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Leadership Development vs. Employee Engagement

Published: Jul 23, 2013

Chris Brunone, Leadership Practice Head at BlessingWhite, recently posted an article on the firm’s website noting that organizational development budgets are limited these days, so it's important that every initiative count. Training leaders who are trying to do more with less often ask which approach will produce the best results: 1) Training the more senior ranks in the organization to become better leaders or 2) Focusing on the engagement of the broader employee base? Should you cut back on leadership development efforts to refocus our energy on Employee Engagement? To help you answer this question, check out the full article at www.blessingwhite.com/content/articles/enews/June2013.asp?_cldee=ZW5nYWdlbWVudHN0cmF0ZWdpZXNAeWFob28uY29t... [ read more ]

People Power! Nearly 300,000 Sign McDonald’s Pay Petition

Published: Jul 23, 2013

To give you an idea of how social media is changing the corporate landscape and putting more power into the hands of employees, shareholders and customers, nearly 300,000 people have signed a petition started by Natalie Gunshannon, a former McDonald’s employee who quit her job there after being forced to accept her pay on a fee-heavy debit card. The petition on Change.org calls on Don Thompson, McDonald’s CEO, to give employees a choice in how they receive their pay. No word yet on whether McDonald’s will alter the practice, but the publicity this effort has already generated certainly hasn’t helped the company’s image. “I own stock in this company because it had started to make more socially and environmentally responsible decisions,” notes one shareholder. “I am sad to hear that it has taken a step back with this decision. Nobody’s paycheck should come with hidden fees.” While representatives for McDonald’s have indicated that decisions about payment are left to franchisee owners, the petition calls on McDonald’s national decision makers to ensure that McDonald’s is a “leader nationwide in ensuring that employees get to keep their own wages.” Stay tuned... [ read more ]

IBM Webinar Marks Entry Into Customer Engagement Field

Published: Jul 23, 2013

You know a field has arrived when IBM gets involved, given that this is not a company focused on tiny niches. So we were excited to see that IBM recently entered the field of Engagement with a webinar on Customer Engagement on July 17th, sharing ideas on how to understand, reach and relate to customers through a rich and personalized digital experience across multiple channels and smart devices. IBM executives, leading industry analysts and customers explored how organizations can create an exceptional customer experience as well as to: • Understand the individuals in your market. Listen to and anticipate customer preferences and captivate them with rich, personalized digital experiences. • Deliver exceptional service. Delight users on any channel or device with integrated and tailored applications and content. • Engage individuals and communities. Exchange valuable insights and feedback and build trusted relationships, loyalty and advocacy. ... [ read more ]

Don't miss our General EEA Certification Prep Webinar!

Published: May 8, 2013

Tuesday, May 21, 2 pm Eastern (Part 1) Tuesday, June 4 , 2 pm Eastern (Part 2) Register NOW >> This one-hour webinar provides an overview of the emerging field of Enterprise Engagement as well as preparation for the Certified Engagement Practitioners program. It provides a definition of the field, an overview of the economics and framework, as well as a top level overview of the key tactics and their inter-relationships in preparation for the online exam. About the presenters: Allan Schweyer: Director of Curriculum and Certification Development. President of TMGov.org and a Partner and Principal at the Center for Human Capital Innovation, an industry thought-leader in the field of Human Capital Management. Gary Rhoads: Academic Director. Stephen Mack Covey Professor of Marketing & Entrepreneurship, Department of Business Management, Brigham Young University. For more information on the EEA certification, please click here. Register NOW >> Sponsored by EGR International ... [ read more ]

