Engaged employees voluntarily invest extra time, effort and initiative to contribute to business success. They feel a sense of purpose toward their role and bring enthusiasm, passion and energy to the work they do. As well as being more motivated, committed and loyal, engaged workers are typically higher performers and produce better results for both the customer and the company.
For employee engagement initiatives to be successful, they must be tailored to the unique needs and motivations of each individual. Here are five key ways that managers can help boost the engagement of their employees.

Inspiring Leadership

Competent, passionate and hands-on leadership is critical to employee engagement. Showing a genuine interest in your employees and investing time in understanding their needs and aspirations will help send the message that their contribution is valued. Check in with them regularly to find out how their experience in the workplace can be improved. Find out what motivates them and how they define success so you can create a rewarding environment in which they can thrive.

Growth and Opportunity

Engaged employees are given the opportunity to adequately use their skills and are encouraged to stretch those skills in order to progress. Talk to your employees about their career plan. Does their current role make full use of their strengths and abilities? Is their career moving in the direction they desire? Are there new or interesting projects they can work on to expand their skill set? Discuss the training and development opportunities within the company, and provide clear and consistent feedback on how they can improve their performance.

Meaningful Work

Engaged employees believe that the work they are doing is important and has value. They believe they are contributing to something meaningful and take pride in the results of their efforts. As a manager, it is crucial to frequently reinforce the importance of your employees’ roles. Help them to see the direct connection between their activities and company success. Set goals, and challenge your employees to meet them to promote a sense of purpose. Grant them the autonomy to improve the way things are done, and involve them in decisions to help them feel a sense of ownership over the direction of the company.

Recognition and Rewards

For employees to be motivated to give their best, they need to know their efforts will be recognized and rewarded. Regularly thanking them for their efforts demonstrates your awareness of their hard work and provides encouragement for them to boost their performance. Make the time to celebrate accomplishments, rewarding and recognizing employees in ways that are meaningful to them. While competitive pay and good benefits are key motivating factors, providing incentives for higher performance gives employees something extra to strive for.

People-focused Culture

Companies that reap the benefits of an engaged workforce understand that people are their greatest asset. Learn about the responsibilities of your employees and consider initiatives that enable them to balance work and home life. Encourage employees to balance hard work with socializing and fun. Promote the sharing of ideas, suggestions and improvements. A work environment in which people feel valued, heard and a sense of camaraderie is critical to employee engagement.
For more ways to keep employees engaged, read through these 10 inexpensive but effective ways to motivate your staff.