Engaged employees are more creative, more productive, and, according to some industry data, less prone to turnover. However, there is much debate around what steps can be taken to engage employees, and how these steps can be more meaningful. Research is increasingly showing that a sense of purpose is one of the biggest factors in whether an employee will be engaged, and forward-thinking companies such as Pixar, Clif Bar, Timberland, Kohler, and Harrah’s are leading the pack in this regard. At the recent SB’16 San Diego summit, these companies shared what they thought were the most important factors in promoting purpose and driving engagement. At the top of the list was the idea that simply giving employees a voice could boost engagement. Asking for their ideas and innovations and putting those things to work in a practical way was presented as an essential first step in making a worker feel valued. Additionally, workplace initiatives should be representative in nature, the companies said. Making decisions based on the input of cross-functional teams allows real understanding of employee needs and what will be most effective when it is implemented in the real world.