Certified Engagement Practitioner (CEP) Designation Now Available

Published: Mar 7, 2013

The Enterprise Engagement Alliance (EEA) has launched its formal online test and certification program on Enterprise Engagement. The EEA Curriculum and Certification program focuses on the principals, framework and tactics related to engaging customers, channel partners, employees, vendors and communities to help achieve organizational goals. The exam is available free online at www.enterpriseengagement.org. Those who pass the test can obtain a five-year Certified Engagement Practitioner (CEP) designation for $500, as well as qualify for the Advanced Engagement Practitioner and Master Engagement Practitioner designations. The test is designed to help business professionals demonstrate their knowledge of the leadership skills and tactics required to engage people in the 21st century. By participating in the Curriculum and Certification program, managers can advance the interests of their organizations and their careers by better understanding the unique strategies and tactics of this emerging field. The test is divided into five sections that people can take separately as many times as they wish over a one-month period. Each section includes 20 to 30 multiple-choice and true-false questions that will change each time the test is taken. The sections include: Principals, Economics and Framework of Enterprise Engagement; Customer Engagement; Sales and Distribution Partner Engagement; Employee Engagement; and Tactics: Strategic Implementation, Assessment, Recognition, Measurement, etc. The curriculum is designed to provide organizations with a practical, measurable implementation plan that can help improve short- and long-term performance in all areas of business. By establishing a clear framework and agreed-upon nomenclature for engagement, organizations can accelerate the process of translating theory into action. For more information on the EEA Curriculum and Certification program, go to www.enterpriseengagement.org/training/ ... [ read more ]

7th Annual Open Innovation Conference - April 15-17, 2013 - Philadelphia, PA (Event Concluded)

Published: Mar 1, 2013

The 7th Annual Open Innovation Conference will provide innovation leaders a unique opportunity to join their peers to discuss new ways to grow their open innovation practice. Discussions will focus on the application of smart-risk strategies, establishing common language that articulates goals of the open innovation practice, cultures that foster collaboration at every level of their enterprise, and expansion scenarios that identify new opportunities for growth and collaboration on a global scale. Attending this leading event will enable you to: • Determine a framework for open collaboration that incorporates smart-risk strategies and strengthens the innovation process from the organization's core capabilities • Establish a common language across the enterprise to articulate the goals and requirements of the open innovation practice • Identify measures that report out of the value of open innovation activities • Review strategies to expand open innovation initiatives on a global level • Recognize and develop an actionable framework to address the legal issues surrounding open innovation ... [ read more ]

More than Half of U.S. Firms Use Gift Cards as Rewards

Published: Feb 4, 2013

A new study by the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) confirms that the incentive gift card market is a vast, multi-billion-dollar industry. The 52% of U.S. businesses that currently use gift cards spend $22.7 billion a year in this category. Employee gift card programs are the clear favorite – over 60% of firms using gift cards name employees as recipients. Other key recipient groups include salespeople, channel partners and customers. The IRF, in partnership with the Incentive Gift Card Council (IGCC), collected and analyzed data from a national sample of business executives in an effort to estimate the size and spread of the gift card marketplace. Researchers found that a total of 59% of U.S. businesses use some type of non-cash award program, and 52% use gift cards to recognize and reward their employees, salespeople, channel partners or customers. This means that fully 87% of companies offering non-cash awards use gift cards as part of such programs. Other highlights from the study: Open- and closed-loop cards are used by far more businesses than restricted and virtual cards. Sixty-eight percent of the market uses open-loop cards, and 54% use closed-loop. Approximately 12% use restricted cards – a lower incidence than virtual cards, which 14% of businesses are now using. There are differences in how companies of various sizes source the gift cards for their programs. Large businesses are more likely to use a card provider that can deliver many different types of cards, while smaller businesses are more likely to go directly to retailers for their cards. Approximately one-third of U.S. businesses use both card providers and retailers, regardless of the size of the business. Most gift card buyers report that their future spending will either remain the same or increase, raising an expectation that this market category will continue to thrive and grow. “The economy over the past years has affected many things, but the research confirms that the use of gift cards in business is still very strong,” says Betty Weinkle, Past President of the IGCC. “We find that the convenience, variety and desirability of gift cards contribute to their ability to motivate, reward and recognize.” For more information on the IRF Gift Card Market Study, go to http://theirf.org/Gift-Card-Market-study.6094109.html ... [ read more ]

Customer Engagement Requires More Than Rewards

Published: Feb 4, 2013

By themselves, rewards programs rarely create the full emotional attachment that brings true customer engagement. Engagement is built over time and comes from creating mutually beneficial relationships with customers. One of the keys to creating relationships is providing customers with direct access to company decision-makers through a feedback management system that demonstrates that the company cares about them and is indeed listening. Research shows that companies that are effective at listening to their customers build loyalty and engagement over time. They take the information they receive from customers and make changes, whether it involves a specific individual in a bank branch, a customer service department or the entire company. When customers recognize that their concerns, suggestions or feedback are responded to and resolved, they begin to realize that they’re important to the organization, that their voice can make a difference and that they have a relationship with the brand. Kyle LaMalfa, Senior Business Insight Analyst at Allegiance Inc., says that while reward points can encourage transactions and add value to a brand, positive experiences and listening to customers will create engaged customers and add to a brand’s strength. Engagement is about the relationship that a customer has with a brand and the brand with that customer. Engagement programs work together with loyalty programs to fill the gaps and connect to people’s hearts and minds. True engagement is built over time, through positive experiences, and most importantly by listening to the voice of your customer. To download the full Allegiance report, go to www.allegiance.com/resource-center/document-library/buying-loyalty-and-rewards-programs ... [ read more ]

