The 9 Factors That Create Engaged Employees

An engaged employee is one who is dedicated to the company's mission and enthusiastic about taking steps to fulfill that mission. An engaged workforce is more productive, offers better customer service and increases your profits. According to a recent Gallup study, however, only 32 percent of U.S. employees are engaged at work, and that number drops to 13 percent globally.

So, what do engaged employees possess that satisfied or disengaged employees do not have? Take a look at the list below to find out. Check off the ones that you already offer your employees, and take note of the items you don't.

Bare Necessities

1.    Minimal administrative tasks

Employees are more engaged and productive when they can spend the majority of their time focusing on things that pertain to their role, speak to their strengths and ultimately, interest them. Forcing employees to keep ultra-detailed expense reports or crazy-accurate time tracking isn't doing you any favors. Keep employees engaged by showing them that you appreciate the time they're giving you and by allowing them to use that time to do what they do best.

2.    The necessary resources

Are your employees asking for new software, online resource subscriptions, or physical equipment? As a business owner, it is your job to make sure the company's money is spent wisely, but it's also your job to make sure your employees have the tools that they need to do their work and do it well. When employees feel that they are equipped with the resources they need for their roles, they're not only going to be happier and appreciative, but also more efficient.

3.    Positive relationships with colleagues

Your employees will be happier and more committed to doing their work when they get along with one another and can balance their stress and wellness. Now, they don't have to attend each other's birthday parties or bring each other coffee, but they should have a positive, professional relationship. It's up to management to foster that type of culture by winning the hearts and minds of the people you work with.

Small Perks

4.    An outlet for physical activity

Physical activity helps keep employees focused, and any investment you make in their wellbeing will be rewarded. Whether you offer instructor-led afternoon yoga classes, personal training stipends, or a complete wellness program; you'll find that the benefits outweigh the costs.

5.    The flexibility to change up their atmosphere

Do you have your employees cooped up in their cubicles all day? That may be helping you keep tabs on them, but that's not supporting their engagement. Employees appreciate autonomy. Allow them to roam free and work in a designated co-working space at a nearby coffee shop, or even at their homes. As long as it is balanced with accountability, your already-hard-working employees will take notice of this benefit and likely commit even more to your company.

6.    Learning and development opportunities

No one likes to feel stuck at a job without opportunities to learn new skills and little prospect to move up in the company. Supporting employees to continue their education as it pertains to their roles will keep them actively interested in their jobs. Whether it's paying their seminar fees or offering tuition reimbursement, you'll benefit from a more intelligent and engaged workforce.

Valued Leadership

7.    An inspiring leader

Put people in charge who are inspiring. There's nothing worse than working under someone who's apathetic about their job. Keep your workforce enthusiastic and engaged by providing them with leaders that drive that energy. Leaders need to inspire people to reach great heights of performance, spend time developing their subordinates, engage in highly collaborative behaviors, and encourage those about them to be more innovative.

8.    Clear work expectations

Too often, employees feel confused about the priorities for their role and how he success is measured. When employees don't understand the goal, how are they supposed to be excited about getting there? Clear up that confusion by spelling out what you expect, sharing measurable metrics and implementing a system for tracking and assessing the results.

9.    Opportunities for feedback

In addition to setting up clear performance expectations, your employees should expect to get feedback on that performance. Simply by knowing that their work is looked at, reviewed and discussed, employees are more likely to go the extra mile to do a good job.

How Did Your Company Measure Up?

Were you able to check off every item on this list? If not, it's time to implement new ideas. Whether you're missing a couple of the leadership factors, or you can't confidently say you offer any of the above, the time to act is now. Implement one, maybe two, to start, and eventually get through the whole list. As you do, take notice of the atmosphere around the office, the satisfaction levels of clients and customers, and the metrics you have for tracking productivity and revenue. You'll likely be surprised by the results.