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Employee engagement is one of the most crucial aspects of workplace leadership. Executives must use their personal power to push engagement-centric goals to the top of the priority list. According to Gallup, key performance outcomes are factually tied to engagement levels. From productivity to profitability, an engaged staff is a successful one.

The report indicated that organizations with top quartile employee engagement performed 22 percent better in terms of profitability compared to businesses in the bottom quartile. But, wait, it gets better. Top-ranking companies also had 21 percent higher productivity levels, 10 percent better customer ratings and considerably lower turnover rates than lower-ranking organizations. 

These kinds of numbers speak for themselves. An investment in employee engagement is an investment in the company at large. Leaders need to actively cultivate management skills that are proven to foster deeper levels of engagement. Let's take a look at six key ways executives should promote employee engagement.

"An investment in employee engagement is an investment in the company at large."

Lead the change: Leaders can influence employees by their own actions. In fact, they do it every day. This is particularly powerful when it comes to engagement. According to an additional Gallup poll, staff members with engaged supervisors were nearly 40 percent more likely to be engaged employees. Executives must lead by example. If your team sees you are only half-interested in what they are saying or observe you texting throughout a meeting they will likely begin to mimic these behaviors. Show your investment in your work and your team and the rest will follow. It's a give-100-get-100 mentality that leads to optimal engagement in the office. 

Invest in a meaningful fashion: Forbes contributor Ron Carucci believes engagement stems from one thing: genuine passion. This can manifest in a variety of ways, including making deep investments in your team. Leverage your personal power to ensure that you have time to commit to mentorship beyond signing off on team training. Carucci sees this as one-on-one meetings combined with a personal eye for professional growth on an everyday basis. This kind of real-time investment in people shows that you are engaged in the process while letting your team know just how much you value them. Not only will your team grow their skill sets but they will become invested in the company as a whole, as well – a true win-win.

Define engagement in a realistic way: Communication is a key part of the engagement process in more ways than one. For starters, active communication is critical to general employee communication. Do you allot time for employee feedback? Do you take the process seriously? Enabling avenues for discussion is a great way to show employees that their engagement has potential to change the organization as a whole. Gallup noted that leaders should also be proactive about defining what successful engagement looks like. Make realistic goals for your team regarding improvements in day-to-day participation. These tangible targets will help your employees better understand what they can do personally to improve office engagement.

Actively engaged employees are crucial to a successful work environment.Actively engaged employees are crucial to a successful work environment.

Transparency is invaluable: The backbone of genuine engagement is transparency. When leaders are open about how individual work contributes to larger company goals, employees are more motivated to craft goals shaped around these targets, explained Entrepreneur contributor Andre Lavoie. Be honest and consistent in your communication regarding company matters. Let your team know where your organization stands and what their department can do to improve upon the current status. This high-level honestly can work double-time by improving loyalty and trust throughout the office.

Hire smart: Both Carucci and the Gallup poll believe engagement levels largely stem from hiring decisions. Executives must invest in the right team motivators to ensure active participation is a priority. This starts with asking some more engagement-driven questions. Try asking about investments potential hires have made in other people or scenarios where they have gone above and beyond the call of duty.

"You have to hire people who are predisposed to care," explained author Mark C. Crowley to Forbes. "If you hire for technical competence, or a track record of hitting numbers, that's all you'll get."

Make it personal: Leaders are taught from the beginning the importance of keeping boundaries in the workplace. However, great leaders have mastered the art of connecting personally in a professional manner. According to Carucci, one of the predominant skills of leaders who positively influence engagement rates is their willingness to know their people. Take the time to get to know all of your employees beyond their name and title. What are their career goals? Are they social butterflies? Do they have kids? These facts can often help you restructure your leadership style to better fit their needs. From there, engagement will be a cinch.