Employees who feel connected to their workplace are more innovative and productive. They want to do great work because they’re proud of what they do. Business and engagement strategies are intimately connected and are essential for success. The best companies build and sustain a culture of engagement, led by CEOs who understand employee engagement isn’t just “nice to have” but critical to snagging momentum and success.

Too many leaders aren’t even making employee engagement a priority. While 90 percent of leaders think an employee engagement strategy impacts their bottom line, a slim 25 percent actually create one.

So how can you create an environment of passion and reignite the excitement in the work your employees had on the day they signed their offer letters? Here are three ways leaders can boost employee engagement through email:

1. Make engagement an ongoing effort 

Engagement is an emotional involvement that plays to the root of your company. Brand harmony should hush ambiguous detachment, instead offering up a way for your employees to spread your core values (and boost your bottom line). But to create an emotional investment throughout the office, ditch the “one-and-done” method of analyzing employee engagement. 

Some 98 percent of CEOs only look at annual employee engagement surveys once a year, and don’t talk about them at all with their employees, according to a December 2015 Motivosity survey.

Engagement should be an ongoing effort that starts on day one. I’ve made it a practice to sit with new hires on their first day, talk to them and understand the reasons they’ve chosen Sigstr as their new work family. I ask every employee their three life goals, career related or otherwise. And then I check back, and make sure we’re helping them with the causes that are important in their life.

I realize this doesn’t work as well at the enterprise level, but senior management is in the trenches with their team daily. Get to know what’s important to them, and make it an ongoing effort. Share resources they’ll find valuable. Instead of in-person onboarding programs that put new hires to sleep, incorporate technology like Sigstr to give them the content, the resources, the culture they need to be successful.

When new team members are introduced to an engaged environment and process, they feel more confident and comfortable amplifying it.

2. Encourage risky behavior

Healthy risk-taking inspires innovation. A company is only as good as the employees who are standing behind it. They’re the hands creating your products, the minds crafting the next big idea. Without these people, the company’s strategy is just a bunch of words on a piece of paper. 

So listen to them. Encourage innovation and give them the opportunity to take risks – and don’t reprimand them for failure.

A fun (and productive) exercise to practice risk-taking is to present the same problem to different teams and ask them each to solve it. Then each team can present its solution, round table style, allowing for feedback, new perspectives and improved ideas. 

Allow for conversation and brainstorming, too. Collaboration pushes innovation to the next level. Employee email is a way to promote and track of your thought process. 

3. Make it fun

Ditch the antiquated rule book on how and when to work. Measure your staff’s output and tangible results, and focus less on the hours it took to get there. If it’s possible, let people work where they want. Allow them to purchase equipment and software that makes their job easier.

Companies like Amazon and Google offer up increased parental leave. Others, like Netflix, have gotten rid of a parental leave policy all together – allowing new parents unlimited paid parental leave within the first year of a new birth or adoption. Still more employers are providing perks like unlimited vacation, free lunch, free gym membership or childcare assistance. 

A study from Glassdoor’s Q3 2015 Employee Confidence Survey found nearly four in every five employees would prefer new or additional perks and benefits over a pay increase. 

Bring joy to the workplace, and create an environment your employees want to be in.

Remember, you can use your email signature to keep your branding consistent and share internal messaging without cluttering up your staff’s inbox. Use it to send out updates, new internal app adoption or invitations to the next speaker series lecture.

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