Employee engagement is critical in today's competitive hiring market. If your employees aren't motivated to succeed on your team, they won't hesitate to look for job opportunities elsewhere -- and there are plenty of jobs available given the record-low unemployment rate.

The good news for employers today is, employee engagement is on the rise. According to research from Gallup, employee engagement is at the highest level since Gallup started measuring engagement data in 2000. 

The most successful business leaders understand the importance of being intentional about employee engagement. Below, I've outlined how a few of the top employers in the U.S. actively engage employees -- and how your team can do the same. 

Ask employees about company culture.

Salesforce was named the world's best workplace in 2018 on the Great Place to Work list and recently ranked second on the list for 2019. And one of the reasons for this distinction is Salesforce's dedication to employee engagement.

To support employee engagement, Salesforce is dedicated to putting its company culture first. Salesforce sees company culture as its biggest differentiator and competitive advantage, so the company makes an effort to write down its culture strategy, build programs around it, measure the success of it, and continuously improve and innovate upon its culture.

Not only does Salesforce leadership drive company culture and engagement, but employees are empowered to own the culture as well. All Salesforce employees complete engagement surveys twice a year. Following the surveys, all data is added to an app that all employees can access.

The employee engagement survey data sharing strategy enables all employees to take responsibility for owning and shaping the culture. It also can serve as a wake up call for certain managers if it's evident employee engagement on their teams could use improvement.

Your team can boost employee engagement by encouraging your team to shape the company culture. Consider implementing employee engagement surveys similar to Salesforce -- and sharing the results with all employees -- or take other steps to encourage feedback. These might include setting up employee focus groups or brainstorms with employees who are interested in contributing. 

Develop an employee experience group.

Airbnb attributes much of its success to its focus on employee experience. In 2016, the employer developed the slogan "Belong Anywhere" -- and this slogan is intended for both its potential customers and its employees.

To help the company support its "Belong Anywhere" slogan and boost employee engagement, Airbnb reinvented its talent department. While the department was previously small and mostly focused on day-to-day HR work, Airbnb took a page out of its customer experience team's book and developed an employee experience group.

The employee experience group at Airbnb is focused on setting up employees for success and helping them feel as though they belong throughout their time with Airbnb. This includes focusing on safety, security, global citizenship, diversity, total employee rewards, talent develop and anything else that might be considered part of the employee experience.

Airbnb's employee experience initiatives all tie back to the company's culture. Starting with the interview process, prospective employees are measured based on whether or not they'll be a fit based on Airbnb's core values. And much of the onboarding process revolves around Airbnb's mission and core values.

Your team can learn learn several lessons from Airbnb when it comes to employee engagement. If you have the resources to do so, add roles on your team that specifically support employee engagement. If you don't have these resources, encourage several employees across departments to collaborate on supporting an engaging employee experience. 

Similar to Airbnb, your team should make your company culture a priority across all areas of the business. Focus on employee culture during the interview and onboarding processes, and in day-to-day work. For example, consider recognizing employees who live up to your core values. Ultimately, when employees are bought into a company's core values and culture, they're more likely to be engaged and do great work.

Top employers make employee engagement a top priority, rather than an afterthought. By applying some of the employee engagement best practices from Salesforce and Airbnb, your team can attract qualified job seekers who are drawn by your culture, and keep employees excited to contribute to your team.

Published on: May 1, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.