Road Map to Engagement, Step 4: Dealing With Roadblocks

Road Map to Engagement, Step 4: Dealing With RoadblocksI’ve been sharing a step-by-step “road map” to employee engagement. So far, I’ve shared tips for setting a goal, deciding what and how you’ll measure, and communicating with employees and leaders. Until now, we’ve assumed that your path forward is clear, but let’s step back. There are definitely some roadblocks that can pop up from time to time.

Step 4 in the road map is being aware of those challenges and learning about how to avoid or deal with them when they come up. Most of these roadblocks are fairly easy to deal with, and easy to prevent, so taking a moment to familiarize yourself with them can save yourself work down the line. Don’t get discouraged on the path to engagement — you’re at a critical moment, and working through these challenges will bring you closer to your goal.

Lack of Alignment

One of the biggest challenges you may run into during your engagement initiative is a separation between leadership and management as an action plan becomes clear. You may find that leaders and managers have different ideas about how to solve problems, the amount of resources that these issues require, or the priority that different issues should have. This lack of alignment can quickly derail any engagement initiative, which is why getting everyone on the same page before the process starts is so important. If you see alignment slipping along your path to engagement, call a meeting to get everyone back on the same page regarding the goals, the process and everyone’s responsibility.

Lack of Trust

It’s not just leaders and managers who can disrupt the engagement process — employees themselves may be reluctant to participate. One of the biggest concerns on the employee side tends to be around trust and confidentiality; they worry that their answers aren’t anonymous or may be used against them in the future, for example. Others may feel that the company is simply going through the motions with this engagement initiative, and that nothing will really change. Clear communication is key throughout the engagement process, so educate them on how their answers are protected before you start surveying.

Lack of Timeline

It’s easier for people to understand an engagement initiative if they know when to expect the surveys, results, action planning and implementation. If people don’t know what’s coming next or are caught off guard by surveys or demands for ideas, they are likely to dig in their heels and not participate. Even worse, I’ve seen engagement initiatives get derailed by whisper campaigns from uninformed employees. Keep your communications consistent, transparent and informative to ensure people are up-to-date on the latest step in the process.

Lack of Empowerment

Even when companies are excited to implement an engagement initiative, they may lose track of how to empower managers to make change. Managers are crucial to any engagement initiative, as they’re the ones on the front lines of inspiring change — trust is established between people, not entities. But if company leaders don’t trust managers to do the right thing when presented with opportunities for productive change, engagement efforts will quickly wither. Ensure your managers understand their role and have the tools to make informed changes that can help boost engagement.


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Talmetrix is an employee feedback and insights solution that helps organizations better attract and retain talent to achieve business goals. Our solution makes it easy for organizations to capture employee feedback (feelings) and organizational data (facts) to discover actionable insights. With a unique combination of software, content, data, and advisory support we can help you measure and improve your employee experience. Contact us today to learn how your company can start achieving better business results.

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