Product, processes, and people may be the most important elements of a business. So if one-third of that equation–the people–aren’t engaged, your business may not be living up to its full potential.

A study conducted by Dale Carnegie Training found that 71% of employees are not fully engaged with their work and $11 billion is lost annually due to employee turnover. Don’t be a business that is loses momentum and money by lack of employee drive. Use these tips to create a more engaged, productive, and empowered workforce.

Clearly Define Roles and Paths

Empowering your employees starts with laying the proper ground work. That means providing your employees with clear job descriptions and paths for growth from day one.

This employment map empowers your employee by showing them where they are now, where they have the ability to go in the future, and what they need to do to get there.

Create job descriptions that help your employees know what is expected of them. The U.S. Small Business Administration lists these elements of a good job description:

Job title Job objective (what is the overall purpose of the job) Description and scope of the job (what are the goals of the position) List of duties (what tasks are crucial to the position) Description of working relationships (who manages the employee, who does the employee manage, who works beside them)

Then show your employee the job titles and descriptions of roles they have the ability to grow into. This creates a plan and vision for their potential and growth.

Communicate Clearly, Openly, and Often

Communication with your employees is important because it creates a strong bond between:

the employee and the company (when employees understand the overall vision and position of the company, they are more inclined to work toward that vision) the employee and the manager (when employees have a healthy relationship with their manager, they tend to be more engaged)

The Dale Carnegie Training study also noted that 80% of employees dissatisfied with their direct manager were disengaged, so fostering a healthy relationship with your employees is extremely important. Maintaining a healthy working relationship is founded on clear and open communication.

The Inc. library on improving communication skills includes valuable tips for communicating with your staff. Some of their best tips include:

Prepare for meetings. Don’t improvise. Be mindful of your body language (and notice your employees). Don’t just talk. Ask and listen. Don’t have meetings when you are angry or frustrated. Have a short, non-work related conversation with your staff once a day.

Offer Intrinsic Motivation

Employees are more driven by intrinsic motivation than extrinsic motivation.

Intrinsic motivation means that one wants to do a good job because they want internal satisfaction. It makes them feel proud, accomplished, and successful. They feel like they are contributing to something bigger than themselves.

Extrinsic motivations means that an employee wants to do a good job because they want external satisfaction. It will get them a raise or promotion. It also means that they won’t be fired or reprimanded.

You will get more out of your employees by connecting their tasks and roles to intrinsic motivation. You can increase intrinsic motivation in a few ways.

Explain why an employees is doing the task. Connect meaning to their tasks. Don’t explain every step of what they need to do to accomplish something. Offer autonomy to the employee by letting them figure out their work themselves. Dot be a helicopter manager. Again, offer the employee space to do their work their way. Let your employees fail and learn from their mistakes. Talk to them after and ask them what they learned. Acknowledge victories. Provide praise and approval when it is due.

Create a Flexible Work Environment

Employees hate to be chained to a desk, and in our age of technology, they don’t need to be. So offer your employees a flexible work environment that allows them to work from home or with flexible hours when possible.

Provide them with tools that help them manage their work (and hold them accountable) when not in the office.

Mobile device management and mobile enterprise access tools: allow employees to manage work-related information from their cell phones, while leaving control over the information to managers Online conference tools: allow employees to join in meetings from remote locations (try GoToMeeting or Google Hangouts) File sharing tools: allow employees access to documents when they are away from their work computers Instant messaging tools: allow employees and employers to instantly communicate when out of the office (and allow employers to make sure employees are working when they are supposed to be)

Lead by Example

You can quickly reverse all the work you have done motivating your employees if you engage in one manager fatal flow—not practicing what you preach.

If you want engaged employees, be an engaged manager. Come to work excited. Don’t show your stresses to your team. Maintain a positive attitude, and you will have a team ready to take on the challenges of your business right beside you.