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Engagement Strategies e-News - October 2010

News Briefs

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Sign Up for EEA's Curriculum and Certification Development Program

Here is a unique opportunity to participate in the development of the new curriculum on Enterprise Engagement being produced by the Enterprise Engagement Institute on behalf of the Enterprise Engagement Alliance. The curriculum and certification will be developed by experts in each area of engagement based in part on input provided by professionals like you. We want to hear from executives, managers, and others involved with any aspect of engagement to make sure our curriculum and certification addresses all possible issues. You can register at @@http://www.enterpriseengagement.org/signup/ and provide input on the topics of greatest interest to you via innovation software and also participate in an optional live meeting to be held on each topic to finalize the outline authors will use to create the program. We are using Flagpole innovation and collaboration software donated by MindMatters Inc. to help the curriculum designers identify:

  • What are the key topics you believe we have to address on each area of engagement of interest to you?
  • What are your key areas of pain related to each area of engagement of interest to you?
  • What information or resources would help you better utilize each area of engagement of interest to you?

Simply go to @@http://www.enterpriseengagement.org/signup/ and fill out the form provided. Starting in early November, you'll receive a link to the Flagpole innovation software site enabling you to provide your input.

Enlightened Businss Summit

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'Virtual Telesummit' Will Feature Hsieh, Mackey, Ferriss, Covey & 35 Others

Joie de Vivre Hospitality Founder and Executive Chairman Chip Conley has teamed up with The Shift Network, an online education company, to launch the groundbreaking Enlightened Business Summit. This free online event, to be held October 25-29, brings together top CEOs, bestselling authors, business change leaders and conscious entrepreneurs to show how business can fuse enlightened values with increased profits. Business leaders will learn how to create successful companies with great cultures that generate passion, purpose and profits. Headline speakers include Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling book Delivering Happiness, as well as other New York Times bestselling authors such as Tim Ferriss (The 4-Hour Work Week) and Stephen M. Covey. The Summit roster also includes notable CEOs such as John Mackey of Whole Foods, George Zimmer of The Men's Wearhouse and Casey Sheahan from Patagonia. Conference topics include enlightened leadership, conscious capitalism and conscious entrepreneurship, triple bottom line values, socially conscious business, workplace psychology, creating self-actualizing customer experiences and transitioning to a green economy. To register for this free event and for more details, visit: @@http://www.enlightenedbusinesssummit.com/

Quantum Rewards Card

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Enterprise Engagement Has Arrived

Nearly 700 paid registrants, many from Fortune 500 companies, attended the conference "Connecting Employee Engagement and Financial Results," held last week in conjunction with The Motivation Show in Chicago. In the session on the Economics of Engagement, attendees included serious, director-level executives from leading companies representing everything from sales operations and staff management, to recognition and corporate communications. The marketplace spoke with its feet. Never before has such a large group of corporate practitioners from so many industries and job titles come together to specifically focus on the topic of engagement. Participants were eager for practical solutions and unanimously agreed that this is a critical emerging field. Sessions ranging from consumer loyalty and social networking to recognition and measurement drew large and eager audiences. The Incentive Research Foundation's day-long session on measurement and the session on the ROI of Engagement attracted serious corporate practitioners, as well as incentive company management clearly committed to supporting their engagement strategies with financial and performance metrics. The IRF's session in particular delved into a level of metrics that would have impressed any expert in manufacturing statistical process controls. The breadth of the sessions offered, and the strength of the participation from the corporate and supplier side, testifies to the growing understanding that creating a culture of performance requires a strategic mix of leadership, communication, training, rewards & recognition, incentive & loyalty strategies and measurement. When so many people from so many industries and job titles come together to discuss a single topic, you can begin to believe you're witnessing the birth of a new field. Congratulations to Conference Director Donna Oldenburg and The Motivation Show for making this happen.


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Employee Engagement and Enablement Critical

Many top-performing businesses across Europe and the U.S. are already deploying effective employee engagement and enablement programs to mitigate staff turnover and drive performance and revenue as the global business community continues on its path to recovery. In fact, employee engagement and retaining talent were cited as the top two priorities by executives in a recent study by Hay Group. Companies that effectively combine employee engagement and enablement report significantly improved revenue growth, staff retention and employee performance. The top organizations on both engagement and enablement achieve revenue growth 4.5 times greater than their industry peers who ranked lowest in the study. Similarly, companies with high levels of engagement have turnover rates that are 40% lower than companies with low levels of engagement. However, companies that both engage and enable employees demonstrate a total reduction in voluntary turnover of 54%. Hay Group's research also reveals that engaged employees are 10% more likely to exceed performance expectations. Employees who are both highly engaged and enabled, however, are 50% more likely to outperform expectations. Past studies have shown that the difference in productivity between superior and typical performers is 35%, on average, depending on job complexity. For more information, click here.

