When it comes to recruiting and maintaining employee engagement, often the quick answer is a standard reward system. However the classic incentives such as bonuses, commissions, and promotions don’t necessarily unleash creativity and always boost employee happiness.

Yet, according to Venture Beat’s latest news, it’s more likely something known as: Information Flow. In business terms information flow is simply the path data (information or goals) takes from its original source (CEO) to the end users (employees.) This is a multifaceted communication issue, but information flow plays a key part.

So, how do you help your company with this engagement? Empower your employees with an open line of communication or a better information flow. Venture Beat breaks it down into three key parts: Transparency, Dynamics, and Innovation.

Transparency

The flow of information between employees is important across all levels and titles. Too often, executive teams hold intelligence close to their chest in fear of having competitive knowledge or financial earnings exposed outside of the company. Lead by example and transparency and trust are huge components.

With that goal in mind, Google and Yahoo famously host ‘town hall’ sessions each month so everyone can get an update on the company, new projects and participate in a candid Q&A with the executive team. Employees respect the confidentiality of the information that is shared, but also knowing what is going on within the company strengthens their commitment to being a part of helping it grow.

Dynamics

All too often at work people can stay surrounded only by like-minded people on teams. When you switch that dynamic and for example: move engineering next to marketing, new conversations and ideas can be generated. While simple, it reaps long-lasting benefits. Not only does this transfer knowledge, it also builds camaraderie among employees who may not normally interact.

Stefan Groschupf is chief executive of Datameer, a San Francisco data analytics company. At Datameer, Groschupf says “we do a casual desk swap where whole teams or individuals move their desks to a different location so employees have a chance to learn about other roles and departments in the company. It’s an easy way to transfer expertise within the network, while also fostering professional development.”

The frequency can be flexible. Groschupf adds “Initially we thought quarterly would be the most beneficial but after hearing from employees about how much they were enjoying their new surroundings, we have since changed it to every six months.”

Innovation

New York Times best-selling author Dan Pink says the approach to employee motivation needs to revolve around three elements: autonomy, mastery and purpose. One way to hit all three of those elements is to encourage employees to pursue a work-related idea that they are passionate about.

Pink suggests two exercises, holding a ‘Pitch Day or a ‘Geek Out Session.’ At Pitch Day employees can develop a project geared toward improving the company and then present to both the leadership team and the entire company. The winner receives a reward and the ability to see their idea through to implementation.

Geek Out Sessions can give teams a chance to be creative and work on something from their own imagination. These projects must be company related and are designed to produce a prototype afterwards. It’s a great outlet for creativity and a valuable team building exercise.

The goal of both exercises says Pink is to short-circuit the structure and hierarchies that are inevitably built over time and give everyone in the company executive visibility. Setting aside this time, even once a year, demonstrates that management believes in listening to employee’s ideas and giving them a platform.