- Greater creativity and collaboration
- Higher standards of productivity
- Less turnover, and fewer turnover costs
- Higher employee satisfaction, which spills over into improved customer service
But if most team leaders see the value in employee engagement, that doesn’t necessarily mean they all implement employee engagement strategies. Simply put, adopting a formal approach to employee engagement can be easier said than done. Often, team leaders (and HR managers) have major roadblocks in their way.
For today’s post, I thought it would be valuable to take a look at some of the most common roadblocks. My hope is that this list will help you identify and troubleshoot some of the issues standing between you and a really effective, robust employee engagement approach.
Common Hindrances to Employee Engagement Strategies
Some of the most common employee engagement hurdles include:
- Lack of buy-in among key stakeholders. One potential issue is that, while you see the value in implementing employee engagement strategies, the other stakeholders do not. Does your CEO recognize that employee engagement is a meaningful investment? Your CFO? The external shareholders? The managers who are actually on the ground implementing employee engagement strategies? You’ll need to communicate the value of employee engagement to all of these parties, and also win buy-in for the specific strategy you’re proposing.
- Remote teams. It’s increasingly common to have dispersed employee groups, including many team members who may work from home, or even from another city. When you don’t have everyone in-house together, it makes it much harder to build team cohesion through “water cooler” talk. It can be done, but you’ll need to be very intentional in solidifying your culture, getting everyone together as frequently as you can, and including remote employees in collaborative projects with other team members.
- Budgetary constraints. How much money do you have to spend on employee engagement strategies? It’s not a trick question! There are many employee engagement strategies that come with a price tag, even if it’s something as simple as the time and resources required to communicate your strategy to the employees. I believe that you can take a proactive and highly effective approach to employee engagement, without breaking the bank… but it may take some out-of-the-box thinking.
- Outmoded communication channels. A big part of any employee engagement strategy is deciding how you’re going to communicate with your team members. Not all communication channels are created equal, however; for example, your employees may be tired of seeing their email inboxes saturated with dull, rote, corporate communications. Be creative and tech-savvy as you contemplate new options for communicating with your team.
- Lack of alignment. I mentioned above that you may have stakeholders or C-suite members who don’t quite see the value in adopting employee engagement strategies. A related phenomenon is when you have stakeholders who do see the value in employee engagement, but don’t necessarily have the same goals or metrics. Before rolling out any kind of formalized employee engagement framework, it’s critical to talk with the other company leaders and reach a consensus about what you’re trying to achieve, how you’ll measure it, and when you’ll declare your efforts a success.
- Difficulty adopting engaging leadership habits. Here’s a big one. In order to truly engage your employees, it’s critical to exhibit some engaging leadership habits. That’s not necessarily something that comes easy, especially if it means making big changes from the way you’ve been doing things. Getting the leaders and managers at your company to turn over a new leaf can be extremely difficult, even if they all recognize that it needs to be done. (Incidentally, this is an area where bringing in a transformational leadership expert or coach can really be valuable.)
- Winning employee buy-in. Another reason why some organizations struggle to get employee engagement strategies off the ground? Quite simply, there’s not any interest. This is sort of a chicken-and-egg problem; how do you engage employees who don’t want to be engaged? Again, you’ve got to lay some groundwork and clearly communicate what employee engagement means, why it matters, and how you’re measuring it. You’ve got to help your team see the value in what you’re trying to accomplish.
- Outdated ideas about employee engagement. Still another factor that can cause employee engagement strategies to come up short? You already have an employee engagement strategy in place… but for whatever reason, it’s just not working out. Maybe it’s built on some faulty assumptions, or maybe it represents an outmoded approach. Whatever the case, recognizing that your existing approach isn’t working can be a major breakthrough in and of itself. Disposing of it, and erecting something new in its place, can be challenging but ultimately worthwhile.
The bottom line is that most organizations have to deal with hurdles and hassles as they seek to put a meaningful employee engagement strategy in place.
But there are always ways to move past those obstacles and put a good plan in place. Recognizing the roadblocks is job #1. From there, consider partnering with a motivational leadership expert… someone who can diagnose the specific needs of your organization, and talk with you about putting smart employee engagement strategies in place.
Reach out to me and let’s make it happen! Contact me at www.rickgoodman.com or call 888-267-6098.