Ideas, Information, Inspiration (Fall 2009)
EEA Announces 2010 ‘Networking Expo’
The Enterprise Engagement Alliance will hold its first annual EEA Networking Expo at the Doral Arrowwood Hotel Conference Center in Rye Brook, NY, June 3-5, 2010. The event is designed to help organizations profit from engaging their key audiences and engineer new ways to use rewards and recognition to drive performance. A slate of interactive education sessions will enable attendees to share the latest and most effective policies, procedures, strategies and tactics in the field of engagement, offering unique, actionable ideas and information they can use to boost performance and profitability, and build relationships with all key audiences. Exhibitors representing the top products, programs and performance-improvement companies will be available during eight hours of dedicated exhibit time, as well as at other networking events and activities during the EEA Networking Expo, to share their extensive expertise with attendees. The Doral Arrowwood is convenient to all major metropolitan areas in the Boston/NYC/Philadelphia/Washington, DC corridor, located only 10 minutes from Westchester Country Airport and 40 minutes from New York’s LaGuardia airport.
For more information on the Enterprise Engagement Alliance Networking Expo, go to www.nyirr.com
The Spillover Effect
Measuring the success of a business is not as simple as saying: ‘happy employees equal happy customers.’ Happy employees can also be lazy employees. A person taking tickets at a movie theater may be happy, but it may be because he or she gets to sit around on a comfortable chair while drinking free soft drinks and eating free popcorn. Many people might be happy if their employers paid them for what is merely time spent drinking soda, eating popcorn and collecting ticket stubs.
For the above saying to be true, companies should be looking at levels of engagement as the measuring stick. We know that emotionally engaged employees feel like they are doing something valuable for their organizations and that their efforts will make a difference. Customers know when they are talking to emotionally engaged employees. The positive feelings that the employees have about their jobs and employers influence the level of service they give to customers. When these positive experiences continue to happen, then customers become engaged, and they become advocates for the company’s products and services.
While movie theaters may be an easy target when it comes to pointing out the signs of disengaged employees, it’s certainly not exclusive to this business. Employees across all industries have a major impact on customer loyalty and engagement. The mantra of ‘happy employees equal happy customers’ is real, and companies should seek emotionally engaged employees because it will be these employees who help create emotionally engaged customers.
This is the spillover effect.
Excerpted from Engagement: Winning the Battle for Customer and Employee Hearts and Minds. Published by Allegiance (www.allegiance.com)
Few Employers Plan to Increase Communication About Pay
While many companies increased their employee communication efforts about pay, benefits and business performance in general during the recession, few said they’re planning to do the same as they prepare for an eventual market rebound, according to the Watson Wyatt 2009/2010 Communication ROI Study. Over the next 12 months, only 28% of companies plan to increase communication to employees on business performance, and 27% plan to increase communication about benefits, according to the report. Only 19% plan to increase communication to employees about pay. The report found leaders at different levels of their organizations had different goals for their communication efforts:
- Senior leaders are most apt to communicate to ease employee stress (49%)
- The corporate communication function and line managers are most likely to focus their efforts on improving employee engagement (49%)
- Communications from HR are primarily designed to manage change (38%).
To read highlights from the 2009/2010 Communication ROI Study results, go to www.watsonwyatt.com/commroi/advance-highlights
2010 IRF Invitational Scheduled for May in Colorado Springs
The Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) has announced that its 17th annual Incentive Invitational will be held in Colorado Springs, CO at The Broadmoor Resort, May 19-23. In addition to The Broadmoor, co-hosts for the 2010 Incentive Invitational include the Cheyenne Mountain Resort, Destination Colorado and partners, Vail Valley and partners, Destination Services of Colorado, Rocky Mountain Adventures, Experience Colorado Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau, and other Colorado area hosts. The Incentive Research Foundation funds and promotes independent research to advance the science and enhance the awareness and appropriate application of motivation and incentives in business and industry globally.
For more information, and to download IRF research, go to www.TheIRF.org
First Annual EEA Award of Achievement Goes to AstraZeneca
The Enterprise Engagement Alliance held a special meeting and reception at September’s Motivation Show in Chicago. Founders and supporters of the EEA gathered to hear from some of the top names in the field, including EEA Chairman Allan Schweyer, Rodger Stotz of the IRF, Gallup’s Ken Shearer and Melanie Lewis, Director of Sales Engagement at AstraZeneca, who accepted the EEA’s first Enterprise Engagement Award of Achievement on behalf of AstraZeneca.
