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Strategies & Tactics

How to Tackle Stagnating Engagement

A recent Gallup Business Journal article by Susan Sorenson and Keri Garman notes that although the state of the U.S. economy has changed substantially, the state of its workplace has not. According to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace: 2010-2012 report, employee engagement levels remain stagnant among U.S. workers. By the end of 2012, as the U.S. inched toward a modest economic recovery, only 30% of American workers were engaged, involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their workplace. Of the 70% of American workers who aren’t reaching their full potential, 52% aren’t engaged, and another 18% are actively disengaged. These employees are emotionally disconnected from their companies and may actually be working against their employers’ interests; they’re less productive, are more likely to steal from their companies, negatively influence their coworkers, miss workdays and drive customers away. How leaders manage their employees can substantially affect engagement levels in the workplace, in turn influencing the company’s bottom line. The article goes on to list some strategies executives can use to move their companies forward.
Read the full article at

Company Culture

Survey Links Sense of Purpose and Strong Financial Performance

A new survey by Deloitte says organizations that focus beyond profits and create “a culture of purpose” are more likely to find long-term success. An overwhelming majority (91%) of respondents who said their company has a strong sense of purpose also said their company has a history of strong financial performance. The annual Deloitte Core Beliefs & Culture survey identifies a number of activities that contribute to creating this sense of purpose at work, including those that make a positive impact on clients, employees, communities and society. “Organizations that have a culture of purpose focus on delivering meaningful impact for all their stakeholders – customers, employees and communities,” says Punit Renjen, Deloitte LLP Chairman of the Board. “Many businesses have made great strides to strengthen their role as corporate citizens. However, our survey suggests that there is still so much more work to do, and that could have a positive long-term impact for companies that do so.”
• More about the study at


Hay Group: Global Talent Exodus on the Horizon?

Global firms face a rising talent exodus as economic and labor market conditions improve, according to a new study from Hay Group. As growth builds and employment opportunities increase, worldwide employee turnover is set to accelerate in 2014, after broadly flat levels in recent years. The number of workers taking flight is expected to reach 161.7 million in 2014 ¬– a 12.9% increase compared to 2012. And this trend is set to continue. Average employee turnover rates over the next five years are predicted to rise from 20.6% to 23.4%, and the number of global departures in 2018 will stand at 192 million. Mark Royal, Senior Principal at Hay Group, says that to keep high value employees from leaving in search of more favorable work arrangements, firms must address engagement and enablement challenges. “With retention a growing concern for organizations – not just for key high performing employees, but also core employees – understanding the factors that drive commitment and loyalty is essential for managing increasing turnover risks in the months and years ahead,” he notes. “Now is the time for organizations to understand where they stand on and tackle these influences, to keep employees from taking flight.”
• For more information, go to


Rewards & Recognition Expo Set for 2014 in Nashville

On the heels of its highly successful 2013 event in New Orleans, the Enterprise Engagement Alliance has announced the launch of the Engagement University, the first formal curriculum and certification program on Engagement throughout the organization. It will be held in conjunction with the 2014 Rewards & Recognition Expo and Engagement Pavilion, featuring leading exhibitors of reward, recognition and engagement products and services. Engagement University is designed to provide corporate practitioners and solution providers with formal education on the economics, definitions, framework and best implementation practices related to:

Led by a faculty of corporate practitioners, solution providers, research experts and professors in business and organizational/consumer psychology, the program brings to life a formal Enterprise Engagement curriculum and certification program with sessions on Engagement program design and implementation; Enterprise Branding; Communications; Learning and Gamification; Rewards & Recognition; Measurement; and more. Registration will open Dec. 2, 2013.


