Employee engagement is a hot topic lately. And for good reason: Employee engagement impacts whether your company’s productivity and profits increase or decrease.

Companies with highly engaged employees experience higher profits, higher productivity and lower turnover.

In contrast, companies with disengaged or unengaged employees experience lower profits, lower productivity and higher turnover.

Fortunately, increasing your company’s employee engagement (and profits) boils down to six steps.

High-profit discovery: Engaged employees equal superstar employees. I heard buzz about engaged employees, employee engagement and unengaged employees, but those terms are just that, buzzwords.

So, I studied what employee engagement means.

Lo-and-behold, engaged employees are the same as what I have spent years calling superstar employees. Engaged or superstar employees exhibit two factors. They are both highly productive and have a low turnover rate.

As such, increasing your company’s employee engagement (and profits) necessarily starts with you hiring job applicants who have work qualities similar to your best highly productive, low-turnover employees in each job.

How do you stock your workforce with engaged/superstar employees? Use these steps.

List your superstar employees in each job: These employees are ones you metaphorically would like to clone. They are both highly productive and have a low turnover rate.

Choose pre-employment tests: The most scientific, objective method you can use to assess job applications is pre-employment tests. In contrast, other assessment methods are very subjective, unscientific and not objective. These other methods include most interviews.

For “white-collar” jobs, use two types of tests:

Intelligence: For work-related mental abilities; and

Personality: For interpersonal style, personality traits and motivations.

“White-collar” jobs in PHCP/PVF distribution include outside sales rep, inside sales reps, counter sales, showroom sales, administrative assistant and branch manager.

For “blue-collar” jobs, use these types of tests:

Intelligence: For work-related brainpower; and

Reliability: For honesty, work ethic, impulsiveness, stealing and substance abuse.

“Blue-collar” jobs in PHCP/PVF distribution include warehouse workers, installation technicians and drivers.

Important: Make sure the personality test or reliability test you use has a section that scientifically “catches” applicants who try to outwit the test to seem “better or different” than they really are.

Have your superstar employees take pre-employment tests: You, of course, want to hire people who have the same work-related qualities your superstar, engaged employees have.

Benchmark the pre-employment tests you use: To do this, have your superstars in each job take that job’s pre-employment tests. Then, statistically uncover typical or benchmark test scores obtained by your superstar, engaged employees (employees you want to, metaphorically, clone).

Applicants take pre-employment tests: When you test job candidates, do the logical thing: Seriously consider hiring applicants who get the same scores as your superstar, engaged employees.

But if an applicant gets test scores different than your superstars’ benchmark test scores, then you probably want to find a better applicant whose work qualities measured by pre-employment test scores are similar to your superstars’ benchmark test scores.

Hire managers who encourage and reinforce employee engagement: Some managers encourage employees to be engaged — that is highly productive with low turnover rates.

But other managers are toxic. These lousy managers harm the job performance of your employees.

I also notice lousy managers often are too lazy or “busy” to find, test, assess and select good employees. Such lousy managers end up hiring unengaged employees who exhibit low productivity and contribute to expensive turnover!

Make sure you have managers who hire superstar, engaged employees and encourage their employees’ high productivity and low turnover rates. Otherwise, you might have a management problem, not a superstar selection problem.

Measure your success and increased profits: When pre-employment tests and other methods result in you hiring employees with work-related personalities and intelligence similar to your superstar, engaged employees, plus you have wonderful managers supervising, coaching and mentoring them, your PHCP/PVF distributorship should see three measurable improvements: Higher productivity, higher profits and lower turnover.

But if you selected employees who differ from your superstar, engaged employees and/or have lousy managers, then you will suffer from lower productivity, lower profits and higher turnover — all awful measures.

So use pre-employment tests to scientifically hire employees with work-related qualities similar to your superstar, engaged employees in each job, plus provide them with excellent managers.

Then, watch your company grow and prosper.