Let’s face it: Most of your employees are not happy at work.

In fact, research from Gallup shows that 85 percent of workers around the world are either not engaged or actively disengaged. That creates a whole host of problems for businesses, ranging from lost productivity to stifled innovation and growth.

The pressing question for organizations around the world is: With such dismal engagement numbers, how can we make our employees not only like coming to work, but love it — and love us, too?

One way to do that is to shift your paradigm. Stop thinking about how to get the most out of your employees and focus instead on giving them what they need to be and do their best.

Do Well by Delivering Good 

If you want to attract and retain an engaged workforce of productive employees who work hard to achieve critical business goals like improving customer satisfaction, brand loyalty, and revenue, you need to give your people a superior employee experience.

According to “Priming a New Era of Digital Wellness,” a new study conducted by Quartz Insights in partnership with Citrix, delivering such an engagement-boosting employee experience requires creating a flexible work environment and providing access to the tools people need and prefer to use to get things done.

The global survey of more than 1,000 workers across industries in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Brazil, China, Japan, and Australia found that 90 percent of respondents with access to “good technology” reported being more productive. Additionally, 84.6 percent of respondents said a good work/life balance was “essential” to their job satisfaction, and 80 percent said they felt leaders had a responsibility to support this balance.

Don’t Frustrate, Automate

What defines “good technology?” In a word: simplicity. Eighty-four percent of survey respondents said they want workplace applications that are intuitive and easy to use. It’s a seemingly small demand, and yet it can have a massive impact on employee satisfaction.

People don’t want to spend their time submitting purchase orders, filing expenses, or searching for information. They want to be creative and innovative. They want to use their special skills to deliver real value to their employers. That’s why three out of four respondents indicated that technology should eliminate workflow friction and automate the menial tasks that dominate their days. That way, they can finally focus on the meaningful work they were hired and want to do.

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Set Your Employees Free

Your workers also want — and expect — control over when, where, and how they work. Simple, efficient technology can support that autonomy, but more flexible work arrangements are also vital to giving employees the work/life balance they need.

When asked to rank in order of importance the factors that create a workplace environment that allows employees to do their best work, respondents put flexible work arrangements in third place,  just behind salary and leadership and ahead of access to effective technology. On a similar note, a little more than three-quarters said greater flexibility in their work schedules would help them innovate more and be more creative.

It’s clear that to attract and retain forward-thinking talent in today’s tight labor market, companies need to rethink what a “workplace” really is. It doesn’t just have to be an office where everyone arrives at 9 a.m. By creating digital environments that accommodate new work models and provide access to the tools and information employees need to do their best work, employers can grant their workers the balance that best supports their personal and professional well-being.

Measure Value, Not Output

Technology has completely transformed the way work gets done. Today’s employees can connect to the office anywhere, anytime — but that doesn’t mean they should. Employers must be careful: In the quest for flexibility, it can be all too easy to accidentally promote the exact opposite.

In the Quartz and Citrix survey, 67 percent of respondents said an always-on work culture has a significant negative impact on their health and well-being. Technology that facilitates flexible and remote work can pressure workers into being constantly available, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Leveraging digital workspace solutions, companies can optimize the workday for every employee by organizing, guiding, and automating work in an intelligent and personal way. Over 75 percent of survey respondents said this would help them strike a better balance between their work and personal lives and prevent them from burning out.

When it comes to workplace technology, it’s no longer a matter of the output it delivers, but the value it creates for employees. The best companies recognize this, and they are focused on designing people-centric experiences that inspire and empower their employees. That’s how you get transformative results — including a workforce that truly loves coming in (or logging on) every day.

Donna Kimmel is executive vice president and chief people officer of Citrix.

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