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Engagement Strategies Update - September 2009

News Briefs

Stoner Bunting

Major Firms Discuss Their Engagement Efforts

A recent study by Hay Group and WorldatWork confirms that the recent erosion of financial capital has led to a renewed focus on managing human capital, viewing employees as assets rather than just costs. Researchers found reward executives focused on the "here and now," first getting labor costs aligned with the new economic realities, then preparing for future growth. The Reward Next Practices report revealed five key trends:

  • From benchmarking to alignment. Firms have become less focused on what the market is doing and more concerned about aligning reward with strategy and performance. Amway International is trying to "find the right balance between employee motivation, cost control and market competitiveness in our reward programs."
  • Taking the employee's perspective. Employee needs and wants are becoming more important as organizations seek to maintain motivation in a tough climate. According to McDonald's Corporation, "We design our reward programs, invest in new programs and beef up current programs based upon the feedback we receive from our employees."
  • Strengthening ties between pay and performance. Organizations in the study are looking much harder at the design of short- and long-term variable pay programs. Comments from Heineken reinforce this: "We ensure that the objectives in our STI program are broad, simple, quantifiable and measurable and that they accurately reflect the key performance fundamentals of our business."
  • Total rewards. Employers are looking to intangible rewards in their quest to keep the workforce engaged when budgets are tight. Collective Brands plans to "provide much more focus on non-monetary forms of rewards and recognition. In tougher economic times, there will be a focus to provide recognition through non-monetary vehicles."
  • The key role of the line manager. As firms tighten their belts, they are realizing how line managers can help reinforce the pay-to-performance link and communicate the value of the reward program. Microsoft is looking for "better support for managers to be able to better explain the reward programs and how they link to individual and company performance." To download a copy of the complete 24-page report, go to www.haygroup.com


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Don't Miss The Motivation Show – Stay One Step Ahead!

Successful companies know that customer loyalty and employee productivity are the key to greater financial results. That's why attending The 2009 Motivation Show in September makes good business sense. Think about it. Not only is it the best place to gather all the information, resources and contacts you need to make productive decisions about motivation and people performance, it also puts you one step ahead of the competition. Why? Because, statistically speaking, companies that invest in their employees and channel partners during tough times fare better than their counterparts who don't – and once the economy turns around, they come out stronger, better positioned and more profitable.

The people at The Motivation Show know that continuous learning leads to continued success. If companies have learned anything from the struggles of the last year, it's that they no longer can do business in the same way. That's why this year's 3rd annual conference, ENGINEERING ENGAGEMENT: Connecting Employee Engagement, Customer Loyalty and Financial Results in Challenging Times, has been significantly expanded.  More than 70 seminars and workshops will cover these five critical areas:

  • Employee Engagement  
  • Meeting & Incentive Travel Strategies
  • Customer Loyalty
  • Motivating Sales & Channel Partners
  • Promotional Consultants

A new Authors Series features 16 of the business world's top-selling authors.  Also new are two Morning Keynote SpeakersThree Luncheon Keynote Sessions complete this exceptionally strong speaker lineup. Together, ENGINEERING ENGAGEMENT offers you the opportunity to network with the best and brightest in corporate America. For more information on the specifics of each track, detailed descriptions of seminars and workshops, as well as information on the Authors Series and the Keynote Sessions, go to www.motivationshow.com

Best Buy

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The New Engagement Strategy – Do Your Meetings Measure Up?

The cover story of the July/August 2009 issue of Insurance & Financial Meetings Management examines how engagement impacts the success of meetings. Bruce Bolger, President of Selling Communications, the publisher of SMERF Meetings Journal, was quoted in the story, along with Don Peppers and Rodger Stotz, all of whom are involved in the creation of the Enterprise Engagement Alliance, a coalition of leading corporations, brands, management consultants, associations and media firms that supports the research and promotion of Enterprise Engagement, a new area of business that focuses on achieving financial success by engaging people. Here is an excerpt:

Bruce Bolger, Managing Director of the Incentive Performance Center and member of the Enterprise Engage­ment Alliance, noted how meetings and incentive programs play a significant role in furthering the company's objective of investing employees in the company's success: "Almost every meeting provides another occasion to help key employee audiences better understand the promises being made to customers and how their jobs and actions can contribute to the overall objective of attracting and keeping these customers. As a result," Bolger continued, "meeting planners can increase their value to their organizations by continually looking for ways to make meetings more strategic...by using the opportunity to re-emphasize key organizational goals and to explain how employees can contribute to the goals."

Bolger added that incentives, rewards and recognition "are a critical means of encouraging behaviors that lead to customer satisfaction and loyalty."

While "engagement" is not a new concept, it is being tossed around a lot as the newest buzz word in the industry and is causing a little bit of confusion. Industry leaders say in order to maximize any kind of a meeting, companies have to start in the home office by learning the how and especially the why of engaging employees, customers and other stakeholders who may attend any corporate event or incentive program.

According to one study, "Incentive, Motivation & Workplace Performance," published by the Incentive Research Foundation, "if selected, implemented and monitored correctly, incentive programs – with awards in the form of money or tangible awards – increase [employee] performance by an average of 22 percent. Team incentives [e.g., the Midwest sales office vs. the Southeast sales office] can increase performance by as much as 44 percent."

