The term employee engagement is not easy to define, and in many cases it can be difficult to measure. At the most basic level, employee engagement is the level of morale, motivation and connection employees feel towards the company which employs them. It is strongly influenced not only by the individuals within the team, but also by the general culture of the workplace and its leadership. When a workforce has the skills and knowledge needed to perform, as well as the desire to see the company succeed, quality, efficiency and productivity will soar. Here are 6 tips to help you improve employee engagement in your organization.

1. Show Appreciation

If an employee is working hard for the company, but feeling like their contribution is neither noticed nor valued, their level of engagement will fall very quickly. It’s essential that employees feel that the work they do is appreciated, not only in terms of being useful, but also that their colleagues, managers and directors personally acknowledge their contribution. They should feel part of the team and instrumental to the team’s success.

2. Listen to Your Employees

It’s important that your employees feel their voices are being heard and that their opinions are valued. When they are ignored or dismissed, they are more likely to become resentful and find a different outlet — i.e. by spreading negativity throughout the team. Just as you should provide feedback on how the employees are performing, they should be given an opportunity to tell you how the organization could be improved. You can do this easily and quickly through employee engagement software such as Inpulse surveys.

3. Keep Employees in the Loop

When employees feel they are being shut out (or worse, lied to) with regard to key business decisions, they are likely to feel undervalued and rumors may begin to spread. Obviously employees don’t need to be informed of every single problem or day-to-day decision, but transparency is key when trying to build a culture of trust and collaboration.

4. Provide Regular Encouragement

How often do you take the time to tell your team that they are doing well? It’s highly likely that you aren’t doing it often enough. The simplest words of thanks and encouragement — whether via an email or in person — can do wonders in terms of motivation. When employees know that their work is noticed and appreciated, they are far more likely to continue to perform at a high level.

5. Invest in Training and Development

Every employee in your company is an individual with their own priorities and ambitions, both personal and professional. You can show them that you are committed to helping them develop and improve by investing in training and development which will enable them to reach their goals. When an employee is left to muddle through problems on their own and their skills start to stagnate, you end up with disengaged and demotivated staff.

6. Offer Remote Working Options

The modern workforce has changed considerably in recent years, not least because of the great advances in technology which have given people the flexibility to work remotely. With co-working and collaboration tools, cloud storage, video conferencing and mobile devices, you can give employees the opportunity to work from home or an office closer to their home. If you combine this with flexible working hours, you show trust in your team and that you prioritize their work/life balance and well-being.