In her acceptance speech, Lewis noted that AZ’s engagement journey began about four years ago with a simple thought, and a challenge that wasn’t so simple. “Michael Hickey, our Vice President of Sales at the time, posed the thought: Imagine what would be possible if we built an organization in which 100% of the people were engaged 100% of the time,” said Lewis. “Michael had read the book, First, Break all the Rules, co-authored by Curt Coffman and Marcus Buckingham, and learned about the Gallup Organization’s Q12 – the 12 questions used to measure the core elements of employee engagement.”
One of the most obvious examples of AstraZeneca’s commitment to engagement is the creation of Lewis’s current role as Director of Sales Engagement. “This is a position unique to the Sales organization and, to me, emphasizes the importance and criticality of engagement,” she said. “I think we all know the business case to be made for engaging our employees; the work that the Gallup Organization, the Peppers & Rogers Group and the EEA have done makes it abundantly clear. No matter the statistic or the data source, we know that an engaged workforce drives better customer engagement, better revenue and higher profits.”
IMA Names ‘Circle of Excellence’ Winners
The Incentive Marketing Association (IMA) announced the winners of its 2009 Circle of Excellence Awards at The Motivation Show in Chicago. The awards, which are meant to identify and recognize outstanding examples of successful customer and employee incentive programs meant to drive business, went to three top winners:
- VW of America – for a dealer communication and incentive strategy aimed at improving its J.D. Power IQS rankings. VW worked with Touchstone Associates of Cincinnati, OH, to put together the program.
- Scottrade and Anderson Performance Improvement Co. – for developing a recognition program that rewards Scottrade staffers for “above and beyond” achievements.
- IBM and incentive marketing partners Cievents of North Sydney, Australia, and Merscient of Toronto – for developing a product service and knowledge training program called “Know Your IBM” which boosted training program participation.
Old Media Losing Ground to New Media and Custom Content
A new study released by King Fish Media finds that a structural change in the world of media is driving marketers to rethink the business of reaching customers and prospects. The King Fish Media 2009 Survey on Marketing, Media and Measurement, conducted in partnership with HubSpot, Junta42 and the Upshot Institute, reveals that where traditional advertising was once a foregone conclusion and a focal point of all marketing efforts, companies are now revising old formulas and creating new ones. Above all, their ability to use new media channels to reach audiences directly and measure the value of their response and interaction is advancing a trend: companies are abandoning traditional media platforms in favor of creating and building out their own original channels and content. Other the key findings:
- 44% of respondents are increasing their customer retention budget over the next 12 months.
- 81% believe that brands and companies can create content that is as engaging and informative as content created by media companies.
- 74% feel that original content and media are most effective for generating marketing ROI.
- 70% are spending more today to reach customers and prospects directly with branded content than they did three years ago.
To download the complete King Fish Media 2009 Survey on Marketing, Media and Measurement, visit www.kingfishmedia.com/2009research
Mergers & Acquisitions
Groupe Aeroplan to Acquire Carlson Marketing
International loyalty management corporation Groupe Aeroplan Inc., headquartered in Montreal, recently announced that it would acquire U.S.-based Carlson Marketing from Carlson Companies Inc. at a purchase price of $175.3 million USD. The deal is expected to close in December 2009.
Carlson Marketing is recognized for leading-edge loyalty marketing services, engagement and events management. It also has strong client relationships with leading brands in the financial services, automotive, high tech, consumer packaged goods and pharmaceutical industries. Groupe Aeroplan is a major player in the international loyalty management marketplace. It owns Aeroplan, the leading loyalty program in Canada, and Nectar, a coalition loyalty program in the U.K. It also operates programs in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain.
Current plans are for Groupe Aeroplane and Carlson Marketing to continue to run separately and independently – with no planned staff reductions or relocations. President and CEO Jeff Balagna will continue to head the Carlson Marketing management team.
Says Balagna: “We look forward to joining forces with Groupe Aeroplan and significantly strengthening the scope of our loyalty marketing, program management and engagement and event offerings for customers, employees and business channels. Together we become the world’s leading loyalty management provider, able to offer a vastly expanded network of loyalty marketing capabilities.”
Innovative Products Win People’s Choice Awards
Three innovative products earned People’s Choice Awards at the recent Motivation Show in Chicago . The products were selected by votes from show attendees who viewed more than 50 items on display in the Innovative Products Gallery. The winners are:
- BioCase. Made of 100% polycarbonate – nearly indestructible to protect belongings inside – the BioCase features an exclusive biometric security system that stores up to eight fingerprints.
- Swany Walkin’ Bag. Designed to replace bulky briefcases and shoulder bags, its durable nylon material and built-in, retractable pull-out seat holds up to 300 pounds, and the bag is fully compliant with airline regulations.
- Oreck Halo. The only vacuum in the world that kills germs, viruses, bacteria and dust mite eggs with UV-C light and without chemicals, the Halo features a unique HEPA 13 filter bag and on-board attachments.
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