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According to a recent report from Gallup, only 13 percent of employees worldwide are actively engaged with their positions. Employee engagement is highest in the United States, where 30 percent of employees are engaged at work – but that still means that 70 percent of American workers are either not engaged or actively disengaged.

Workers who are not engaged are checked out; they’re going through the motions at work but not putting any of their passion or drive into doing their jobs. They don’t like their jobs very much and as a result they’re not doing their best. Workers who are actively disengaged are more than just unhappy with their jobs. They’re sabotaging their companies’ and coworkers’ accomplishments and are most likely trying to find work elsewhere.

Researchers with Gallup have found that engaged employees produce vastly improved outcomes in such areas as:

  • Productivity
  • Customer ratings
  • Profitability
  • Safety incidents
  • Turnover
  • Absenteeism
  • Shrinkage
  • Quality
  • Patient safety incidents

Workers who are actively engaged in their jobs are twice as likely to succeed as those who are actively disengaged. Engaged employees are also more likely to stay in their jobs. How can you boost engagement among your employees?

Give Your Employees Opportunities to Succeed

Employees who have chance to learn, grow and excel in their positions are more engaged than employees who are plodding along without hope of advancement. Focus on giving your employees chances to develop their skills and become more valuable members of the work force. Create opportunities for your employees to work together on team projects and to get feedback from one another. Reward your employees for good performance with bonuses and promotions.

Let People Get Creative

The most successful businesses are ones that allow their employees to pursue their own passions and interests under the aegis of the company. Allow your employees to pursue projects that interest them during 15 to 20 percent of their company time — that’s just one day a week. Inventions like Adsense, Google News, Gmail, masking tape and Post-It notes were invented by engaged workers whose companies gave them the freedom to do the work they were most interested in. What kind of innovations could your employees produce?

Keep Tabs on Job Satisfaction

Job satisfaction is a huge part of employee engagement. Are your employees satisfied in their jobs? You need to know. Monitor employee job satisfaction regularly.

When you collect data from your employees on their job satisfaction and engagement levels, make sure it’s relevant and easy for your company to act on — PEOs have the expertise necessary to choose the right employee engagement surveys for your company. When you ask your workers to share their opinions and feelings about their jobs and their workplace, they expect you to act on that information. Be prepared to make changes when called for in order to boost engagement throughout the company.

Encourage a Strong Company Culture

Your company culture is a huge part of what encourages loyalty among your employees. Employees who feel a strong sense of connection to their coworkers are more likely to be highly engaged. Encourage bonding between your employees — team building exercises and company get-togethers help your employees get to know one another better and forge relationships based on more than just work. Giving your employees plenty of chances to work together on projects helps them come to depend upon one another in the workplace.

Another way you can strengthen your company culture is to emphasize flexibility and openness. People are busier than ever and it’s becoming increasingly important for employees to have some flexibility in their work hours. Employees who are allowed to put in 20 percent of their hours working remotely are actually more engaged than employees who log all of their hours in the office. Not only are they more engaged, workers who occasionally telecommute are more likely to willingly put in longer hours.

Choose Good Managers

The most engaged employees are typically the ones who have the best managers. Great managers are committed to their employees’ growth. They work hard to understand each individual person’s strengths. They try to give each employee ample chances to exercise those strengths. They recognize their employees’ worth, reward them for their contributions and seek out their opinions and ideas.

Not everyone has the talent or skills to be a good manager, so it’s important that you choose carefully when hiring for management roles. Choosing the wrong candidate for a management role can wreak havoc on your employees’ engagement levels. Recruitment help from a PEO can be vital to choosing the right managers for your organization.

Engaged employees are passionate about what they do and willing to work hard to reach their full potential within your company. As an employer, you can do a lot to increase your employee engagement and when you do, you’ll see your employees begin to succeed by leaps and bounds. When your employees succeed, your company succeeds too.

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