To read more, go to www.themeetingmagazines.com


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Study: Business Travel Drives Bottom-Line Results

In this challenging economy, businesses are making difficult choices about how to prudently manage expenses and resources. Until now, business leaders lacked hard data and largely relied on anecdotes from salespeople that face-to-face meetings help build relationships, increase sales and drive growth. A comprehensive new economic analysis conducted by Oxford Economics reveals that companies should think twice before cutting back on business travel. The research quantifies the strong, bottom-line benefit of business travel on corporate revenues and profits. Highlights of the study, sponsored by the U.S. Travel Association and Oxford Economics, will soon be available on the USTA website at www.tia.org


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Insights from Engagement Strategies e-News

Whitepaper Connects Engagement with Economic Recovery

One of the greatest opportunities to increase corporate profits – and subsequently boost the economy – lies in motivating workforces to improve performance, drive greater customer engagement and ultimately increase revenue, according to a new report from the Enterprise Engagement Alliance (EEA) and the Human Capital Institute (HCI). The Enterprise Engagement Alliance is a coalition of companies and associations dedicated to promoting the importance of engagement, founded  last year by the Human Capital Institute, Peppers & Rogers Group, 1to1® Media and Selling Communications, Inc. Entitled The Economics of Engagement, the report provides a comprehensive analysis of research in the field of Enterprise Engagement and offers how-to information on benchmarking tools that can quantitatively measure the benefits of employee and customer engagement. These measurement tools are critical to demonstrate the bottom-line impact of enterprise engagement, both to corporations and to the economy as a whole, using financial language that senior executives, investors and economists are accustomed to. "One of the most encouraging findings of this report is the revelation that vast reserves of overall performance potential are essentially hiding in plain sight," says Bruce Bolger of the Enterprise Engagement Alliance. "Engaging the people that companies deal with on a day-to-day basis – both internally and externally – in a comprehensive, compelling and connected way will create a result that is more than just the sum of its parts. Naturally, as with any such investment, the return needs to be demonstrated to decision makers, and there's a growing body of evidence in the engagement arena that does just that." For a copy of the report, click here.

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Coming Up In Engagement Strategies Magazine

The debut issue of Engagement Strategies Magazine is on its way! Here's a preview of what you'll find inside:

Managers Making Out-of-Touch Decisions...

"Just think of how many out-of-touch decisions upper managers make, and the people close to the customer can't imagine how or why they were made. We see that every day, and it's demoralizing for the customer and for the employee." Read more of this revealing Q&A with management guru Curt Coffman, author of First Break All the Rules – What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently, in the ESM cover story. To make sure you get your copy, click here.

Cutting Costs Without Cutting Engagement

Today, businesses everywhere are being asked to do more with less. In this environment, loyal, motivated employees and partners are critical to continued success and profitability. And companies know it: Hay Group's recent Reward in a Downturn survey is just one of many showing that engagement is the top concern of employers right now. Experts suggest a number of ways to preserve – and even build – employee engagement while still making targeted cuts in the abovementioned areas...

AstraZeneca Leads the Way to Enterprise Engagement

You know that a new business sector has arrived when an industry-leading company puts someone in charge of it. If anyone had any doubt about the emerging importance of engagement, take note of Melanie Lewis, the new Director of Sales Engagement for AstraZeneca, by any measure one of the world leaders – not only in pharmaceuticals, but also in financial performance. So what's the job of the company's first Director of Sales Engagement? To find out, make sure your subscription is up to date at http://www.engagementstrategiesmag.com/495.html


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News From Selling Communications Inc.

Engagement Business Exchange Broadens Industry's Reach

The Engagement Business Exchange (EBEX) is a cooperative effort of the nation's leading brands, their incentive fulfillment companies and Solata Technologies that is specially designed to help incentive and marketing firms provide full-service solutions to companies with smaller budgets. This new online tool helps incentive and marketing companies easily set up highly personalized points programs for their clients. The system includes an automated function that creates targeted reward programs using any desired reward or vendor, along with a component that manages end-to-end redemption, fulfillment and tracking. EBEX is only available to incentive and marketing companies, and includes an optional service providing these companies with expert assistance with design, execution and measurement of their client programs.

Rodger Stotz, Program Managing Consultant for EBEX and Former Managing Consultant at Maritz, supports the core mission of the Engagement Business Exchange. "Numerous attempts have been made to create do-it-yourself incentive program services for the corporate market," he says. "They have never worked, because it's difficult to efficiently provide expertise and support to smaller users. In order to take advantage of the growth opportunities in our business, we need a legion of professionals serving all volume levels of the marketplace just like in the direct marketing and advertising fields. I look forward to helping EBEX partners bring state-of-the start thinking to smaller programs."

For more information, click here.

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About Selling Communications Inc.

Selling Communications, Inc. is a fully integrated, target marketing, media and technology agency that improves results for clients by focusing on the people who matter most. We can help your business grow and save you money by targeting key prospects, getting their permission and strategically integrating your marketing and sales communications with the specific audiences most likely to affect your business performance.

Take advantage of these SCI services to improve your business development:

  • Results Marketing Agency Solutions: Identify and get permission to communicate with the people who matter most through an integrated program rooted in permission-driven databases, direct mail, e-mail, Web sites, brochures, newsletters, public relations and sophisticated telephone sales that produce results. Go beyond the traditional sales and marketing approach by providing useful information and resources to build better, more measurable relationships.
  • Target media: Build your brand and bring it directly to your power buyers through our stable of established niche print and online magazines in the sales, marketing and meetings fields (including this newsletter), the Sales Marketing Network at Info-now.com and SMERF Meetings Journal.
  • Integrated Communications Technology: Build permission-based databases through Solata software to effectively communicate with the people who want to hear from you and precisely track the results in real time. Solata is also available to other media companies and marketing agencies seeking to profit from integrated, permission-based marketing and communications.

For more information on Selling Communications, its products and services, contact Jim Kilmetis at 914-591-7600, ext. 229 or send an e-mail to .

Tapping new customers, and keeping those you already have, costs less than you'd imagine...

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