There’s no getting around the fact that a company is only as strong as its staff. So often, however, business owners and managers expect their staff to function at an extremely high level. If engagement rates fall, employees themselves tend to take the blame. But more often than not there are things that can be done to help improve engagement rates among staff members, which can lead to increased productivity, better workplace atmosphere and a more optimistic future for your organization.

Does employee engagement in your company need a boost? Here are 7 tips to get you started:

1. Encourage Management Transparency

One of the main reasons why employee engagement suffers in many companies is because management doesn’t give their staff the time of day. There will certainly be cases when addressing employee concerns head-on will be a challenge, but this type of transparency creates trust, which inevitably boosts employee engagement to a large degree.

2. Implement ERP Software

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software allows organizations to utilize a system of business management and automation applications to streamline processes and reduce the potential for daily inconsistencies. Because it makes the day easier, it also helps to improve employee engagement. ERP software for manufacturing, for example, plays a key role in ensuring a consistent, quality product each and every time, thus taking the pressure off staff members.

3. Create a Relaxing Work Environment

While it’s important to ensure that your employees remain attentive and on task throughout the workweek, you certainly don’t want to create any stress within your environment. Working your employees too hard or demanding too much from them can easily result in dissention, so be sure to take strides toward creating a calm, relaxing work environment.

4. Involve Your Employees in the Decision-making Process

No one wants to come to work each day with the idea that their opinions don’t matter. Sadly, this is a common problem across all industries, and it causes engagement rates to fall rather quickly. By asking employees to weigh-in on a decision or polling them in terms of their thoughts, you’ll effectively be engaging them and bringing their focus back into the workspace.

5. Switch Up Management if Things Aren’t Working

The importance of putting together a solid management team is something that no one should ever overlook. It’s also important to keep close tabs on how your management team is operating, as there may be one or two individuals who are causing more harm than good when it comes to employee engagement. Identify whether or not this is the case, and approach the problem head-on.

6. Acknowledge Your Employees’ Work

Sometimes, a simple show of appreciation is all it takes to boost the spirits of your employees. Thank you cards, gift certificates and paid time off can all be effective tokens of appreciation for increasing engagement levels, and the more often you extend your gratitude, the more likely it is they’ll want to stick around.

7. Provide Occasional One-On-One Attention

It can be highly beneficial for management to take the time to meet with each and every staff member for at least 15-20 minutes once or twice each year to discuss progress and goals. Some employees end up going on autopilot, and discussions such as these open up opportunities to reengage.

Employee engagement isn’t something that should be expected to fix itself. While there will be circumstances out of your control, there are plenty of things you can do to boost engagement rates and foster a more productive work environment. Start with the above tips, and don’t hesitate to branch out from there.