Employee motivation in a fast-changing world: Asana and Swedbyte experience

Motivation is one of the major driving forces for any company. A highly motivated employee is fruitful and efficient, values time and manages it knowingly. However, holding focus in a fast changing world is truly a tough task. Asana and Swedbyte experts shared their experience of what the motivation problems are in modern companies and of how to keep employees motivated.

Motivation challenges

Today, employees are eager to feel the impact their daily workflow makes on the organization, colleagues and even the world outside the office. According to PwC, 83% of junior and middle managers consider “the importance of everyday work” to be one of the top priorities at the workplace. 

The management task is to use this eagerness, to link it with the business mission, and to create a common feeling of goal achievement. Yet, companies face serious problems on that way, among which Asana considers the following:

  • time and efforts, needed to make everyone work in consistency, increase with teams’ growth and processes turning ever more complex.
  • Employees spend a lot of time on e-mailing and messaging to make sure that everyone has up-to-date information. That is partly the reason they are distracted from strategically important work. 
  • An excessively high number of different instruments creates mess and work duplication. With an overload of scattered information, employees fail to duly prioritize tasks and associate their personal activities with the team goals.
  • Hybrid working models – with part of employees working in-office, part working remotely, make teamwork ever more complex. It gets complicated to keep communication and goals’ consistency. 
A team member with no motivation negatively influences the whole team targets

Understanding of task interrelation is easily lost when staff is torn between overloaded communication channels. It may lead to frustration and team separation, decreased motivation and efficiency.

At the same time, there are systems that set up clear bonds between individual tasks, team projects and results. They help people feel their contribution to the common goals achievement. The Work Graph model by Asana is a good example. It gives each employee a full picture of goals, objectives, projects and so on. 

Hereunder, we consider some aspects from the point of view of Asana and Swedbyte experts. 

Engagement and motivation

If a company invests resources in helping its staff feel the value of their work, it gains two huge benefits:

  • employees feel more goal-oriented;
  • overall business results improve.

Asana experts’ opinion

According to the McKinsey report, 70 % of respondents admit that their purposefulness is defined by work. At the same time, only 18% of employees said that their work gave them an expected level of purposefulness. 

Such a discrepancy can be caused by the lack of time employees spend on the work that keeps them satisfied. Instead, they are busy with routine duties. For instance, they send emails, monitor internal information and transmit data between applications. 

Сотрудники и цели
The more an employee feels himself engaged, the higher is his motivation. 

These negative trends are confirmed by the report Anatomy of Work, according to which, on average, an employee:

  • spends 23 hours per week on routine tasks;
  • receives 32 e-mails daily;
  • can potentially save up to 257 hours per year thanks to processes’ optimization.

A survey by Strategy& demonstrates a correlation between engagement and motivation. Respondents stressed: when their work is valued, they feel motivated, satisfied and proud of their activity.

If a company finds a way to demonstrate the correlation between efforts and results, it succeeds:

  • to empower employees;
  • to improve their well-being;
  • to gain a competitive advantage;
  • to achieve the most ambitious business goals; 
  • to take the leading role in the markets.

According to iCIMS, 92 % of business leaders say that their organization can not achieve goals without talented and motivated staff. While following the McKinsey study, companies that are good at talent management, report higher profits to the shareholders 6-fold more often than their competitors.

How Swedbyte helps its employees to feel engaged 

For this purpose, Swedbyte has introduced some practical solutions. 

  1. Working routine as a game

We set the company’s global goals within Asana. We track the progress in their achievement, collect results and optimize working processes, if needed, there as well. For every goal achieved, points are given, thus, to realize the trend of the working routine gamification.

When a team accumulates a certain number of points, we organize a company trip or a corporate party. Such an approach has the following advantages: 

  • employees clearly see where the company is heading; 
  • they get motivated to keep focused on the company’s goals in their daily work.
  1. Workload is controlled

The Swedbyte technical support team always maintained a portfolio of large projects. Yet, nobody was tracking single standing webinars and consultations. Employees had difficulties with workload control, which caused numerous mistakes in work.

Onсe my working day consisted entirely of meetings. I had to write an important email literally on the go, that is why I made a typo. It became the reason to reconsider the workload. ”

Ilya Johansson, Sales Executive Manager

It has become obvious that the whole picture of all working processes is needed. To get it, we have created a project for single standing and short-term initiatives within Asana. It has made the workload distribution possible and has shown the context in which the work has been done.

