Keeping employees motivated is a constant struggle for most employers – only about 20 percent of workers around the world feel engaged by their work, according to a recent poll by Gallup. There’s a good chance that many of the workers in your organization are feeling disengaged and unmotivated, at least during work hours.

Employee disengagement can have huge ramifications for your business – and most of them are negative. It can contribute to high turnover, lowered productivity, decreased morale, and reduced profits. If your employees aren’t motivated enough, your business will suffer. Here’s what you need to do to boost morale and engagement at your company.

Talk to Your Employees

The most important thing you can do to find out what motivates your employees is to ask. Sit down with them and find out what they value. Find out what’s holding them back from giving their all at work. Disengaged employees often aren’t wholly unmotivated in other areas of life, but instead have some kind of motivational block that doesn’t allow them to engage at work. Perhaps they have some issues going on at home. Maybe they need different responsibilities. Find out what drives your employees and what they need from you in order to bring their best to the table.

Make Your Place of Business a Nice Place to Be

Employees won’t feel motivated to do their best if they’re forced to be in a dingy, run-down, or otherwise unpleasant environment all day. Make sure your facilities are clean, modern, and nice to spend time in. Bring in a few potted plants or put in a fish tank. Let employees decorate their cubicles or other work spaces. When employees feel comfortable in their work space, they can focus on their performance.

Give Employees the Tools They Need

A poor workman may blame his tools, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need properly functioning tools in order to get a job done. Make sure your employees have the right equipment to do their jobs and that it’s up to date. Employes may lose enthusiasm for their work if they’re constantly frustrated by slow, broken, or outdated equipment.

Make Employee Recognition a Priority

You should always be looking for ways to give positive feedback, recognition, and praise to every employee. Everyone is doing something right, whether that’s showing up on time consistently every day, staying late to help wrap up some important tasks, going out of their way to provide top-notice customer service, or giving the company a huge chunk of their professional lives in service. Don’t be stingy with the positive feedback. People feel good when their efforts are recognized and praised, and that makes them more motivated to continue doing the praiseworthy behavior. However, if you don’t recognize people’s efforts, they begin to lose motivation as they slowly begin to feel that nothing they do matters anyway.

Put together an employee recognition program, if you don’t have one. It should include key elements like employee anniversary recognition program, as well as a platform for peer-to-peer recognition and formal recognition. Make sure everyone hears regularly that they’re doing well and express your appreciation for your employees’ efforts regularly. A simple thank you can do so much for an employee’s inherent sense of motivation.

Create Some Flexibility

If there’s one thing everyone wants from work in a post-COVID world, it’s flexibility. Remote work and flexible scheduling were already things before the pandemic, but now that most people have had a taste, they don’t want to give it up. Flex work allows employees to achieve greater work-life balance, and that frees them up to focus on doing their best at work. It also helps employees feel like the company cares about their needs, so they’re more likely to return the favor and commit to meeting the company’s needs.

Support Professional Development

While some of your employees may be happy to give years or even decades to your organization, the days when employees stayed with the same company for their entire careers are over. Most of your employees are going to be planning to someday leave the company for what they hope will be greener pastures. When you accept that and offer employees the opportunity to build skills and develop professionally, they’ll reward you with increased loyalty and motivation to do their best work.

Supporting your employees’ professional development shows that you care about them as individuals even beyond what they can do for the company. It means you’re willing to support your employees’ growth even if that growth takes them away from the company someday. Give your employees plenty of training opportunities and consider programs like tuition reimbursement for employees who want to advance their education. Doing so will boost engagement and morale.

Treat Your Employees with Respect and Integrity

Everyone wants to be treated with respect, and integrity is always the mark of a successful leader. Your words and actions should always align, and you should always treat your employees with professional respect. They’ll quickly lose motivation to do their best work if you’re saying one thing but doing another, or treating them disrespectfully. In fact, few things can push people out of your organization faster than disrespect.

Are your employees doing their best? If they’re not feeling motivated and engaged, then they’re probably not doing their best work. Create an environment in which your employees can feel supported to do their best, and they’ll take your business to new heights.