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Curriculum & Certification Program Update

The first ever curriculum and certification program on Enterprise Engagement is being developed with the help of executives, managers and experts involved in all areas of engagement in business. Here's a look at some recent developments in the curriculum design process:

  • Electronic collaboration. Thanks to the sponsorship of MindMatters LLC, EEA will be using the company's Flagpole collaboration software to gain input from contributors on key topics related to Enterprise Engagement. Within two weeks or so, advisors and participants will receive an e-mail inviting them to share their thoughts on topics related to the key principles and areas that need to be covered in the final curriculum.
  • Face-to-face collaboration. Following this process, EEA will schedule a series of webinars on each topic over a three-month period in which Advisory Board members, with the help of other invitees, will review the contributions and help finalize an outline for each topic. This will include a one-day meeting at the Russ Berrie Institute at the Cotsakos School of Business at William Paterson University in New Jersey on Dec. 6th. Interested parties are invited to participate in person if they so desire. The schedule for the webinars will be sent out by the end of this month.
  • Curriculum review. During the EEA's annual summit (scheduled for June 3-4, 2011), all participants, as well as corporate management from various companies, will be invited to preview the curriculum in order to identify areas that need modification.
  • Curriculum launch. The curriculum will be officially launched at the Enterprise Engagement Conference Oct. 3-4, 2011 at The Motivation Show in Chicago. This year's education program on Engagement attracted nearly 700 paid registrants, many representing senior level management from a wide variety of major corporations.

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Forum Releases White Paper on 'People Vs. Brand'

Companies that invest in people development activities, including sales training and employee recognition and rewards may perform better than firms focusing on costly brand development, marketing, and advertising, suggests a new study published by the Forum for People Performance Management and Measurement. The study, authored by Forum Academic Director Dr. Frank Mulhern of Northwestern University, predicts a return to more direct customer contact and less reliance on mass media advertising.

Further findings of the new study have just been published in a Forum white paper entitled, What Drives the Quality of Customer Experiences in Service Marketing, Employees or Corporate Brands? The Forum's study focused on the nation's personal insurance industry (life, health, auto and property), which showed the most dramatic links between sales agent performance and customer retention and new business. You can view the full research study here.

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Dittman Releases White Paper Linking Social Media & Performance

Dittman Incentive Marketing, a leading provider of sales incentive programs, rewards and recognitions solutions, recently published an 8-page study entitled Social Behavior Engages Motivation 3.0. Now, a white paper based on the report has been released, making the connection between employee performance and social networking. An excerpt: Today, the structure of recognition and rewards solutions has to be such that continuous change nurtures interest according to societal trends. It must enable the thoughtful consideration of brand values as inherent to the initiative, and it must allow for contribution, participation, thought leadership, and rewards participation across all silos or types of work. The language of motivation is growing to keep pace with Social Behaviors, encompassing people's needs for contribution to safety, innovation, and charity, as well as their need to collect accolades, points, recommendations, and thanks. In addition to achieving or unlocking rewards, collection of points 'for the sake of collecting' is demonstrated in Social Behaviors. For a copy of the full report, go to @@http://www.dittmanincentives.com/

Fire Light Group

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IRF Survey: Incentive Use Trending Upward

A newly released Pulse Survey from the Incentive Research Foundation reveals that economic trend lines for the incentive industry have stabilized, and in fact are on an upward track since the IRF's last look at industry trends in 2008/2009. Survey respondents predict that the incentive business will improve in both 2011 and 2012. Given the extended general economic slowdown, IRF wanted to see how the industry outlook had changed for 2011 and beyond. Data was collected from survey participants – including incentive providers, corporate incentive travel buyers, incentive suppliers, and others – from September 13 through September 30, 2010. Participants were asked specifically about trends related to travel programs, merchandise non-cash programs, budgets for 2011, and a number of other issues of interest to the industry. Overall, Pulse Survey respondents predict that business will be better for the incentive industry – 68 % say it will be better in 2011, and 77% say it will be better in 2012. However, there is still work to be done in terms of communicating the value of incentive programs to stakeholders and to the media – only 11% of survey participants indicate that they feel the industry is "doing enough to demonstrate the business value of incentives." For more information, go to @@http://www.TheIRF.org


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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 Next Issue of Engagement Strategies Magazine

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

Is Engagement Your Silver Bullet?

William Schiemann, CEO of Metrus Group, notes that many firms exhibit some decline in employee engagement – and it costs them dearly. Research demonstrates that when engagement plummets, customer service, quality and productivity also drop, while costs and employee turnover rise. A recent cross-industry study conducted by Metrus Group found performance differences of nearly 10% between organizations where employee engagement was high and those with low-engagement operations. Many employers thought that with unemployment hovering at 10%, people would be delighted just to have a paycheck. And they were correct – up to a point. Many employees are delighted to have a paycheck, but it doesn't mean they're satisfied, committed or even engaged with the organization. To make sure you get your copy of Engagement Strategies Magazine, go to @@http://www.enterpriseengagement.org/account/login/ and update your subscription today!

Harco Incentive Solutions

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Can CSR Clear Up the Industry's Image Problem?

Caught up in the backlash against the major corporations whose questionable business practices helped precipitate the current economic crisis, the image of meetings and incentive trips in the general media has largely been one of excess and irresponsibility – right up there with exorbitant bonuses, private jets and company limos on the list of things people think of when they hear the words "corporate greed." So how does the industry fight that perception? Many ideas have been proposed, but one seems to offer more promise than the others – find ways to "humanize" meetings and incentives, make them less about money and excess and more about people and service. The recent rise of Corporate Social Responsibility offers that opportunity...

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GAP Focuses Resources on Employees with High Potential

For GAP Inc. and its stores, engagement is part of the definition of a high-performing employee. "We think of a high-performing employee as one who is very engaged," notes Marko Satarain, the company's Director of Talent Management. "If they're engaged they'll produce more and stay longer. So there's a business imperative as to why we would want to hire and retain a high-performing or highly engaged employee. If an employee is engaged, we know their productivity levels will be higher than the norm, they'll stay with us longer and it will actually influence and inspire their contemporaries or counterparts to perform better as well." Read more in the current issue of Engagement Strategies Magazine.

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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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