Secrets of Effective Employee Engagement

Published: Feb 4, 2013

New research by Bersin & Associates shows that recognition programs dramatically improve employee engagement and reduce turnover, yet 87% of organizations still rely on outdated tenure-based service level awards. Companies with recognition programs that are highly effective at improving employee engagement have 31% lower voluntary turnover than their peers with ineffective recognition programs. The findings, which appear in a new research report, The State of Employee Recognition in 2012, indicate that recognition plays a much more measurable role in business performance than previously believed. “This new research highlights a huge opportunity for companies to redirect existing expenditures to programs that significantly influence engagement and retention,” says Josh Bersin, President and CEO of Bersin & Associates. “The findings also suggest that recognition programs should align with an organization’s comprehensive performance management strategy to drive business results.” To download a copy of the WhatWorks Market Brief on the importance of recognition in performance management, go to http://marketing.bersin.com/Recognition.html... [ read more ]

Corporate Learning & Talent Development Summit - April 28-30, - 2013 - Atlanta, GA (Event Concluded)

Published: Jan 18, 2013

The Corporate Learning and Talent Development Summit offers a unique format for the learning & talent executives across North America to attend strategic summit sessions led by thought leaders from across the industry, and meet with leading solution and service providers through a number of one-on-one business meetings and many organized networking activities. Topics of the presentations at the event: Leadership Training and Development Succession Planning for Tomorrow's Leaders Global Management Training High-Potential Training and Development Social Networking and Employee Collaboration Web 3.0 Target Audience: Include: CLO, SVP, VP and Head of Learning, Talent Management and HR ... [ read more ]

New Book Explores the Engagement Equation

Published: Nov 27, 2012

One sign that engagement has emerged as a formal field is the proliferation of books published on the subject over the last few years. The latest, The Engagement Equation: Leadership Strategies for an Inspired Workforce, by BlessingWhite consultants Chrisopher Rice, Fraser Marlow and Mary Ann Masarech, and published by Wiley, focuses specifically on how to infuse engagement throughout your managerial and organizational culture. A fundamental premise of the book is that “you can’t actually make employees engaged. Engagement is fundamentally an individualized equation. What might make one person engaged might turn off the person in the next cubical.” The authors stress the link between “maximum engagement and maximum contribution…” – i.e., the importance of continually linking engagement to organizational results. The book stresses the importance of finding a common definition for engagement and a way of talking about it in the organization; focusing as much on individuals as on global trends or indices; making engagement a priority and shared responsibility so that everyone has a stake in the process; making sure management is as engaged as employees are expected to be; and how to map out an overall plan that provides a clear direction and vision, open communication and realistic ROI measurement tools. They caution that surveys tools should be used to diagnose issues rather that simply as a “prize.” Click here to view a video by the authors.... [ read more ]

Corporate Benefits Summit - January 20-22, 2013 - Las Vegas, NV (Event Concluded)

Published: Nov 6, 2012

The Corporate Benefits Summit is the premium forum bringing senior level benefit executives and solution providers together. As an invitation-only event taking place behind closed doors, the Summit offers an intimate environment for a focused discussion of cutting edge technology, strategy and implementation of solutions to forward thinking corporate benefits executives interested in staying ahead of the market.... [ read more ]

Employee Engagement Surveys - Measurement Issues Webinar

Published: Oct 31, 2012

Join the Enterprise Engagement Alliance and Hay Group on Tuesday, December 4th for a FREE expert discussion of best practices and methods in the selection, implementation and analysis of employee engagement surveys. This curriculum segment provides practitioners with a formal framework to determine the best approach to measuring employee engagement in a way that can identify granular solutions. Topics include:... [ read more ]