Although many employers like to think their employees come to work every day with a smile, the reality is, 70 percent of employees are actively disengaged at work, according to Gallup. Employee engagement is a challenge confronting many bosses and managers.

Related: 5 Employee Motivation Myths Debunked

The problem is, many employers forget their employees are people who want to feel a sense of belonging and know that their work makes a positive impact on the organization. Here are seven simple steps to boost engagement in the workplace.

1. Focus on your employees’ strengths. Your employees are your organization’s most important asset. Focus on what makes your employees awesome. Give them opportunities to shine in the workplace. According to Gallup, managers who focus on their employees’ strengths greatly boost employee engagement.

For example, if you have an employee who excels in leading teams, give them the opportunity to take charge of new projects. Empowering your employees through their strengths will make them feel like they’re contributing to the workplace.

2. Create realistic goals for your employees. Let’s face it; your company has really big goals. However, you can’t expect your employees to accomplish every single one of them over night. Instead, you need to create SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) goals to motivate your employees.

If you have a large project or huge deadline for your organization, break it down into smaller SMART goals to make it easier for your employees to stay focused and engaged.

3. Select the right managers. According to Gallup, one of the leading factors contributing to low employee engagement are poor managers. Especially when low engagement costs employers an estimated $450 billion to $550 billion annually, it’s important to select the right managers to lead your employees.

To boost employee engagement, select managers who value transparent communication and collaboration. These are two key factors that create a stronger workplace and more engaged employees. Once you select the right managers, continue to coach them on their leadership skills and provide them with on-going employee engagement training.

Related: How to Motivate Employees in Less Than 5 Minutes

4. Actively listen to your employees. Although, open communication is critical to success in the workplace, one-third of employees say their manager doesn’t listen to their concerns at work. To boost engagement, make sure you’re actively listening to your employees. Whether it’s their new ideas for a project or a concern they have, listen and take action when needed.  

5. Encourage innovation and creativity. If you’ve been hearing some great ideas buzzing around the office, make sure you listen in. Your employees have great ideas to contribute to your organization, so make sure you are recognizing their effort to improve your company through innovation.
 

6. Celebrate your employees. The bottom line is, people want to be recognized for their hard work and accomplishments. If you overlook your employees’ successes, chances are you’ll have a number of unhappy employees on your team.

There are a number of simple ways you can celebrate your employees’ accomplishments. For example, during weekly staff meetings, have each employee share one of their accomplishments from the previous week. If you have employees who don’t want to be publicly recognized, personally thank them for their hard work and dedication.

7. Give your employees a voice. Your employees want nothing more than to be heard by their bosses. Make it a priority to promote transparent communication and encourage feedback. When your employees know their voices actually matter, they’ll likely become more engaged at work.

There are a number of different ways you can give your employees a voice. Encourage your employees to ask questions, share their ideas, and treat their opinions with respect. You should also keep them in the loop on company news and encourage them to share their thoughts when needed.

Related: Inside Employee Motivation: Does Money Really Make a Difference?