Welcome to Recruiter Q&A, where we pose employment-related questions to the experts and share their answers! Have a question you’d like to ask? Leave it in the comments, and you might just see it in the next installment of Recruiter Q&A!

This Week’s Question: How do you engage employees at work?

These answers come from the members of BusinessCollective, a virtual mentorship program powered by America’s most ambitious young thought leaders, entrepreneurs, executives, and small business owners, including the members of FounderSociety.

Ashu1. Give Them Ownership

I’ve started two businesses — Fast Forward India and Applause — and my take away lesson is: make everyone on your team have a sense of ownership. If they have a sense of ownership, they will pretty much be self-motivated, which is what you want.

Ashu Dubey, 12 Labs

Michael2. Be a Good Storyteller

Storytelling is an incredibly powerful way to engage employees at work. Eloquently conveying why the company does what it does and how the employee is affecting a tremendous number of lives helps them feel empowered. It leaves them with a sense of purpose.

Michael Lisovetsky, HomeSwipe

Lisa3. Live Your Values

At my startup, Kuli Kuli, we are bringing a new superfood to the U.S. market to help our consumers and farmers live healthier lives. Though we’re cash-constrained, we decided to live out that value by offering a free gym membership to everyone on our team and encouraging team members to take a spin class at lunch, do yoga in the afternoons, etc. Our team loves it!

Lisa Curtis, Kuli Kuli

zac4. Treat Employees Like Family

It’s crucial to have your employees appreciate their work. For example, people who aren’t enjoying themselves in group outings can drag down the experience for everyone else. The same holds true in your workplace. Treat your employees like family. Show you appreciate them, and don’t treat them like they’re just numbers.

Zac Johnson, Blogging.org

Steve5. Create a Fun Culture

Create a culture where you and your employees look forward to going to work. If you’re going to spend a good chunk of your time there, you might as well make it a place that is enjoyable and where your employees feel valued and empowered to do what they’ve been hired to do. As a creative company, we have a laid-back atmosphere and dress code, and we encourage team activities.

Steven Newlon, SYN3RGY Creative Group

Marty6. Simply Talk to Them

Ask questions, hold meaningful conversations, and let employees work on important projects. Give them ownership, and create a safe space where they can provide feedback. The best ideas come from our employees.

Marty McDonald, Bad Rhino Inc

John7. Challenge Them

When you have smart employees, you want to exercise their brains. One of the best ways to keep them engaged is to challenge them. Make sure to give them projects that make them think and even go outside of their comfort zones. When they succeed, they will be much prouder of this accomplishment than they are of their normal day-to-day duties. An employee who is growing is also engaged.

John Arroyo, Arroyo Labs, Inc.

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