Engaged employees are critical to a company’s success, especially in this current economic downturn. Motivated employees who are excited to do their jobs and to do them well are extremely valuable while those employees who become disconnected may demonstrate low commitment, involvement or productivity. While many managers focus on putting in effort to increase engagement, most are missing the underlying issues that hinder their employee’s discretionary effort.

According to employee engagement expert Michael Lee Stallard, “emotional factors impact employee engagement four times as much as rational factors.” Recognizing this fact can be extremely useful for managers who are looking to boost employee engagement. Even if employee engagement is not a current issue you are facing, it is important that you are still aware of these facts to continue avoiding this topic. While common tactics such as company-wide parties or extensive training may be helpful, most do not address employee’s emotional factors.

So how do you attend to employees emotional issues? The most important thing to do is to find out what sort of emotional issues are controlling your employees. Are they worried about their personal finances? Anxious about disappointing their significant other? Or maybe concerned that they are not living up to their personal expectations? Whatever the case, it is vital that as a manager you discover the emotional pulls that your employees may be feeling. Instead of guessing, take the time to survey your employees and get to the bottom of their emotional restraints. Then you can begin to address their emotional factors and increase their engagement at the office.

Engaged employees are 20% more productive than average-performing employees which can be a huge difference for any company. As a manger, aligning your efforts to improve your employee’s engagement with the needs of your employees is crucial in order to be successful. Reevaluate your current approach at handling these issues and make sure that you are addressing their emotional factors.