Engaged employees—those who feel like a real part of their company—stay with an employer for longer, are more productive and are higher-performing than disengaged employees. They’re your best advocates and any organization’s prized asset.

Employees, however, don’t engage themselves. Employee engagement is the natural result of a people-first culture: one that connects employees to each other encourages growth and development and allows employees to bring their true selves to work.

Increasing engagement takes work at all levels, from the C-suite down to every individual contributor. These nine tips will help you get everyone on board, productive, and, you know it, engaged.

1. Allow employees to influence their own work

Implementing a “managing up”-oriented culture, where employees take the reins on their workload and relationships with managers. By giving your people the chance to guide their own journey, you’ll encourage them to take a more active role in their career development—and to care more about what they’re doing on a day-to-day basis.

2. Implement a performance management plan

Frequent performance reviews increase engagement by giving employees achievable short- and long-term goals to strive towards, reframing their tasks as goal-oriented and worthwhile.

3. Create a sense of community

Encourage employees to connect with each other by connecting affinity groups based on interests and identity. Help your people discover what makes them, as a group, so special, and encourage them to deepen their bonds with each other and the company!

4. Offer benefits that people actually want

And make sure they know about them. Tailor benefits packages to their interests (and benefits packages offered by competitors) so they’ll have another reason to stick around.

5. Encourage top-down transparency

Regular team-, department-, and company-wide update or all-hands meetings will keep employees at all levels of the organization updated and involved. These updates will help employees feel closer to decision-makers and more empathetic towards leadership, even during tough times.

6. Discover and share your people’s superpowers

We’re each worth so much more than what we finish in a day in front of the computer. Encourage employees to share their unique talents and use them in the office—whether that means hosting a concert or talent show or translating an email into Japanese.

7. Start with onboarding

A thoughtful onboarding experience will get employees engaged from day one—or even earlier. Whether your new hire is working from the office or remote, planning a high-touch onboarding experience will help them stay engaged throughout their tenure at the organization.

8. Celebrate birthdays and work anniversaries

Remind employees of how valuable they are to you and your organization by taking the time to celebrate them! A day off or sweet treat for their birthday wouldn’t hurt.

9. Make the management team more human

Encourage managers from all levels to take the time to check in regularly with employees and make themselves available for conversations. Developing a culture of open communication will help people stay aware and open-minded.

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From Tamsin Fox-Davies

Tamsin Fox-Davies is the Small Business Evangelist at bob (www.hibob.com), and spends her time sharing ideas & best practice around SME HR & HRTech. You can find her on Twitter (@tamsinfd), at her desk, or curled up on the sofa with one of her four dogs and a mug of hot chocolate.