The Associated Press reports that the Federal Reserve has issued new rules on gift card fees and restrictions. Under the rules, consumers must have at least five years to use gift cards before they expire. The Fed also says service or inactivity fees can be imposed only under certain conditions. Such fees can be charged if the consumer hasn’t used the card for at least a year, if the consumer is given clear disclosures about them and no more than one fee is charged a month. The rules take effect Aug. 22. Congress ordered the Fed to issue the new protections under a law enacted last year. The Fed received more than 230 letters weighing in on its proposal first unveiled in November. Many individual consumers urged the Fed to ban all fees and to eliminate expiration dates so that people didn’t lose any value on the cards.
Globoforce has added a new consulting arm to its business that will help customers strategically evaluate and manage their global recognition and rewards programs. Called “Globoforce In*sight,” the division offers customers five product categories: In*form, In*spire, In*vent, In*vite and In*volve. The menu can be purchased a la carte, with costs varying according to need. Entry level starts at $5,000, giving a company the opportunity to gain insight into the health of the recognition culture they have today versus what could be possible. “We already have 25 projects with 11 different multinational corporations,” says company CMO Derek Irvine, noting that Dow Chemical, Procter & Gamble, Intuit, Amgen and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts are just a few of the clients who have started using In*sight. Irvine also adds that the industry has seen a fundamental shift in motivation and engagement of employees the past two years. “We’ve gone from paying a bonus and saying that’s our HR strategy to seeing a more complete HR toolkit, with employee recognition as a driver for achieving objectives and seeing value in the organization. That shift is permanent, and we see this as a growth area for many more years to come.” For more information, go to www.globoforce.com
Attention suppliers and program providers! 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 about the Enterprise Engagement Alliance Networking Expo, go to www.eeaexpo.com
Canon USA is joining forces with fashion label LeSportsac to offer an exclusively designed PowerShot camera carrying case. LeSportsac, known for its 36-year history of manufacturing functional and chic bags and accessories for consumers all over the world, has applied the same fashion-forward design creativity to create this exclusive camera case for Canon PowerShot Digital cameras. The case features long straps that offer the consumer the option to wear the case across the body or over the shoulder, as well as a swivel snap hook strap which converts to a convenient wristlet. In addition, the new case features two zippered main compartments, perfect for storing a Canon PowerShot Digital camera and accompanying accessories, and has an open front pocket for added convenience. “We are thrilled to be working with LeSportsac for this one-of-a-kind case for Canon’s Digital ELPH cameras,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, Executive VP and General Manager, Consumer Imaging Group. The new LeSportsac camera case is available only at the Canon Shop Direct online store at a retail price of $38.00. For more information, please visit http://shop.usa.canon.com/lesportsac
Hinda Incentives has reached a milestone this month, celebrating its 40th anniversary. The company started in March, 1970 with six people, and has grown to more than 100 employees with nearly $100 million in revenues. In the nineties, Hinda was on the leading edge of Internet technology, one of the first companies to offer a web-based system to manage incentive and recognition programs, including an online awards catalog as a supplement to its hard copy catalogs. Hinda’s growth demonstrates the high value that client companies place on motivation and incentive programs – even in tough economic times. “The Incentive industry, our industry, is a wonderful industry and it works.” says President Michael Arkes. “Non-cash incentives motivate people to action and toward desirable behavior and results. In many companies, channeling behavior and results are desperately needed, [and] it’s up to us to structure programs to motivate people to do what their leaders want them to do.” Read more at www.hinda.com
Victorinox Swiss Army has announced the promotion of Mike Smith to Vice President of Sales, Corporate Markets. A Victorinox veteran, Smith joined the company in 1994 and has held roles in Procurement, Supply Chain and Product Management. During his tenure at the company, he has been responsible for pricing our product, sourcing product, leading sales presentations and regularly communicating with Victorinox Swiss Army’s headquarters in Ibach, Switzerland. “Mike is a true brand ambassador and expert,” says Victorinox Swiss Army President, Rick Taggart. “His dedication to Victorinox Swiss Army, love of the brand and extensive product and company knowledge equip him perfectly for his new role in leading the Corporate Markets division.”
