Acas, the employment relations service, has published a new guide to show employers how they can strengthen their business by engaging with staff.
The People Factor guide includes first-hand experiences of businesses that took part in Acas' 'Innovative Workplaces' project, where Acas advisers helped to improve productivity by developing effective leadership and employee involvement.
The project proved that even in difficult times, businesses can change and be successful.
The booklet, available at www.acas.org.uk/engagement will help employers to create a vision for the business that everyone can relate to, understand what motivates employees, develop a two-way process of communication and make compromises that benefit the employer and the employee.
Adrian Wakeling, the Acas guidance manager, said: "Motivating and engaging your workforce is the commonsense approach to developing a successful and efficient business.
"In reality, it could be the make or break difference to surviving when times are tough.
"Giving employees a voice does not always guarantee an easy ride, but if you are having regular conversations with and listening to your team, then you are much likely to be able to sort out problems quickly and get on with running the business."