Thanks to this, employees have achieved a better understanding of their work-life balance, a clearer vision of their overworking and a calmer perception of mistakes. That, in its turn, has helped employees to maintain motivation and efficiency in task performance.

Such practice is useful but not as obvious as it may seem at first glance. It is often thought that a task tracker is needed to manage current tasks, while employees forget to track completed ones. Аsana can become an efficient base for reflection.”

Jan Berendji, Pre-Sales Excutive
  1. Achievements’ complete visibility 

Before the pandemic, when everybody was gathering at the office, Swedbyte had a tradition to ring the gong each time there was a big deal closure. Though, when the company switched to a hybrid work mode, Sales gong practice turned inefficient.  After all, it is necessary not only to fix the result of the work, but to discuss it as well. 

To make remote and in-office employees communicate, Swedbyte has created a chat to discuss achievements in Asana. There you can write to share with a new article you are particularly proud of or with a large project. Over time, the company has tuned CRM automatisation to make deals closure notifications go right to the chat. Thus, a live space for communication has been born: colleagues comment messages, exсhange congratulations, and send reactions. 

Healthy atmosphere and motivation 

There are moments that unify team members, create a healthy and friendly atmosphere. 

Asana experts opinion

When people discuss their work within a team or one-on-one, everybody can feel how their individual activity fits into the group process. 

And vice versa. When there is no understanding of how different tasks correlate in a project, it becomes more complicated to see each person’s contribution to the team results achievement. It lowers morality in the team, employees feel isolated. All together, it may lead to working resources exhaustion.

Встреча один на один
One-on-one meetings help employees feel connected to the working process and shared goals 

Swedbyte keeps a healthy atmosphere in its team

Swedbyte had three practices for this purpose:

  1. Weekly team syncs

During team syncs each member can share his thoughts on the work in progress. But everyone speaks in their turn. So everybody feels heard and feels that his contribution is valued by the team. 

  1. Half-year one-one-one meetings 

After taking time and effort to listen to an employee’s personal and working challenges, managers can discover symptoms of emotional burnout and eliminate its reasons timely. 

  1. Communication within Asana

With Asana we support a comfortable atmosphere in the team. 

An employee’s desire to maintain Asana usually correlates with the team activities involvement. If an employee works independently, a team needs to make efforts in order to see their his progress. It creates extra tension in a team and colleagues grouch. At the same time, Asana filling (task status update, e.g.) requires very little time. No one feels embarrassed with another reminder about deadlines to a colleague.” 

Ilya Johansson, Sales Executive Manager

Focused work and motivation

Often employees most clearly feel they bring contribution to the company’s goals achievement during important and focused work.  

Asana experts opinion

Employees feel themselves involved at most during focused work. Though, the time that could have been spent on this important activity is reduced due to meetings and “work for work’s sake”. Here, there is data from Anatomy of Work:

  • 24 % of respondents claimed that an excessive number of meetings contributed to failing the deadlines,
  • on average, “work for the sake of work” took 58% of respondents’ working time, 
  • 33 % were fulfilling their direct duties,
  • 9 % worked right on the main goal achievement.

Even when there is enough time for major work, a complex instruments’ system still creates obstacles. Employees may not have a full understanding of their teammates’ duties and the way they interrelate with theirs. Further on, such a disconnect can undermine purposefulness, which will finally result in morality and efficiency drops, burnouts and exhaustion. 

Swedbyte experience of keeping employees focused

To keep our employees focused, we:

  1. Add to the calendar the focus time

Employees find time in their schedule to concentrate on a specific project. However, colleagues see the status and understand clearly that this person should not be disturbed at the moment. 

  1. Eliminate notices at off-hours

Extra messaging in the evenings or on the weekend does not allow to be fully distracted from work and gain strength for a new week. It leads to burnouts.  

  1. Smoothly reduce the number of meetings 

In the hottest periods, meetings can take up to 23 hours of the 40-hour working week. Asana timely tasks management allows making the meetings shorter or even canceling them. It becomes clear that sometimes a written status report, 15-min stand-up and online check are enough. 


A business grows and turns stronger, when each employee’s performance is interrelated with the organization’s common goals. 

When employees feel their contribution has become a part of the common one, they feel satisfied and proud for being involved. 

Management needs to ensure such connection with motivation practices and convenient project management systems. Asana has shown itself as one of the most advanced and intuitive solutions. If you are interested in raising employees’ motivation and engagement, Swedbyte is here to help. We are a privileged certified Asana partner, who thoroughly knows all the platform capabilities and can help with its implementation and configuration.