One of the biggest challenges today for HR professionals is how to keep their employees actively engaged.

So what is an engaged employee? An engaged employee is one who is enthusiastic, committed and motivated by their work. An engaged employee produces. An engaged employee sees his/her work as much more than a paycheck.

Most employees, however, are not engaged. A recent Gallup report, State of the Global Workplace, reported that just 13% of employees worldwide are engaged in their jobs. This statistic is even more glaring given that the people were polled across 142 countries.

There are strategies, however,  for improving employee engagement.

Create A Fun Environment

Employees who can have fun at work are more motivated to work and put in the required time to do a good job than those who are stressed and overwhelmed. Celebrate employee milestones with a virtual party. Check out what these companies do to create fun at work.

The key here is to consider what you can do to create a productive work environment that meaningfully integrates fun into the workflow. Organizations that can interject fun with work are more apt to retain their staff for a longer period of time.

Solicit Employee Feedback

Use surveys to gather valuable feedback from your employees. You can even use SMS messaging platforms and text them a link to a survey. By soliciting their feedback, you let them have a voice in helping improve company policies, procedures and protocols.

An employee with a voice can become a brand advocate and help to spread the word about your company through their own peer and professional networks. You cannot underestimate the value of growing a company through word of mouth.

Develop Goal-Setting Programs

What are your employees’ goals? If you take the time to understand their motivations for a career and in their overall lives, you can better align their talents and interests with the goals and objectives of your company.

While goal-setting initiatives are a great way to motivate employees to meet objectives, it does not hurt to also add in some incentives along the way, too. Cash always talks as do material items like a new phone. Paid time off is another way to encourage staff to become and remain engaged.

Start Early

If you want engaged employees, look for them before you make the hire. During the recruiting process, for instance, look at their employment history. If a prospective employee has a history of bouncing around from job to job, such an individual might not make the most sense.

Use texting to acquire top-level talent and make it easy for prospects to contact you. Respond quickly to those who show interest and are qualified. Be sure to also provide enough information about the details of the job too, so prospects understand. You’ll have an easier time finding employees who are engaged.

The takeaway here is that to encourage engagement in your employees, you need to go beyond the parameters of the job description. Employees, for better or worse, often need to know right away what is in it for them. The faster you can make clear the possible benefits of employment, the better chance you can attract new hires and retain your current staff longer.