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Engagement Strategies e-News - August 2010

News Briefs


Hewitt Analysis Shows Steady Decline in Engagement

While the economy is slowly recovering, a recent analysis by Hewitt Associates, a global human resources consulting and outsourcing company, shows employee engagement and morale in the workplace are not. Almost half of organizations around the world saw a significant drop in employee engagement levels at the end of the June 2010 quarter, the largest decline Hewitt has observed since it began conducting employee engagement research 15 years ago. This highlights the growing tension between employers and employees, who are showing fatigue in response to a lengthy period of stress, uncertainty and confusion brought about by the recession and their company's actions. Since July 2008, at the onset of the economic downturn, Hewitt began closely analyzing changes in employee engagement levels by quarter for more than 900 organizations globally that conducted annual engagement studies. These studies covered topics such as employee morale, confidence in the organization, career opportunities, rewards and recognition programs and trust in leadership. Historically, Hewitt's research shows that about half of these organizations improved their engagement levels in a one- or two-year period, while only 15% had experienced a decline. However, the past two years have been more challenging: the percent of organizations with declining engagement has been steadily growing. This trend is particularly notable in 2010. Hewitt's research shows that 46% of organizations experienced a decline in engagement levels in the quarter ending June 2010, while just 30% saw an improvement. Hewitt's analysis suggests a clear link between employee engagement levels and financial performance. Organizations with high levels of engagement (where 65% or more of employees are engaged) outperformed the total stock market index even in volatile economic conditions. During 2009, total shareholder return for these companies was 19% higher than the average total shareholder return. Conversely, companies with low engagement (where less than 40% of employees are engaged) had a total shareholder return that was 44% lower than the average. For more information on the study, visit @@http://www.hewitt.com/

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Economic Downturn Transforms Talent Management, Leadership

As the economic downturn begins to intersect with the recovery, Deloitte announced a new report about talent trends in the changing economy based on a full year of in-depth research. This latest report captures ways executives and talent managers have adjusted their workforce and talent strategies to deal with the shifting economic forces. Further, the report identifies six key guideposts for executives to consider as they map out their talent strategies to address the challenges of the changing economy. Here are a couple of examples:

  • Companies using the economic downturn as their retention strategy are taking a big risk. Among employees surveyed, nearly 30% are actively working the job market and nearly half are at least considering leaving their current jobs. And more than three out of four (76%) who intend to leave their current jobs cited lower morale at their companies.
  • Understanding your people is as critical as understanding your customers. In ranking the top three retention tactics, in every instance employees chose different (and non-financial) incentives than executives. And while 62% of employees cited a lack of communication from executives during the recession, only 35% percent of execs felt the need to increase the frequency of employee communication.
  • Show me the money – but show me the love too! Among the reasons for leaving current employers, employees ranked two non-financial factors among the top three: job security (36%), lack of career progress (27%) and lack of compensation increases (27%).

To view all six guideposts, or to download a copy of this report and others in the series, click here

Fire Light Group

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EEA Creating 'Delphi' Panels for Certification & Curriculum Program

The Enterprise Engagement Alliance is inviting corporate practitioners to join executives from all areas of business and government to participate in a Delphi panel to help develop a curriculum and certification process in the emerging field of Enterprise Engagement. EEA's goal is to use a highly collaborative and automated process to create a formal curriculum and certification for both individuals and organizations, covering a number of engagement audiences and tactics. Delphi panelists will be invited to participate in a 90-minute webinar sponsored by William Patterson University's graduate school of business and the Russ Berrie Institute of Sales in the fall of 2010. Participants will receive recognition for their contributions in several ways. The curriculum will list the Delphi panelists by name, title and organization, and EEA will issue national press releases citing the contribution of the panel, including quotes from panelists. Panelists will also be acknowledged in multiple webcasts targeted at human capital professionals. The curriculum has the potential to be presented to thousands of people, and Delphi panelists will have the opportunity to participate in the learning and certification process. For answers to your questions, or to get involved, contact or call 914-591-7600, ext. 230.

