Is your employee engagement provider engaged with you?

4 Minutes Read

When I am talking to HR leaders and executives a common topic is, “how do I motivate managers to engage their employees and communicate the impact they are having?” Classic employee engagement challenge. There is an answer that is humorously right under our noses.  It’s one that our parents taught us.  Treat others the way you want to be treated. 

This is also a theme of our philosophy at KangoGift. Treat clients the way we want to be treated.

I know there are many HR tech vendors out there and I’d like to share our approach as you think about potential partners for your employee retention programs. 

What I find most striking is that many of the organizations I deal with see the loss of employees as the cost of doing business.  I hear them saying why can’t we make them happier? Why can’t we engage them more? In my best, surfing guy voice I say, “dude, that’s why we are here.”

Let's talk about a few.  They include:

  • It’s important to have a partner that fits your needs
  • Find a partner that offers you more than a simple, just like everyone else solution
  • Go with a partner that is serious about retaining employees and not just passing out treats

OK now for a deeper dive. 

It’s important to have a partner that fits your needs-So many companies offer you the best practices aka generic off the shelf program.  They can tweak it to meet some of your needs but if they sell 5 modules and you only need 2 then you’re paying for 3 modules, that’s 60%, that you don’t need.  How is that a good deal for you? 

That’s the benefit of the custom companies like KangoGift.  In order to engage and retain your employees properly you need a program that meets your needs 100%. Don’t your employees deserve to have their hard work recognize all of the time and not 40% of the time? 

Another benefit of the custom built approach of companies like us is that you get back information you can use.  Other companies offer you reports and I can assure you that the information they deliver will be of tremendous value.  But is it everything you need?  What type of information is being provided that you don’t need. If you want a recipe for scrambled eggs then one for chocolate chip cookies, while great, is of no value.  (I will admit to loving both) 

And going against the trends, you can call us to talk through your reports and identify ideas to move forward.

Find a partner that offers you more than the “just like everyone else,” solution-All of this leads into this point.  We live in a world now where the information we want and need is at our fingertips.  But we also live in a world where we are forced to buy the information we don’t need to get the stuff we do. There is also the need to get information so insanely complicated that you need to hire a consultant to interpret it for you.

This is another reason you want to partner with a boutique company like KangoGift. If you truly want to engage your employees the way you want, you need to partner with someone who is going to make their needs as important to them as they are to you. 

There are tools in place that can tell you when someone is having a birthday, or some other fixed point that needs to be recognized, but in today’s environment you need to be able to meet the employees needs as they occur in the way they happen.  Today’s world isn’t about hoping that you don’t miss much, today’s world is about hitting all the things you need to hit in order to thrive.  Only, the second type can be expected to enhance employee engagement. 

Partner with someone who is serious about retaining employees and not just passing out treats--Do you ever decide that engaging employees should be more like giving out employees than get a solid understanding about what is going on within the organization? Of course not!  Still I am hearing so many organizations that do just that.  

When you treat employee engagement as just a tool to hand out quick rewards and not engage in a long-term, strategic mindset then you’re choosing between thinking you’re great and knowing if your employees think you’re great. Working with the traditional model helps you to feel great that you’re doing great.  And then people start leaving and your traditional model can’t really tell you why, it never warned you that it was coming. 

The KangoGift type of solution is that type of operating system that tells you these things are coming.  Since companies like us can be small and nimble we can work with you so that you’re small and nimble.  No matter how big you are! 

Lastly, since you are serious about keeping your employees then you need a vendor who builds the type of program you need to succeed.  With some that’s the off the shelf, out of the box, a few tweaks and here you go type. 

The alternative is the structured type that does what you need it to do when it needs to do it while also being adapted to meet ALL of your needs. Basically I’m talking about the custom built, to your specifications, type of solution. The type that makes it easy for your organization to act in the micro, recognizing employees as necessary, and the macro, knowing what is going in the larger sense so you can make the most well informed decisions possible. 

Here are some key takeaways for you:

  • Think about your needs in a partner.  Are you fine with the standard, one size fits all awards program or do you want the type of program built around your needs?  Flexibility? Fine!  Feedback? Fine!  All of the above? Fine.  All of your needs met in a single package designed for you. 

  • Find the solution that fits your needs and steer away from the ones who offer you a predetermined list of options from which you only want 2 or 3. 
  • It’s not Halloween every day so stop thinking of your solution as only a way to reward employees. Build a solution that shares vital information with you and allows you to not only reward employees on special occasions but build a data stream that will build a stronger organization that can truly engage employees and provide you both with the optimal outcome which will strengthen you going forward. 


In 10 plus years of working in the employee engagement space, we have seen what works and what doesn’t work very clearly.   The market can be divided into two segments.  The first is the large, off the shelf engagement solutions.  They are great for many, but you have to accept buying things you don’t want or need and that may have minimal long term impact. 


The second is the smaller boutique operations like KangoGift.  You don’t know what you’re buying. Yet!  But you are getting a program built for you to match your needs based on your determination. 


You have the choice between easy or good?  Which do you prefer?  

Todd Horton