Incentium, LLC recently announced that Rich Phillips has been named President, Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors. Phillips, a veteran loyalty and incentive executive, was most recently President of Maritz Loyalty and Motivation, where he was responsible for achieving significant earnings growth and developing market-leading product innovation to serve evolving client needs. “We are very excited to have Rich leading Incentium into its next era of growth,” says Chairman of the Board J.J. Kardwell. “His proven ability to deliver customer value through pioneering offerings positions us to enjoy considerable success in the market.”
A recently-released research report from the Enterprise Engagement Alliance takes an in-depth look at the 2009 annual meeting of brokers and management personnel from a major healthcare provider. The goal of the event was to implement – and measure the results of – a program of training, industry updates, relationship building and networking opportunities designed to increase sales and profits in specific markets and engage channel partners with the provider’s brand. The company was looking to obtain a clearer understanding of the return on investment (ROI) it could expect for the event, and obtain hard data on participants’ attitudes, learning, behaviors and actual outcomes following the event to help make decisions about improving future programs. The company used the ROI of Engagement Group to collect and analyze the event data. Initial results show the event had a profound impact on the way brokers thought and felt about the company (dubbed “Allsante, Inc.” for the purposes of this study). Participants were found to have more trust in the company, more confidence that Allsante would do what it says it will do, and more confidence that the company’s products will meet customers’ and brokers’ needs. Participants also reported better relationships with Allsante staff and a better understanding of the company value proposition. This also translated into brokers presenting and quoting Allsante products more often and, in turn, selling more product.
For a copy of the research study, The ‘ROI in Channel Partner Conferences’ – A Case Study, click here.
The March/April issue of Engagement Strategies Magazine will be mailing soon. Here's a preview of what you'll find inside:
Karey Stanley, who holds the unique title of Senior Manager, Employee Spirit and Recognition at TD Bank Financial Group, says the company’s Wow Moments program is a unique tool – not only for informal recognition, but for talent spotting and creating a unique customer-oriented business culture. Read more about this unique recognition/communication strategy in the March/April issue of Engagement Strategies Magazine or click here.
Things have gotten so bad in the Gift Card industry that reviewing a company’s financials is a necessary step in shopping for a birthday gift or adding new merchants to an incentive program, says Stacey McAllister, VP at RK Incentives and Director of Media Relations at the Incentive Gift Card Council. Recently, McAllister sat down with Nick Balestino, Manager of Award Partnerships at Hallmark Insights; Dana Slockbower, Marketing Director at Rymax Marketing Services; and Joan Travelstead, VP of Business Development at National Gift Card Group to discuss the evolution of this adaptable and accessible motivational mainstay. Don’t miss this important article! To make sure your subscription is up to date, go to www.enterpriseengagement.org/account/login/. You can also read the full article here.
Leaders have to drive engagement, says Judy McLeish, Founder and President of McDaniel Partners. Yet, according to Development Dimensions International, only 25% of senior leaders and 17% of frontline leaders are highly engaged. No wonder companies are having a difficult time making progress with broad-based engagement initiatives. To reap the full benefits of engagement, companies must first engage those who lead the effort. Find out how to get leaders more involved in the next issue of Engagement Strategies Magazine.
One of the greatest opportunities to increase corporate profits – and subsequently boost the economy – lies in motivating workforces to improve performance, drive greater customer engagement and ultimately increase revenue, according to a new report from the Enterprise Engagement Alliance (EEA) and the Human Capital Institute (HCI). The Enterprise Engagement Alliance is a coalition of companies and associations dedicated to promoting the importance of engagement, founded last year by the Human Capital Institute, Peppers & Rogers Group, 1to1® Media and Selling Communications, Inc. Entitled The Economics of Engagement, the report provides a comprehensive analysis of research in the field of Enterprise Engagement and offers how-to information on benchmarking tools that can quantitatively measure the benefits of employee and customer engagement. These measurement tools are critical to demonstrate the bottom-line impact of enterprise engagement, both to corporations and to the economy as a whole, using financial language that senior executives, investors and economists are accustomed to. "One of the most encouraging findings of this report is the revelation that vast reserves of overall performance potential are essentially hiding in plain sight," says Bruce Bolger of the Enterprise Engagement Alliance. "Engaging the people that companies deal with on a day-to-day basis – both internally and externally – in a comprehensive, compelling and connected way will create a result that is more than just the sum of its parts. Naturally, as with any such investment, the return needs to be demonstrated to decision makers, and there's a growing body of evidence in the engagement arena that does just that." Get a copy of the report >>
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