confidence. And 4. Model Positivity. The next four articles in this series, to be published during the months of November and December 2017, will deal with how to do just that. Look for them here.


Dr. Rita Maselli is the founder, senior consultant and managing director of RMA, a boutique consultancy in Cairo, Egypt that specializes in improving people productivity in the workplace. Management Consultant, Businesswoman, HR Specialist, Leader, Speaker, Writer, Artist, she believes that you can accomplish in many fields that you are passionate about and that we must challenge ourselves to do so. She has learned that struggling to create balance in life in time of great change helps us to achieve wisdom, and ultimately, our purpose. More about RMA can be found here:;