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Big Picture: An Education on Engagement

As more and more business executives understand the critical connection between engagement and organizational performance, the question arises: What kind of education is available about this emerging field? Where can business management learn about the principles of engagement as they apply to all of their key audiences – employees, distribution partners, sales and nonsales employees, vendors, etc? Where can people learn about how to better integrate the various tools of engagement?

The good news is that there’s a growing list of options.

A Coherent Strategy

Engagement not only involves understanding the inter-relationships of all of an organizations audiences, but also how to integrate leadership, multiple communications platforms, learning systems, rewards and recognition, measurement, etc. into a coherent implementation strategy. There already exist excellent education programs related to all of the key tactics of engagement, as well as specific audiences. What has been missing is a learning program focused on how to better integrate engagement across the organization and better leverage specific engagement tactics to achieve measurement results.

As engagement grows in importance in the organizational world, the need for this education will become even more critical, as business managers will increasingly be expected to demonstrate an ability to engage their audiences and measure the results.

Because mastering engagement requires understanding both of the key audiences that touch an organization and how to integrate nearly two dozen different types of leadership, learning, communications, rewards and recognition, measurement and other tactics, there’s a need for engagement education that cuts across traditional organizational and topical silos.

No business executive or manager who understands engagement can say that another audience “has nothing to do with me” or “I don’t need to understand all of these tactics.” In the new world of engagement, no business audience exists in isolation; the marketing department will have to understand the impact of employees and even vendors if they’re to ensure their promises get delivered, just as sales and operations management has to understand the impact of their decisions on customer engagement.

Similarly, suppliers who specialize in specific engagement tactics can no longer assume their programs work in a vacuum. The more they understand how audiences and tactics inter-relate, the better they can serve their customers and, in so doing, their own business fortunes.

Expanding Horizons

Fortunately, there are now three comprehensive learning opportunities for those interested in expanding their engagement horizons:

  • The Motivation Show education program, Oct. 4-5, at McCormick Place in Chicago, features dozens of courses on all areas of engagement. It’s probably the world’s most comprehensive education program covering all audiences and aspects of engagement. Register at www.motivationshow.com
  • The Enterprise Engagement Alliance free webinar Curriculum Program runs year-round. Go to www.enterpriseengagement.org for a schedule of free webinars. New webinar dates are regularly being added.
  • The Marcus Evans Enterprise Engagement curriculum program, to be held in conjunction with the following conferences: Internal Branding & Employee Engagement Conference, October 17-18, Toronto, Canada, and Internal Communications & Situational Messaging Conference, November 30-December 1, Boston MA. For information, go to: www.marcusevans.com/marcusevans-conferences-events.asp

These three education options provide executives and managers with ideal opportunities to enhance their understanding of engagement. At the current pace, there’s little doubt that an education on engagement will become an essential part of any manager’s or executive’s resume.

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Fall 2011

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