Two Studies Released at 2013 IRF Invitational 

At its recent Annual Invitational in Cancun, the Incentive Research Foundation released two new research reports. The IRF Spring 2013 Pulse Survey reveals that economic recovery is providing a boost to those in the motivation industry, with suppliers and buyers reporting a 13-point increase among respondents who characterize the economy as having a “positive impact” on their ability to plan and implement incentive travel and merchandise programs – 56% vs. 43% six months ago. And a full 82% expect incentive travel budgets will stay the same or increase in 2013, painting a much rosier picture of an industry that has suffered its share of slings and arrows over the past five years. The second study, Striking the Balance: The Integration of Offsite Business Meetings and Incentive Group Travel, for the first time explains the key steps essential to successfully integrating these important business tools. The report outlines the different archetypes of incentive travel programs and provides specific design implications for each of these types. The report reveals an almost even split between North American firms that combine offsite business meetings with incentive group travel and those that do not. A myriad of cultural factors, rather than tax implications, drive the inclusion of business meetings and incentive travel programs.
• For more information, go to

Employee Engagement

Which Cities Have the Most Engaged Employees? 

Every year certain companies are recognized as America’s Best Places to Work, businesses where employees are excited to go to work every day. This year Quantum Workplace decided to aggregate that data in its 2013 Employee Engagement Trends Report to determine which cities have the highest percent of engaged employees. They evaluated key factors affecting employee engagement, including perceptions of teamwork, manager effectiveness, trust in senior leaders, trust in coworkers, retention, alignment with goals, feeling valued, individual contribution, job satisfaction and benefits. A total of nearly 400,000 employees took the survey. The Top 10? Charlotte, NC, Denver and Sacramento, CA all had 70.7% engaged employees, followed by San Antonio, TX, Washington, DC and Austin, TX. Nashville was next, with Baltimore, Boston and South Florida rounding out the list.
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2013 Maritz Loyalty Report

Do loyalty programs really drive business, or are they simply rewarding customers for behavior they would have undertaken anyway? What qualities make loyalty programs most influential? What mistakes are loyalty marketers making to undermine the potential of their programs? A new study, the Maritz Loyalty Report: U.S. Edition, looks at these and other important questions, offering an in-depth look at American’s loyalty attitudes and behaviors, including in-depth analysis of the performance of a select group of top national programs.
• To download the Loyalty Report Summary of Key Findings, go to

Industry Insider

Marketing communications company AlphaGraphics of St. Louis recently announced that Mike Donnelly of Donnelly Creative Partners, Inc. has purchased the business. A former executive with Maritz Inc., Donnelly brings more than 30 years of creative, print, and marketing services experience to AlphaGraphics of St. Louis. Visit, or contact Mike Donnelly at 314-822-4414….Dittman Incentive Marketing has named Steve Cummins to the position of Director, Digital Marketing & Communications. Cummins joins Dittman Incentive Marketing from Panasonic, where he led the Marketing Group within the Industrial Devices Division. Prior to this, Steve held marketing roles in a number of technology companies in the United Kingdom and the United States....Rymax Marketing Services has named Crystal Lethcoe Southeast Territory Representative in the company’s Corporate Solutions Sales Division. Lethcoe, a Tennessee native, was a Product Development Specialist and Special Markets Manager at Hartmann. Rymax also recently enhanced its existing product offerings with the addition of the Bushnell, Bolle, Bric’s, Crabtree & Evelyn, Safilo, Steamfast and Vornado brands. For more info, go to Corporate Sales has launched two new programs specifically designed for the corporate market – Gift In Time, an interactive event program, and Bulova Rocks, an “add a diamond” progressive reward program. Gift in Time turns gift-giving into an interactive activity, allowing participants to select their own gifts from a customized watch station staffed by a Bulova representative. Brochures detailing both programs are available at LLC recently announced it has been acquired by Symbolist, a Dallas-based firm that provides reward and recognition programs for a variety of Fortune 1000 clients. The I2I brand will be absorbed and combined with Symbolist and all thought leadership and online properties and elements of the I2I social networks will be transitioned to the new company….USMotivation has launched The U, a webcasting platform featuring programming specific to the incentive, rewards & recognition, meetings and events industries. The U combines television-style live video, slides, chat, Q&A, polling, surveys and social network integration into a compelling format that offers a much richer experience than traditional webcasts. For more information, visit

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