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Dittman Appointee Marks Trend in Engagement

Christopher Mattia, an information technology executive with over 15 years experience in the information services and media industries, has joined Dittman Incentive Marketing as Director, Information Technology. Mattia will oversee all IT functions, including project development and implementation, application development, IT operations and data management. "IT is critical as we move forward – especially in how we adapt, adopt and leverage the new social networking technologies that are driving more of our engagement efforts, as well as tracking and reporting," says Paul Hebert, Social Media Editor for the Enterprise Engagement Alliance. "Technology is now the connective tissue in our incentive and reward programs." Prior to joining Dittman Incentive Marketing, Mattia was the Director, IT at the Press Association SportsTicker, overseeing the technology to deliver real-time sports news information services to major media companies. He was previously at the National Basketball Association as Director, Application Development and Data Services. In that role, Chris managed in-arena hardware and software systems to collect NBA in-game statistics, internal web development and back-end development for NBA.com and 56 team sites. Prior to the NBA, Mattia spent over six years with ESPN's real-time sports information service as Director, System Operations and Software Development. For more information, go to: @@http://www.dittmanincentives.com

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Insights from ESM e-News

Engagement Event Returns $2 for Every Dollar Spent

The Enterprise Engagement Alliance (EEA) recently announced that research measuring the return on investment (ROI) of an annual meeting of healthcare insurance brokers that stressed training, relationship-building and networking opportunities found the sponsoring company enjoyed a return of almost $2 for every $1 invested in the program. Initial results reported in March revealed that the program had a profound impact on the way brokers thought and felt about the company, its products and its people. Part 1 of the report, The 'ROI in Channel Partner' Conferences – A Case Study, noted that the annual gathering translated into higher sales, performance and engagement among those who attended. Part 2 of the report examines the actual change in sales of Allsante, Inc.* products among program participants, summarizing the ROI the company achieved from the event. EEA analysis of the methodologies and findings reveals that Allsante earned significant ROI from its annual event. "After all variables were accounted for, a highly credible and conservative estimate of 190% ROI was arrived at," says Allan Schweyer, Chairman of the EEA. "In other words, the company enjoyed a return of almost $2 for every $1 it invested in the first six months following the event, and our researchers say it's likely that the returns, if calculated after another six months have passed, will be even greater." Parts 1 and 2 of the study, The 'ROI in Channel Partner' Conferences – A Case Study, can be downloaded at @@http://www.enterpriseengagement.org/

* The company in this report is referred to as "Allsante, Inc." at the firm's request, due to competitive reasons.

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In The Current Issue of Engagement Strategies Magazine

The June/July issue of Engagement Strategies Magazine is out! Here's a look at what you'll find inside:

Collaboration: More than the Sum of its Parts

A pair of articles examines this critical building block of engagement from two different perspectives. The first, Internal Collaboration: Why Partnering Works, by Rodd Wagner and Gale Muller, Ph.D.,  notes that great partnerships don't just happen. Whether your joint mission is to build a great company, coach a team, improve the government, do something spectacular for a charity, or any other worthy goal, all successful partnerships share the same crucial ingredients. The second article, External Collaboration: When You Can't Do It All, looks at some of the companies in the engagement marketplace that have successfully used collaboration to expand their reach through alliances and partnerships. To make sure you get your copy of Engagement Strategies Magazine, go to @@http://www.enterpriseengagement.org/account/login/ and update your subscription today!

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At American Airlines, the People are the Process

Sue Gordon has been with American Airlines for over 20 years. As a result of her vast and varied experience, she not only knows American Airlines and the American Way very well, she also understands very clearly how the company's internal communications and branding efforts work to promote employee engagement and employee retention, while at the same time contributing to a more positive customer experience. In other words, she's seen it all – what works and what doesn't. "From 2001 to today, our industry has essentially been in turmoil," she says. "But we found the most traction by involving employees in the business. This is where we've seen the greatest process improvements and the greatest cost savings. It's where we get our best ideas and the greatest amount of buy-in, by involving our employees from soup to nuts in the process." Read more in the next issue of Engagement Strategies Magazine – coming soon.

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News From Selling Communications Inc.

Travel Incentives Boost Performance, Retention

Results from a recently conducted analysis of one company's long-standing use of travel awards as a motivational tool show that such incentives have a clear, measurable and positive impact on employee performance and retention. The Incentive Research Foundation conducted the study to document the "anatomy" of an incentive travel program (ITP) and provide a better understanding of the broad reach of a successful ITP. One key measurement of program success was its relationship to retention and performance. Examining the tenure and performance ratings of 105 employees who earned the incentive trip at the company, researchers found that the largest group had a performance rating of 1 (1 being the highest level of performance and 4 the lowest level of performance) and tenure of 4 years or more, while the second largest group had a performance rating of 2 and tenure of 4 years or more. Together, these two groups accounted for 55% of incentive travel earners, showing a very real correlation between incentives, longevity and quality – in other words, ITP participants tend to perform better and stay with the company longer than other employees. Overall, 88.5% of incentive travel earners had a performance level of 1 or 2 compared to 31.2% of the population of active critical employees with those same performance ratings. For a copy of the white paper, Anatomy of a Successful Incentive Travel Program, go to: @@http://www.TheIrf.org

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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:

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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