Your employees, in many ways, are the lifeblood of your business.

How well you, as an employer, manage to motivate them, and engage them can have a significant impact on their productivity, performance, and loyalty.

Unfortunately, though, employees are often underappreciated and undervalued. Employers typically do just enough to keep their employees showing up, and working –but rarely go above and beyond. This is unfortunate, though, because as an employer, there’s a lot that you can do to directly impact your team’s motivation and engagement.

The benefits of an engaged and motivated workforce go beyond the obvious. According to research by the HayGroup, ‘the offices with engaged employees were as much as 43 percent more productive.’ Keeping your team engaged can also help to boost employee loyalty. An engaged and motivated worker is less likely to leave for another company. Each year the average company loses 20-50 percent of its employee base. And according to Columbia University, a lost employee costs 150 percent of that person’s annual salary. That should be a significant incentive for companies to invest in employee retention strategies.

If you are looking to encourage your employees to be more loyal and start reaping the benefits of a driven and engaged workforce, here are a few things you should consider.

1.Motivate Them

Assembling the right team is all about hiring the right people, right? While there is some truth to this, the fact is that many of your workers won’t arrive at work with built-in motivation to do their absolute best. That motivation is something that you have to provide, as their employer. Your workers don’t have the same vested interests in your company that you do, and it’s unfair to expect them to work as though they do. Instead, it’s important to create a workplace environment where your workers are motivated to show up on time, and do their very best. The best workplaces offer competitive salaries and great benefits –but more than that, they’re places where the team feels valued and appreciated, like they’re making a difference.

2.Provide Them With Necessary Tools

Few things will demotivate a worker faster than having old, inadequate equipment. Make sure you provide your workers with the tools that they need to do their best work, as efficiently as possible. It will go a long way toward helping them to feel motivated, and less likely to jump ship when another job offer comes along.

3.Show Appreciation

Research shows that emotionally connected employees are the best employees. These workers are engaged and productive, and they feel validated and appreciated. Showing your workers gratitude in the form of a simple, “Thank you,” or “I really appreciate what you’ve done,” can go a long way toward helping them to feel more engaged, and improving worker satisfaction. Plus, appreciation has been shown to motivate employees to work harder.

4.Provide Training

All too often, companies fail to provide employees with training that will help to grow their skill set, and help them advance their careers. While most employers will give their workers the basic training that’s required to do their jobs; that’s usually where the training ends. Don’t make this mistake with your team. Assembling a winning team isn’t just about sourcing the right talent; instead, it’s about doing everything possible to keep your team motivated and on track –something that the right training can help to facilitate. Consider reimbursing your workers for classes that they’re taking, or offering to pay for specific courses. Employees who feel that they’re working for a company that cares about their professional development will be grateful and less likely to feel “trapped in their career,” desperate for a way out.

5.Offer Opportunities for Advancement

Offering your team opportunities for advancement is an important part of helping to keep them motivated, and more loyal. Instead of sourcing outside talent, try to help your existing team climb the ladders in your company. They’ll be less likely to look for outside opportunities if they can advance their career within the company.

6.Empower Your Team

Finally, no one likes a micromanager. So look for opportunities to entrust your team with more responsibilities. Remember: there’s more than one way to get things done, just because a worker does something differently to how you would have done it, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s wrong. In cases where there may have been a judgment error, speak to your worker privately –don’t make a scene in front of their coworkers. Trusting your team enough to give them more responsibilities will help them to feel more connected to your company.

In the end, a motivated and engaged employee will be more likely to stay with your company –and less likely to look for another opportunity. Focusing on the above steps will go a long way toward helping you to create an environment where workers stay for longer, and are happy to give 100 percent.