71% of all workers in the U.S. are not fully engaged, while 26% are actively disengaged. These depressing statistics illustrate the state of the workforce and indicate that there’s something deeply wrong with this whole concept. Needless to say, disengaged employees are extremely expensive in every possible way. When people are unhappy at work, they’re bound to look for another job opportunity, and all this contributes to a high turnover rate which costs U.S. companies $11 billion each year. Contrary to popular opinion, a fat paycheck, although very important, isn’t the top employee engagement driver.

Recognition and appreciation

A competitive salary is just a part of the equation since people want more than that. By showing them that you notice all the hard work and effort they put in everything they do, and by praising them for being 100% dedicated will encourage them to keep up the good work. There are numerous ways to express your appreciation and gratitude. For example, using social media for an “employee of the week” program is a great idea. Also, starting a big company meeting by mentioning an employee who did something great can do wonders for their engagement in the future. Of course, always make sure to explain what exactly you are praising them for. Finally, every time you notice that an employee bends over backwards to have something done, make sure to praise them on the spot.


Daimler, the famous German car manufacturer, decided to reward its 130,000 employees with a generous bonus to thank them for making 2017 the most successful year in the company’s history. Not all companies have millions to spare, but this shouldn’t stop them from incentivizing and rewarding their employees. Tickets to various events, gift cards, magazine subscriptions, or spa gift certificates won’t break the bank, and yet they make excellent employee motivators. A flexible schedule is one of the best incentives, as it allows a better work-life balance, which, in turn, boosts productivity and performance, and increases employees’ positive attitude towards their job.

Positive work environment

It can’t be stressed enough how creating a positive work environment is beneficial for your company. Every job comes with its fair share of stressful situations, so a friendly and positive workplace climate acts as a buffer and helps employees deal with such unpleasant events more effectively. When people get to know their co-workers better, it’s much easier to ask for help or discuss various work-related ideas and suggestions. An average person spends at least 40 hours a week at work which is why establishing strong personal relationships with co-workers is essential for making the workplace more enjoyable and productive. A study has shown that having friendly relationships at work improves employee satisfaction by 50%. Moreover, those who work with their best friends are 7 times more likely to be fully engaged.

Personal development

Millennials, who will comprise 75% of the workforce by 2025, want mentoring, coaching, and support at work. They pay a special attention to personal growth and professional advancement, which is why companies that encourage the concept of lifelong learning and continuous training are their top picks. Access to various seminars, conferences, online courses, and other educational resources is a highly desirable perk on their list of priorities. Apart from polishing their professional skills, your employees are interested in working on emotional, physical, and intellectual aspects of themselves, which requires a holistic approach to their development. Many companies offer gym memberships, professional counseling, as well as some non-work-related seminars and training programs in an attempt to motivate their staff.


Long gone are the days when a strict dress code was a must in the workplace. New generations of employees don’t want their self-expression to be suffocated by corporate rules, and they above all appreciate the ability to cherish their unique and casual lifestyles. If you’re in the industry that requires formal work attire, then make sure to introduce Casual Fridays and allow your employees to relax. Another, more important, aspect of freedom in the workplace concerns giving employees’ an opportunity to participate in making important decisions, as well as the power to influence the outcome of their actions. This will encourage them to take ownership of their work and realize that they can control their career.

Better communication

Nowadays, when almost all business communication is reduced to emails, memos, and instant messaging, it’s important to make sure that you talk to your employees in person. This way you’ll overcome possible misunderstandings caused by the fact that digital communication is devoid of almost any emotion, and show them that you respect, appreciate, and value their hard work. Lack of communication and feedback is one of the main causes of workplace frustration, and it leads to conflict in the workplace. This especially applies to situations when you have to discuss some sensitive issues, which means that face-to-face communication is irreplaceable when it comes to delivering some tough messages.

Implementing these changes can significantly improve employee engagement and boost the productivity of your company.

Emma is a digital marketer and blogger from Sydney. After getting a marketing degree she started working with Australian startups on business and marketing development. Emma writes for many relevant, industry related online publications and does a job of an Executive Editor at Bizzmark blog and a guest lecturer at Melbourne University. Interested in marketing, startups and latest business trends.