It’s no surprise to say that some of the biggest motivators for many employees are tangible rewards like generous salaries, strong benefits packages, and paid personal days and vacation time. Every one of those incentives is an effective way to attract and retain employees.

However, these days, companies are finding that they must pivot their mindset and raise the bar to achieve and maintain superior employee motivation and retention. Some valuable ways to create more buy-in from employees can include things like:

  • Staff discounts
  • Awards and recognition
  • Leadership opportunities
  • Flexible work environments

In addition, offering games and treats during stressful times can also build stronger employee engagement and create a stronger sense of collaboration and team camaraderie among them.

Here are some other benefits of increasing employee engagement and some effective ways to do it in your organization:

Building Enthusiasm and Loyalty Among Employees

U.S. businesses currently experience voluntary turnover costs of $1 trillion. Furthermore, just 15% of employees are engaged in their work, and more than half are reportedly searching for new jobs. Employee turnover can kill your business, which is why keeping them engaged, fulfilled, and happy is critical.

Employee engagement is more than just a measure of active participation; it’s also a measure of how strongly employees feel connected to their coworkers, employers, and work. Engaged employees will refer people to the company and are committed and motivated, which improves productivity, customer service, and morale. This is why motivational speaker Simon Sinek once said that no customer will love a company until the employees love it first.

It’s important to remember that this all starts at the top. Company leaders play a significant part in improving employee engagement, and their efforts can cultivate a greater sense of connection for employees.

They can do this by:

  • Supporting and encouraging employee betterment and growth
  • Encouraging and enabling them to work to their full potential
  • Sincerely caring about employee concerns

So what are the best ways to lay a solid foundation for cultivating a people-first culture in the workplace and improving employee engagement?

Actionable Tips for Really Building Employee Engagement

Here are some of the best ways to improve employee engagement:

Set Employees Up for Success

Many employees value career growth opportunities very highly. They don’t want to be stuck in the same position they had when just starting with the company. So encourage employees to pursue their career goals, and make sure to offer new opportunities to internal employees before advertising to the general public.

Reward and Recognition Go a Long Way

Employees need to know that they matter and are appreciated. Recognizing their hard work and accomplishments can fulfill this need and motivate them to perform their best. Look for ways to celebrate completed projects, innovation, and fulfilled milestones, remembering to give credit where credit is due.

Focus on Flexibility

Promoting and sustaining a flexible work environment shows employees that you genuinely care about the fact that there is more to life than just work. Those who can enjoy flexibility will be much more loyal to their employer because they feel cared for and respected. While accountability and self-discipline will always be crucial to any work environment, flexibility and autonomy are two of the greatest defenses against burnout and turnover, so it’s well worth extending these benefits to your workers wherever possible.

Talk About It

There is no better way to reveal inefficiencies in employee engagement than to discuss it openly and often. Remember that healthy internal communication is key for employees to both feel heard and well-informed.

With this in mind, make sure employees have a safe channel for sharing honest feedback. Encourage open, transparent communication, and don’t forget to always model it from the top down. Incorporating honest communication into your work culture shows that you take your employees’ happiness seriously and value their voices.

Building Employee Engagement Shouldn’t Start with Employees

It’s up to managers and leaders to support a work environment where everyone can thrive. Remember that transparency is the key to engagement and treating employees how you’d want to be treated is as much a golden rule in the workplace as anywhere else!