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5 Ways to Make the Office More Engaging for Your Employees

By Erika Miller
Illustration of Carl the yeti sitting at a desk with a computer, working from home.

We’re thrilled to partner on this article with Dean Mathews—the founder and CEO of OnTheClock, an employee time tracking app that helps over 15,000 companies all around the world track time.

Dean has over 20 years of experience designing and developing business apps. He views software development as a form of art. If the artist creates a masterpiece, many people’s lives are touched and changed for the better.

When he is not perfecting time tracking, Dean enjoys expanding his faith, spending time with family and friends, and finding ways to make the world just a little better. You can connect with him on Linkedin.

When employees are unhappy and absolutely dread going to the office, it can (unsurprisingly) have a massive effect on your business outcomes. Not only is productivity impacted when employees despise their work environment, but the quality of their work and the service they provide to customers declines, and they’re a lot less likely to recommend anyone your way. You might even pick up a bad reputation.

So, what can you do to make your people excited to go to work instead of merely tolerating it?

Boring Offices Kill Success

Many employers are focusing on improving the employee experience they provide to their teams in an effort to position themselves as employers of choice and boost employee engagement and retention. This has increased the gap between the best-performing companies and those that fail to place the required emphasis on work experiences. Globally, average employee engagement still remains at a paltry 23% while best-practice organizations see employee engagement soaring at 72%. When you don’t focus on engaging employees through an incredible experience, it becomes really difficult to attract and retain top talent consistently.

Line graph with the title "Annual Employee Engagement in the U.S., Work and Best-Practice Organizations"

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Common Reasons Employees Feel Demotivated in the Office

Employees who aren’t engaged and motivated are far more likely to experience burnout. Burnout and disconnection can reduce a business’ ability to remain profitable in both the short and long term. A recent study found that Americans are more stressed than ever; 43% of respondents reported being more stressed now than in 2022 and 38% of respondents are more stressed now than during the peak of the pandemic. Here are some of the most common reasons employees feel demotivated at work:

Lack of recognition: People need to feel appreciated for their hard work and efforts. When they don't get the recognition they deserve, they start to feel demotivated, leading to a decrease in productivity and job satisfaction.

Monotonous work: Repetitive and unchallenging work can lead to boredom and demotivation among employees. They might start to feel like their work isn't meaningful or fulfilling, which can result in decreased engagement and a lack of interest in their job.

Poor communication: When managers don't communicate well with their team, employees might feel left out and unimportant. This can lead to confusion, miscommunication, and a lack of clarity about expectations, which can create frustration and demotivation among team members.

Bar graph with various responses with the questions "Are you more stressed now than you were ...?"

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5 Ways to Make the Office More Engaging for Your Staff

As the workforce gets younger and preferences change, employee engagement will become a key differentiating factor for employers who want to consistently attract and retain top talent. Here are five tips that can help you create a more engaging work environment for your team:

1. Build a Culture of Connection Across Your Company

image with text - The biggest problem companies are facing right now is the issue of disconnection.

The biggest problem companies are facing right now is the issue of disconnection. Employees feel disconnected from their peers, their leadership, and their company. So, when you focus first on making connections and building a strong community at work, your employees are more likely to feel energized about their work and feel better about who they work with and what they do. In the end, you’ll have employees who are more engaged than ever before.

2. Eliminate Bureaucracy

An excessive burden of rules, regulations, and required authorizations can limit employee creativity and autonomy, making them feel like they don't have much control over their work. Removing bureaucratic oversight, on the other hand, allows employees to have more freedom to make decisions and take ownership of their work, resulting in higher levels of engagement.

image with text - Streamlining processes allows employees the autonomy to be more efficient and productive in their day.

Highly bureaucratic processes can also lead to a lack of transparency and communication. Frustrating and tedious workflows can be a significant source of stress for your employees. Streamlining processes allows employees the autonomy to be more efficient and productive in their day.

3. Encourage Open Communication

Employees are more likely to feel engaged and motivated when they’re part of a team that communicates well.

Strong internal communication enables employees to connect more easily and collaborate on projects, leading to a greater sense of teamwork and shared responsibility. Employees are more likely to feel engaged and motivated when they’re part of a team that communicates well.

Feedback is an important tool that helps managers and employees find areas of improvement in their work. Open communication between team members and managers is an essential prerequisite for feedback to be communicated. When businesses listen to, acknowledge, and act upon feedback given by employees, team members feel more invested in their work and can take ownership of their roles more effectively.

4. Give Employees Personal Space

It’s natural for business leaders to be highly invested in their team’s performance. However, this can cause some managers to be overbearing and micromanage every aspect of their employees’ work day. This is often a source of great stress for employees and can make it difficult for them to meet their goals.

Micromanagement is too common in modern workplaces and it can directly impact job performance negatively. To get the best out of each employee, managers should trust their team and give them the space and flexibility they need to work in the way that suits them best.

5. Use Technology to Make Work Easier

The rise of digital solutions has made it easier for employees to work more effectively and efficiently. Businesses should evaluate their workflows and look for ways in which these solutions can help team members perform at their best. Some examples of these technologies include:

  • Employee engagement tools: Tools like Motivosity provide employers with feedback and sentiment data to help them make informed decisions about the improvements that need to be made to their culture.
  • Mobile applications: Mobile applications such as Trello and Asana help with task management and organization, which can lead to better time management and less stress for employees.
  • Learning and development platforms: Platforms such as Coursera and Udemy offer online courses and training programs that can improve employees’ skills and keep them engaged through professional growth.

Ultimately, these five tips will help to position you as an employer of choice for increasingly discerning employees. Remember, an engaged workforce leads to higher levels of innovation, job satisfaction, and ultimately, business success. Embark on the journey of making your office more engaging, and watch as your employees flourish and your workplace culture thrives.