Last year’s Gallup survey determined that less than 32% of employees are engaged at their work. Low employee engagement drastically affects a team’s productivity and it should be one of the prime concerns of HR experts, managers, CEOs and company shareholders.

Employees who are not engaged at work are more likely to leave the company, which can be very costly. Recruitment and training of mid-range employees usually costs more than 20% of their salary and the company might need to outsource a portion of their work until they find the right candidate.

Set an Example

Bad managers give orders, while leaders set examples for their employees to follow. That is why the talk about improving employee engagement and boosting productivity needs to start from the top of a company’s hierarchical structure. Managers should demonstrate the desired characteristics and the behaviors and employees will quickly catch up and follow the leaders’ example. If you run a company with a robust hierarchy, you need to pick ‘the best of the best’ for the leadership positions and demonstrate dedication and agility yourself.

Minimize Class Divisions

Digital era does not tolerate strict hierarchical divisions. The new age management needs to stand by their employees during both good and bad times. Divisions are justifiable only when they are essential for a company’s development.

Forget about toilets for management staff, divided cafeterias and directors’ chairs and treat every employee like a fellow manager. This way you will oppose ‘us against them’ perception and improve the relationship between managers and their subordinates. Of course, regular employees will not receive manager salaries and benefits, but they will know that their work is appreciated and that they are an integral part of the company’s operation.

Talk to Your Employees

Leaders do not make their decisions behind closed doors. Consult your employees and ask them for an opinion about current issues. Employees often have much better insider perception of a company’s business and they can easily spot weaknesses and issues in a day-to-day business operation. By talking to your employees and asking them for an opinion, you will give more meaning to their company role and motivate them to be more productive.

Be Transparent

Managers should not pick favorites. You should be able to explain every personnel change, as well as other important decisions that concern your employees. When scheduling work, do not put too much pressure on one or a few employees you do not like. It is hard not to pick favorites, but if you want to increase employees’ engagement you need to be fair to everybody. Also, your decisions should not be affected by your daily mood or some other personal factors.

Keep your employees informed

If you want to keep your employees informed about the work scheduling process, you can opt for making an employee schedule online. These types of apps allow you to instantly notify your employees about sudden schedule changes. Employees also need to be informed about promotion criteria and about their salary, benefits, and legal rights.

Organize Team Building Sessions

Since teamwork is the basis of every modern business operation, you should regularly organize activities that boost team spirit. These activities can range from organized trips to various in-office trainings and sessions.

Employees who have good relationship with their colleagues are more engaged and productive. Big companies often spend a lot of money on team building events, so there are many tourist agencies that are specialized in organizing these types of activities. If you run a startup, try subscribing to tourist agencies’ social media channels and keep yourself updated about their special offers and discounts.

Thank Your Employees

Rich and famous entrepreneurs know that they owe a large portion of their success to their employees and they use every opportunity to thank them for their contribution. There are many ways in which you can thank your staff for their incredible performance. You can thank them with your words when you meet them in the hallway or near the water cooler (tell you managers to do the same), or you can award them with benefits, bonuses, and various other incentives.

Increasing employee engagement is not a one-time thing, it should be an ongoing process that consists of various motivation measures. Most companies assign the HR department with these tasks, but entrepreneurs can always learn how to increase employee engagement themselves in cooperation with psychologists and third-party HR experts.

-Oscar Waterworth