Your employees need to be engaged. Engaged employees are passionate and make a strong, positive impact on your business’s success. They are happy with their jobs. They are invested in their work and your company. Engaged employees are more likely to stay employed at your business instead of searching for so-called greener grass. Employee engagement isn’t something that magically happens. Employees don’t instantly become engaged by showing up for work. You have to put effort into generating employee engagement. Fortunately, you can do practical things to promote employee engagement in your business. Ways to improve employee engagement Promoting employee engagement doesn’t have to be difficult. Small actions can make a big impact. Sure, improving employee engagement might take some time and money, but it probably requires less than you think. But, you must be intentional when promoting engagement. Below are six ways you can improve employee engagement in your business. Each method is practical, and many of the methods require minimal time and money. 1. Encourage employees Encouraging employees is important. Encouraged employees are happier in their jobs and want to make differences in the workplace. They are proactive and get things done. When employees are encouraged, they have a sense of purpose. Workers won’t simply go through daily motions. Instead, they will be more interested in their work. And because they are encouraged, they might be more likely to try new things, such as a new method or a difficult task. Encouraged employees can rejuvenate your business with fresh ideas and processes. Make encouragement part of your business’s culture. Leaders should share positive information about how the business is doing. Leaders should congratulate employees’ successes and celebrate business triumphs. If you notice an employee is struggling, remind them of their past successes and pump them up to repeat them. 2. Give rewards Employees like to be recognized when they do good work. Show your employees your appreciation. When you acknowledge employees’ successes, you can increase engagement. You might give employees personal, verbal acknowledgment. You can announce the achievement to the entire staff. Or, you might give employees some sort of financial reward for their hard work, such as bonus pay or commissions. If you give financial rewards, make sure you include them in your payroll. Make sure you recognize workers equally. If two workers have similar accomplishments, you should reward them similarly. Don’t play favorites and reward some employees better than others. You might want to set up a structured system for fairly rewarding employees. Rewards are among the great ways to motivate employees. You might encourage employees or teams to produce more by offering rewards. The friendly competition can engage employees, and they will work together to meet goals. 3. Give real work Make sure you give your employees meaningful work. While menial work is part of every job, it shouldn’t be the entire job. Your employees should be able to use their talents. Whenever possible, let employees do engaging work. Find out what they are good at and what tasks they enjoy the most. Then, try to give them work that makes them happy and meets your business goals. When you assign work to employees, tell them how it meets the company’s goals. Employees will be more engaged if they know that their work has a purpose. Also, don’t be afraid to let your employees make decisions. Even if someone isn’t a manager, an experienced employee can bring great ideas and make good decisions. Your employees might be able to create positive changes in your business. And when you let employees make smaller decisions, you free up some of your time. 4. Build a team Employees are more likely to be engaged if they have the support of a team at work. And, engaged employees make better teammates. Look for ways to encourage team building and collaboration at your business. Employees need to be relatively comfortable with each other. Try hosting events or team-building activities for business where employees can get to know each other better. Make sure teams regularly meet. This opens the lines of communication and makes sure everyone is informed. Managers should make sure information is shared and that everyone is up to date on projects and procedures. 5. Check in regularly Regularly check in with your employees to find out what they need. If their needs aren’t being met, they may become unengaged. They might need something that directly relates to their job, such as updated software. Or, they might want something that isn’t directly related to their job but will boost morale, such as a new seating arrangement. You can use regular performance reviews as opportunities to talk to employees. Performance reviews shouldn’t only be a time for you to give feedback to employees. Let employees have a chance to give you feedback, too. Between reviews, continue to check in with employees. Ask them how they are doing. If you notice a potential problem, find out what you can do to relieve the problem. Also, let employees know they are welcome to come to you at any time with feedback. 6. Provide training Ideally, you should train all new employees. This initial training can help new workers understand your business and get a better feel for their jobs. The orientation should eliminate confusion that could cause disengagement, inadequate work, and accidents. You shouldn’t stop training employees after their start date. Continuous training ensures employees have the necessary skills and resources needed to do their jobs. And, training can boost employee happiness and engagement. Whenever you make changes at your business, be sure to provide more training to employees. If you update your products or services, tell employees about the changes. The training can help them serve customers better, promote the product, or understand their role in your company. Also, train employees whenever there are changes in your industry, workplace processes, and technology. If you can afford it, you might send some employees to conferences related to your industry or their specific jobs. At the conferences, employees can learn information that you might not be able to teach them. When they return from the conference, those employees can teach other staff members what they learned. This also empowers the employees you sent to the conference.