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Some things are cookie cutter solutions, and companies have been able to take a solution for a problem, tailor it a bit to their needs and make it work.  When it comes to employee engagement, there really is no cookie cutter option. Successful employee engagement comes down to a company recognizing it’s needs, making the right hires, creating a culture that embraces engagement practices and having leadership that is willing to do what is needed to make the engagement successful.

Effective leadership is a key to creating an effective employee engagement program. If the leadership is not adequately identifying where engagement is weakest and focus their efforts in those areas, then employee engagement will not become a strength of the company. Despite this becoming an area of concern and focus over the last several years, employee engagement continues to decline.

Leaders have to be committed to making an organization a great place to work. PeopleG2, for example, has created a transparent culture where employee recognition is both top/down and bottom/up. As a virtual company, PeopleG2 has had to create ways in which to engage its employees through creative methods. We have been successful in this venture and our incredibly low turnover rate is proof of that success. The leadership listens to employees, acknowledges hard work and encourages open dialogue on things that will make its process and business model more effective.

For companies to be truly effective in their engagement, they need to listen. Listen to their employees. Listen to why employees come to work there, and why they leave. Listen to what drives them to want to be successful as a member of the company. Listen to whether or not they are being allowed to use their strengths. When employees see leadership committed, it’s likely that they will want to emulate that.

For younger employees, they want to know that their strengths are being utilized to the fullest. This is more important to them than anything. When this happens, they feel more engaged and valued in the company. For older employees, it’s important to not only use their skills and wisdom, but when they feel like their contributions still matter, they will become more engaged and accepting of the overall vision.

The bottom line is that an organization needs to evaluate itself from within, see where the weak points are and strengthen those, then draw out the strong points and find a unique balance where employee engagement becomes effective. Companies that attempt to use a cookie cutter solution will never get there.  Companies that create a unique solution have the chance to create something that not only keeps employees engaged but also works to attract the top talent that will carry the organization forward successfully.