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Is Enterprise Engagement Technology the Next Big Thing?

Power2MotivateWhile the human resources field continues to focus on employee recognition, rewards, and human resources systems, and the sales field on CRM (customer relationship management), the business world is overlooking Enterprise Engagement technologies that make it possible for almost any size company to seamlessly integrate all the key ways they engage people on a single, smartphone accessible platform.
By Bruce Bolger

The Focus is on Performance, Not Just Recognition
Using Enterprise Engagement Tech to Break Down Silos
Enterprise Engagement Portal Features
The need for a more strategic, systematic, and measurable approach to engaging all stakeholders is driving the growth of an emerging category of Enterprise Engagement technology that makes it possible for even small organizations to align and integrate all their key engagement tactics on a single platform in alignment with the principles of ISO 10018 People Engagement standards.
The goal is to lay a cable into the hearts and minds of each stakeholder in a way that aligns all engagement efforts across the enterprise, as opposed to the current often ad hoc, poorly aligned processes. If this sounds too good to be true, there are multiple technologies already available, some of them used by the world’s biggest organizations. That said, Enterprise Engagement technology in terms of market maturity is not much greater than CRM in 1990.
The International Center for Enterprise Engagement at recently renewed the ISO 10018 People Engagement certification for the Enterprise Engagement portal technology Encore, created by Augeo, a Minneapolis-based loyalty and engagement company. In addition to Augeo, configurable Enterprise Engagement technologies are available from CarltonOne in Ontario, Can., who, with its Power2Motivate technology, is probably the industry’s largest worldwide player; Incentco, a 12-year Florida-based provider, and Motisha, a Belgium-based technology provider. What distinguishes these technologies from employee recognition technologies is that they are configurable to address almost any stakeholder audience, type of behavior, or goal, and align all the levers of engagement below on a single application.

The Focus is on Performance, Not Just Recognition

As outlined in the checklist below, Enterprise Engagement technology differs from employee recognition software in that it is designed to engage both sales and non-sales employees or any other type of stakeholder with whom an organization wishes to establish a one-on-one relationship. In addition, rather than putting the focus on recognition, the focus of Enterprise Engagement Alliance is on a holistic approach to promoting organizational purpose, goals, objectives, outcomes, and continuous improvement through the alignment of all engagement tactics.
Enterprise Engagement technologies make it possible to align written, video, and audio communications; surveys and feedback; customer and talent referrals; learning and gamification; collaboration and innovation; manager and peer-to-peer recognition; suggestion programs, wellness, DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion), with incomparable qualitative and quantitative analytics on a single smartphone accessible application.
What also distinguishes these technologies is cost: usually far below the per-seat charges of CRM while creating significant value in terms of helping to fulfill the organizational purpose and to achieve goals and objectives.
The primary goal of an engagement portal is to do for Enterprise Engagement what customer relationship management. Many CRM platforms contain APIs or connections to multiple technologies or applications since it’s not possible even for platforms like Salesforce to offer every tool for managing customers and the sales process. In fact, Salesforce has integrated with many third-party applications that, when combined, enable companies to provide numerous aspects of an engagement portal on a single platform, including points management for rewards and recognition.”

Using Enterprise Engagement Tech to Break Down Silos

Instead of siloeing the engagement of customers, distribution partners, employees, or recognition, assessment, learning, gamification, communication, etc., the engagement portal integrates these key ingredients of engagement on a single platform so that organizations can more easily address all their key audiences and manage and measure the impact of key levers of engagement on a single integrated platform. Engagement portals make it possible to run customer, sales, dealer, employee, and community engagement efforts incorporating coaching, assessment/surveys, communications, social media, learning, innovation, rewards and recognition and analytics. With the concept of the Enterprise Engagement portal still in its early stages, engagement portals often are outgrowths of technology built to support incentive, loyalty, recognition, and other programs.
Enterprise Engagement portals are distinct from social recognition platforms, which focus specifically on building a community and recognizing people. While these social and recognition tactics are critical to engagement, there are many other key levers of engagement and stakeholders that should be addressed to achieve optimal success across the organization. The goal is to ensure that the intended stakeholders can easily access the services, and administrators can easily track activities and the return-on-investment of their efforts.
Today, many engagement portals consist of company intranets that have evolved over the years to incorporate multiple applications to support the various needs of the organization. For many such organizations, the intranet has grown so cumbersome that individual business units can benefit from creating their own mini-engagement portals to address their specific needs, rather than address the frequent challenges of gaining access to IT (information technology) time to customize company intranets.

Enterprise Engagement Portal Features

An engagement portal technology platform includes the following capabilities:
Audience Description  
Customers The ability to manage customer loyalty and communication programs to build meaningful relationships.  
Employees A platform that addresses all the engagement levers below so that employees have the tools and inspiration they need to succeed.  
Distribution Partners A means of building better relationships with distribution partners by addressing all the key levers of engagement required to gain their trust and commitment.  
Vendors The ability for suppliers to quickly gain access to information that better helps them understand your organization’s needs and recognizes those who consistently perform.  
Communities A portal for any community involved with your organization to gain the latest information, tools, and inspiration to engage.   
Engagement Lever Description  
Enterprise Branding A centralized, 360-degree brand proposition that aligns the interests of your entire organization. An engagement portal makes it easier to convey a common message across an organization’s constituency.  
Assessment and Feedback A means of conducting surveys and promoting feedback to maintain an ongoing ‘pulse’ of the organization, its business units, managers, employees, customers, distribution partners, etc.  
Leadership Coaching A system to make sure that the information coming from the assessment process is fed back to the entire organization, starting with managers.  
Communications A full suite of methods for uniting an organization in the way of a hometown newspaper to regularly inform everyone inside and outside of the organization about the latest news, how-to, or other helpful information.   
Referral Programs The ability to easily promote referrals of customers, employees or other stakeholders.  
Learning  How-to, useful information, quizzes and tests.  
Social Media/Collaboration An ongoing means for communities to share information, make suggestions and suggest solutions, in a format from which the entire community can benefit.  
Innovation A means for generating suggestions for performance improvement, safety, new products, wellness, etc., and to manage the selection and implementation process.  
Incentive Programs Campaigns designed to focus specific or multiple audiences on attaining specific goals during defined periods in a sustainable manner. Goals can include almost anything: sales, quality, productivity, wellness, safety, DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion), etc.  
Recognition Easy ways for managers to recognize employees, distribution partners, or vendors, and for peers to recognize peers for performance and actions that support the brand proposition or other business goals, i.e., safety, wellness, innovation, etc.  
Rewards Concrete, meaningful and memorable ways of rewarding people for accomplishments that are clearly distinguishable from compensation.   
Analytics and ROI  A method for collecting and aggregating as much data as possible from interaction with the portal to correlate engagement and performance, identify strengths and weaknesses, refine strategies and measure the financial ROI of engagement expenditures.  
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