When it comes to employee engagement, David Zinger tells us that we should embrace problems: they are opportunities to get engaged in finding a solution and moving on to new problems with new solutions. Problems will always be there but we can approach them with a constructive, positive, and team-oriented attitude.
But Zinger briefly mentions that not every problem is an opportunity. Employee Engagement problems are particularly tricky, since they can encompass interpersonal relationships, corporate culture or job satisfaction. So how can you identify when your problems are opportunities, when you can work towards constructive solutions?
Here are three approaches that you should take to gain a stronger understanding of the employee engagement problems in your organization and how they provide you opportunities to solve them:
- Analyze. One of the best ways to analyze a problem is to interrogate how it is connected to the health of your business. Every business will change its core needs and priorities as it grows from year to year. A large company may need to prioritize creating a culture of thanks and visibility to engage their employees, a medium and rapidly expanding company may need to prioritize hitting ambitious business goals, and a small company may need to facilitate fluidity and collaboration amongst multiple roles. Employee engagement strategy must respond to these core needs to be effective, so interrogating the root cause of a problem provides insight into possible solutions. You may have a serious problem on your hands if your business is unhealthy or suffering. But if they stem from the health and growth of your company, then they are opportunities for engaged problem-solving.
- Talk. Employee engagement problems can take very different forms at different levels of an organization. It’s incredibly important to listen to how your employees express their frustrations. Are their commonalities in the way that your employees view the problems, or are their mostly differences? Your employees’ unique perspectives will tell you whether the symptoms of your problems lie with the relationships between your employees, the systemic organization of the company or the interdepartmental policies, for example. All these symptoms can be perceived as barriers to employee engagement, and understanding your employees’ experiences will give you valuable insight into how to correct the underlying causes.
- Plan. When you strategize how to correct problems, you not only make steps towards a solution, but you must also come to a thorough understanding of the issue in order to solve it. A strategic plan requires that you understand the source of the problem, the needs of your business and your employees and the changes necessary at each step of the process.
These approaches will help you approach your problems proactively and constructively, and in the process you’ll reach a deeper understanding of the underlying causes and where you should direct your energies. It takes dedication to build employee engagement, especially when problems can seem like obstacles. With a better understanding of where our employee engagement problems come from, we can handle them more productively.
How do you troubleshoot employee engagement problems? Let us know in the comments!