Top Three Employee Engagement Challenges and How to Overcome Them

This weeks marks the 7th anniversary of the release of Taking Care of the People Who Matter Most: A Guide to Employee-Customer Care. I’ve been honored to speak with thousands of business and nonprofit professionals in the U.S. and abroad since my book’s publication, including company leaders who use the books in management development training. Continued interest in applying internal marketing to engage employees is more than a matter of economic recovery; it’s an international business strategy.

Managers and business leaders interested in employee engagement often ask me: “In your experience, what are the key challenges to creating and maintaining an engaged workplace?” Here are my top three:

  1. Engaging employees and customers with internal marketing is intuitive, but still not intentional enough. Overwhelmed with daily work pressures, managers admit they sometimes lose sight of the basics, including continually communicating where employees fit within the organization’s scope and what’s expected of them.
  2. Organizational silos continue to impede employee collaboration and cohesiveness.
  3. A lack of strategic focus brought on by too many initiatives and directives, political in-fighting, and ineffective communications contribute to a culture of frustration and disengaged employees.

These challenges are not insurmountable. Managers are surprised to learn that internal marketing is not an all-across-the-board-or-nothing application. You CAN make a difference using internal marketing within your department or business unit, even if you don’t have the authority to improve employee engagement throughout your organization. And it’s easier than you think!

If you’re ready to take care of the people who matter most to your company’s or nonprofit’s success, it’s time to put internal marketing’s strategy and tools to work for you.You can find a lot of great ideas here in this blog for free. If you prefer a comprehensive, practical guide with worksheets and Action Plan Starter Notes that enable you to develop a customized internal marketing plan, you can get a copy of my book on Amazon for $21.95 or less. (Note: If your company is interested in ordering 20 or more books for managers, my current publisher can offer a special discount. Just let me know.)

Employees want and need to feel their work matters. Together with customers, they want to know that they are respected and valued. How well does your organization do this?


  • sybil October 31, 2014 Reply

    Thanks for commenting, Andrea. You nailed the essence of effective internal communication – “ongoing, honest, sincere” and connecting “the dots …” This communication is vital to what employees need to know to do their jobs.

  • Andrea Weiss October 31, 2014 Reply

    7years!? My, how time flies! This book is a dynamic reflection of your deep understanding of organizational dynamics and the lessons within are critical to effective management. Let me expand on one of your points — the need for ongoing, honest, sincere, internal communication that connects the dots for all staff and sincerely communicates the value and importance of every staff member. A staff newsletter (in whatever form it takes) is an essential tool for talking about how the parts create the whole, how decisions affect the organization and everyone in it, what challenges the organization is facing, and respective roles for achieving success. Forget the phony kudos, photos, and gossip, and communicate intelligently and openly with staff and listen to what they have to say; it will take any organization a long way toward continuously improving performance, the generation of new ideas, and a shared sense of purpose and commitment. And, managers will learn there’s a lot about their organizations they never knew.

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