From the beginnings of the incentive field, the carrot has been its symbol. The simple notion of “do this, get that” has great appeal on the surface. There’s only one problem. Research shows that it takes more than carrots to maximize performance. In fact, carrots alone can actually be damaging by robbing from future sales or other goals to achieve short-term results. That doesn’t mean carrots are bad or that Engagement has to be complicated. The Engagement Agency’s approach to helping clients achieve concrete, practical goals – such as increasing sales, channel partner commitment, customer service, productivity, quality, or employee wellness – is based on a formal framework developed by an independent research organization known as the Enterprise Engagement Alliance. Extensive research has found that engaging an audience to perform – whether customers, employees, or communities – involves more than carrots alone. With only a few variations between customer and employee Engagement, research has also identified the following elements necessary to connect Engagement with performance: • A sense of purpose and community • Buy-in: a belief in the organization and its mission (otherwise known as trust) • Emotion: positive feelings • Support: a sense that the organization cares • Task value: a belief that what one is doing has value • Feedback: clear performance measures that can be used to continually make improvements. It’s not just a matter of having engaged customers, distribution partners, or employees; it’s having that Engagement aligned with organizational goals, be they sales, marketing, human resources, or corporate social responsibility. The Engagement Agency applies a clear framework and implementation process (and a powerful, low-cost technology to support it) that addresses the following elements to achieve almost any goal: • Clear leadership: obtainable goals • Assessment: benchmarking levels of engagement • Clear measures: identifying key goals, desired actions and their value to the organization • Communications: getting the right messages delivered • Learning: making sure people have the necessary knowledge • Collaboration and Innovation: making people feel valued by encouraging their participation • Rewards and Recognition: fostering positive feelings • Feedback: getting clear performance results that can be used to enhance future performance. By addressing all of these elements based on your objectives, your efforts foster ongoing actions that continue to offer rewards to the organizations and participants. Properly structured Engagement strategies almost always have a measurable ROI if you can place a clear value on the actions being promoted. So what makes The Engagement Agency different? You’ll never hear us try to sell you on the idea that incentives, recognition, gamification, assessment, management training, communication or any particular tactic is the next best thing. We help clients put together the right combination of these concepts and any practical ideas for their objectives, audiences, budget and potential ROI with the client’s interests first and foremost. Research Sources The above recommendations are based on findings of the following research studies: Incentives, Motivation, and Workplace Performance Ed Stolovich, Richard Clark and Steven Condly, University of Southern California. Use of Rewards in Organizations Incentive Research Foundation and Incentive Federation. The Benefits of Tangible Nonmonetary Incentives Scott Jeffrey, Assistant Professor in the Department of Management Sciences at the University of Waterloo, Southwestern Ontario. Trends in Rewards and Recognition The Incentive Research Foundation Determining the Right Mix of Compensation, Benefits, Training and Rewards & Recognition The Enterprise Engagement Alliance Curriculum and Certification program.