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Engagement Industry Briefs

Event

The 2015 Engagement University & Expo Convenes in Denver April 14-16. The event is co-sponsored by Omni Resort Interlocken, Denver, where the event will be held, and the FIRE Light Group, which provides event planning and logistics. Based on responses to post-event surveys, the program will be enhanced in the following ways:

Channel Partners

Chris Becwar, Director of Marketing and Strategic Alliances at global channel management firm CCI, notes that as the competition for partner engagement has increased, more channel leaders have been realizing that they haven’t been listening close enough to the real needs of their partners beyond typical margin and channel conflict discussions. Vendors are realizing that if their channel investments don’t focus on shaping their partners pre-sales habits and ‘teaching them to fish’ vs. ‘feeding them for a day,’ sales lift on partner investment will tend to hover between low to zero. This is inspiring vendors to re-examine how they target their partner incentives, SPIFs, and rewards. Becwar says that a new generation of more configurable, integrated, and easy-to-use incentive management tools has been springing up that make it easy to target partner rewards at just about any measurable, pre-sales partner behavior taken with a vendor’s partner program.

Companies

Maritz Holdings Inc. and Allegiance Software, Inc. (Allegiance) have announced their intent to create a new independent company, MaritzCX, through the acquisition of Allegiance and subsequent combination with Maritz Research Inc. MaritzCX will address the multi-billion-dollar customer experience (CX) industry via a combination of four key elements: CX software, data and research science, deep vertical market expertise and managed program services. MaritzCX will have 900+ full-time employees in 18 offices and five global regions serving 500 clients and one million users in 100 countries. The MaritzCX platform – to be called the Allegiance platform – will provide flexible, self-service capabilities that allow clients to create or change reports on their own, and will integrate with Salesforce.com, Adobe, and other popular data systems.

Engagement

The Conference Board, Deloitte and Sirota have announced the formation of the Engagement Institute. According to the web page announcing the new organization, these companies have come together to found a research community to advance the state of engagement. It will consist of leaders across industries who will work collaboratively to shape how organizations understand and drive engagement. Activities will include research and peer learning. Companies involved with this initiative include Apple, Oracle, Shell, Colgate Palmolive, Accenture, ITT, Nokia Solutions and Networks, Michelin, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Philips, Unilever, Target, Caterpillar, Xerox, ADP, Coca-Cola, General Motors, Hilton Worldwide, Proctor & Gamble, Monsanto, AT&T, Amazon SanDisk, and Lowe’s, among dozens of others.

Retention

Career management programs are supposed to help employees understand advancement opportunities and chart career paths with their organizations, resulting in greater engagement. However, research from Towers Watson reveals that employers and employees alike agree that career management programs are largely failing to meet these goals. This finding comes at a time when many employees believe their careers are stuck in neutral and say they would need to leave their employer to advance their careers.

According to the Towers Watson Global Workforce Study, less than half of all employees (46%) and only 59% of high-potential employees – a group that employers should be working hard to keep – say their organization provides useful career planning tools. An even smaller group (42%) report that their employer provides advancement opportunities. Furthermore, roughly 4 in 10 employees believe they would have to join another company in order to advance their careers.

Performance

America’s top business leaders are confident in their ability to outperform the competition. However, they aren’t acting with confidence when it comes to making business decisions or addressing specific obstacles, according to Deloitte’s Business Confidence Report 2014: The Gap Between Confidence and Action. A majority of execs say they’re very confident that their organizations will outperform the competition over the next 12 months. But when asked about their confidence in their ability to address specific obstacles to growth, nearly half had some doubts. The inaugural Deloitte Business Confidence Report, conducted between July 7 and Aug. 4, 2014, explores America’s top leaders’ confidence in the overall direction of their businesses, how they are addressing obstacles to growth, their outlook on talent and leadership and their views on innovation.

Management

Cord Himmelstein, VP of Marketing and Communications at Michael C. Fina, notes that managers are the No. 1 influence on employee engagement in the workplace, while being one of the most under-trained positions in the business world. As a result, there is a wealth of white papers, scientific studies, and entire organizations devoted to figuring out what makes managers effective at motivating and leading others. But there’s one study by Quantum Workplace, The 50 Best and Worst Recognition Comments of 2013, that goes to the horse’s mouth to find out what employees are really saying. Quantum Workplace compiles some of the most compelling recognition-related comments found in Best Places to Work and TeamPulse surveys for the annual publication, and it’s a great snapshot of the ground-floor recognition needs of today’s employees.

Culture

Henry Albrecht, CEO and co-founder of Limeade, notes in a recent post for Culture University that employee engagement is all the rage these days. And it should be, considering that only 13% of employees feel engaged by the work they do and that low engagement leads to high turnover, which can cost companies up to 150% of an employee’s salary. But with so many factors involved in employee engagement – job satisfaction, stress, work/life balance, purpose, relationships, physical and emotional well-being – Albrecht says it can be tough to achieve. Don’t want to lose your best people? You have to create a culture of well-being prominently throughout your HR and business that includes 5 key strategies: Bosses lead; Use all your communication tools; Know what’s working and change what’s not; Play up local pride; and Pay today.

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