Whether your workforce is remote, in-house or a blend of both, employee engagement is crucial to achieving the big wins you want for your company. Your workforce will not be motivated to help your business hit the sales milestones or tight timelines you’ve got your sights set on if they don’t feel like they’re an integral part of a team that is pushing forward together.

Studies have shown that companies with engaged employees perform better. In a Gallup metastudy, companies in the top quartile of employee engagement reeled in 147% the earnings per share (EPS) of companies in the bottom quartile. When competition is tight, that kind of difference can make or break you. The same Gallup study revealed that engaged workers experience 70% fewer safety incidents.

Spending isn’t necessarily the key, but another study found when companies spend 1% or more of payroll on recognition, 85% of them see a positive impact on engagement. As Gallup editors noted, an engaged company culture starts at the top, and actions speak louder than words. Beyond just approving of new engagement efforts, managers must embrace and enact them.

Key ways to improve engagement

A good part of your success rests on ensuring your employees feel noticed and are actively participating and cheering each other along as part of a team. Here are a few ways to improve employee engagement.

1. Acknowledge your workers personally.

Employees need to feel noticed and appreciated. Acknowledge them directly and frequently, noting how the projects they are working on fit into the bigger picture. Make sure you don’t default to speaking to and about one member of your team all the time without acknowledging the others.

Studies show that when supervisors express gratitude to their employees, the employees feel valued and are in turn more productive. Even this one step can make the difference between employees who are engaged and have positive attitudes, and those who are actively disengaged—and spreading negativity.

2. Ensure employees have the tools and resources they need.

Tools needed to complete a job can mean anything from specific software or hardware for use at the desk or in the field, to more efficient processes, or a direct line a higher-up whose approval they need frequently.

Sometimes at larger companies, or in the hubbub of fieldwork, there may be obstacles to a worker completing a task efficiently that go unnoticed by higher-ups. Organizational bureaucracy can also be a block to a worker having the right resources at their disposal. When a crew member or project manager needs the approval of the boss frequently, sometimes the best method for making that contact needs to be established so that waiting for a response doesn’t hold up that person’s work.

3. Provide structured feedback with consistent follow-through.

Employees want clear and transparent feedback and guidance on how they can improve. They’re willing to work harder if their work is noticed, even if it is constructively criticized—and if they know their improvement might lead to a raise.

A 2017 Globoforce report found that U.S. workers are 42 percent more likely to find feedback valuable when it is delivered on a quarterly or ongoing basis as opposed to an annual or semi-annual review.

Performance management software by Arcoro helps you institute a regular, robust feedback schedule with your employees. Arcoro automates the timing and other manual processes so you never have to neglect such an important part of company growth: employee performance. This ensures that everyone feels like they’re on an improvement track and steadily progressing.

4. Offer employees continued learning.

However you incorporate learning into their work lives, it is clearly something employees want. Recent research shows Gen Z workers are keen on learning for a variety of reasons, and have their preferences for how they’d like to learn—but workers of all ages feel engaged when they’re learning, and are interested in expanding their skill sets.

Brainstorm together on what certificates or skills they might want to pick up to further their professional profile and their capabilities. Or if you steer them to a particular training, then make your employees aware of why you want them to complete it and asking what they think they’ll gain for it before you explain your hopes for its benefits.

Arcoro’s Learning module turns learning into an automated, cloud-based experience, with assignments that employees can complete on their own time, from anywhere. Our software also has built-in accountability with sign-offs and even quizzes by employees, and you can send the same training to a large group—or repeat it as new workers are onboarded.

5. Put some fun in your company culture.

One of the things some companies forget is that their employees are people who exist outside the hierarchy and roles of the workplace. Having fun doesn’t have to be a big expense for companies, either. Have your HR team schedule a quarterly potluck and the company can contribute the drinks and dessert, or hold a putting contest in the office, a “Name That Baby” employee photo contest, or a crossword puzzle race.

Employees who are more engaged feel more emotionally invested in their jobs. So the more you can make team bonding part of your company culture, the more productive—and happier—everyone will be.

Schedule a demo today to learn how Arcoro’s suite of HR modules support worker feedback and development and increase employee engagement.