Business leaders have been talking a lot about employee engagement. Is employee engagement up or down at your company? What impact can disengaged employees have on your business? How much should companies invest in employee engagement?

According to research from Gallup, about 67% of the world’s workforce is not engaged. This costs businesses millions of dollars every year. Engaged employees are more productive, and they are more likely to stay with the job they have. It makes sense to invest in employee engagement when you consider the value.

One thing to understand is that there is more to engagement than keeping employees happy. Having happy employees is good, but a person can be happy and disengaged simultaneously. Employee engagement is more about feeling connected to the company and invested in the work than being happy. There are connections between happiness and engagement, but they are different.

How can businesses improve engagement among employees? While there is no secret formula, a few strategies and tactics can improve employee engagement.

Provide the Tools for Success

So many leaders focus on how tools drive results as it concerns productivity or quality. Beyond the effect on output, access to the necessary tools can significantly impact engagement. Not having the tools you need to complete a job can feel frustrating. Employees don’t want to feel like they must hack solutions together to complete tasks.

Evaluate the processes that go into different roles at the company. Assess the tools that could be beneficial, and consider whether the company is providing employees with everything they need to succeed. With the right tools, employees will be more productive, feel better about their jobs, and be more engaged in their work.

Adequate Training

Training is an investment in the employee and the company. By helping employees develop their skills, you are increasing the value they can put back into the company. Employees feel good about learning new skills they can use at work and recognize the investment in training. Providing the necessary training signals to employees that the company is committed to them and valued. As a result, most employees will feel more invested and engaged with their work.

Start With Onboarding

The cultivation of engaged employees should start with the onboarding process. This is how you bring new employees into the company. You teach them about the culture and expectations. And it should go beyond how you introduce new employees to the company; it should start with hiring. Try to evaluate new prospects to gauge their fit with the culture and potential for staying engaged once on the job.

Show Appreciation

If you have done well with hiring good employees, providing training, and acquiring the right tools, your employees should deliver outstanding results. If they are meeting or exceeding expectations, show some appreciation. Everyone wants to be recognized by their bosses and coworkers for their work. Furthermore, a lack of recognition will cause some to disengage.

It can be as simple as telling employees they did an excellent job during the usual schedule. You could also congratulate a team when they complete a big project. Some companies may even offer rewards for meeting goals. This could include bonuses or gifts.

Listen to Employees

Good leaders listen to their employees. They want to know how people feel and if the people doing the work have suggestions for how things could be better. One of the best ways to do this is through surveys and questionnaires. Gathering employees’ opinions can tell you a lot about engagement and may even provide insights into issues the company has been experiencing.

However, listening is just the beginning. According to the employee engagement experts at Talent Keepers, action is a crucial component. A lack of response to feedback can cost leadership its credibility. Employees will feel like their opinions don’t matter. At the very least, you should discuss the issues that become apparent through employee feedback.

Promote Connections

A big part of engagement is feeling connected to the company. This means more than feeling good about your job – it also means having connections with the people at the workplace. For many employees, those human connections are a big part of what motivates and keeps them engaged.

Building bonds among employees can be a great way to improve employee engagement. Maybe they could take lunch together. Planning teamwork exercises can be another way to build these connections. You could also organize volunteer events for you and your employees.

As a final point, it all comes down to leadership. If leaders seem disengaged, most employees will follow that example. You not only need to promote engagement among leaders, but you also need to teach them how to display engagement. With an excellent example from leadership, engagement will take root and flourish.