As a leader in the office, it is your responsibility to listen to the needs of your employees. If you want to have a highly committed workforce, your workers need to feel heard and valued.

According to research in one Harvard Management Update column, in about 85 percent of companies, the morale of employees sharply declines after their first six months on the job -- and it continues to deteriorate for years afterward.

If you think you are in charge of a disengaged and low-morale staff, here are five reasons why your employees are losing motivation.

1. Lack of participation

Do your employees have the freedom to operate on their own and make necessary changes to how they work? It's easy to lose motivation in the office if an employee feels like no one takes an interest in his or her ideas. Consider working to have consistent and direct conversations with teams about what they think can be done to improve efficiency or effectiveness.

2. Need more equity

A motivated employee will feel respected, and will feel as if they are treated fairly when it comes to pay, benefits, and job security. Make sure these areas are satisfactory for your employees.

3. Camaraderie needs improvement

An employee may be performing well individually, but how is their relationship with their co-workers? An engaged workforce consists of strong and productive relationships. Do your employees get along and work together, or is collaboration difficult to come by?

4. Recognition

No matter how an employee contributes, whether in minor or major ways, don't be stingy with compliments and recognition. Avoid causing employee distress by being quick to criticize and slow to thank a worker for achievements.

5. Unable to identify purpose

Do your employees know the company mission? More important, do they understand the reasons behind the mission? As an employer, it is imperative that you communicate the importance of the job if you want your employees to be motivated. Instill a purpose that is clear and inspiring.

There are many ways leaders unknowingly diminish the motivation and enthusiasm of employees. When you lead any team, be certain that your policies and procedures are positively contributing to employee morale.