Available to All Solution Providers and Their Clients
The Power of Belonging
Supporting the “S” of ESG
Incentives, rewards, and recognition (IRR) are important factors in employee engagement, but they are not enough, says David Kristal, CEO of Augeo, a Minnesota-based engagement and loyalty company. “While most organizations are supportive and enthusiastic about their recognition and incentive programs, these programs have to expand beyond that to emotionally support and touch people, creating meaningful communities and an inspired sense of belonging that enhances culture and performance.”
This vision helps explain why Augeo purchased Structural, a web-based organizational information and community resource center “that builds a connection with colleagues and creates opportunities to learn, grow, and advance in their work,” as explained by Scott Burns. He founded Structural in 2017 after creating and selling GovDelivery, which was the global leader in digital marketing for the public sector. The new company raised $10 million in financing from investors including Steve Case, AOL founder, and principal of the Revolution LLC investment group.
While the Structural technology is integrated into Augeo’s ISO 10018 conforming certified Enterprise Engagement technology, Kristal emphasizes that the technology licensing is an independent solution—"focusing on the powerful impact to any organization, advisory service, or solution provider on all aspects of engagement or performance management.” Fees, he says, are set either on a per-seat or retainer basis, with the return on investment measured by the retention, willingness to refer, efficiencies, and sense of belonging that come with having a vibrant and connected community, no matter where people are working in the new world of work-from-home (WFH).
As the company explains it, think of Structural as a search engine for people, expertise, common interests, and more, designed specifically for any organization, based on a personal profile of everyone that goes well beyond a typical social media profile. Upon activation with a new account, the system generates a profile of each employee drawing from multiple information sources based on an organization’s business rules and then enables each employee to edit their profile for accuracy and authenticity. Fully integrated with Teams and Workday, the platform allows any employee to search to identify other employees who can address the specific topic or share and create groups on almost any interest. Burns says Structural goes beyond database technology or traditional social media profiles to capture detailed information that the search engine’s artificial intelligence and machine learning can use to make highly intuitive, continually enhanced search results. “Structural brings the social and professional networking experience employees expect outside of work to their daily work lives, but with a much richer profile of each person and a more direct way to specifically find people with the desired information or connections.”
Burns explains that three main sources of data help create the individual profile: what the organization already has in its HR system, directories, or business systems, depending on what the organization has permission to draw from, and even social media or other ways to enrich an individual’s profile that employees can edit before publication.
The benefits, claim Burns and Kristal, only begin with the significantly enhanced efficiency fostered by the ability to rapidly find internal experts and sources on almost any professional or lifestyle topic. They believe the ultimate payoff is the sense of belonging and community that comes with making it easy for people to rapidly connect with others around business, employee resource groups (ERGs), or social interests.
Practical applications include the ability for employees to locate experts or sources for a specific challenge, identify potential recruits for a new position, or help inspire employees by pointing out growth opportunities in the organization even if a specific job is in a different location. Other applications include making it easy for employees to create or join groups related to specific topics, interests (professional or social), or other issues to create a greater sense of community and belonging.
Kristal says the search technology is key because it multiples the number of potential connections that can be made between people and because it creates a tangible asset of connections that is proprietary to each organization.
The purchase of Structural, he says, aligns with Augeo’s holistic approach to engagement. “A lot of people think Augeo is a loyalty technology company, and we are, but we are also a leader in employee engagement, with the privilege of supporting many of the world’s most respected companies. Our philosophical pillars start with focusing on the individual benefit, including how an individual may benefit both financially and experientially. The second pillar is to develop a group dynamic in which we enable people to find connections within their community—that’s when we begin to see dramatic increases in engagement.” The ultimate goal, and third pillar, he says, "is driving shared cultures and client values.”
The concept of ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance), increasingly known as Stakeholder Capitalism, they believe is here to stay, despite the current political debates, and that Augeo’s Structural and Enterprise Engagement portal technologies combined make it possible to bake innovation, collaboration, ESG, or DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) and other key people activities into the organization’s day-to-day culture.
Says Kristal, “100%, without question, we are seeing more focus on the ‘S.” There may be some dispute on what this is, but in general there is a huge momentum in that direction. Structural enables formation of new communities to address purpose-related goals including the environment, DEI, or other issues considered important to the organization.
Emphasizes Burns, “I would say our technology takes ESG and DEI beyond just hiring someone and taking a few initial steps. Structural enables organizations to address these issues from the bottom up by empowering people through the strength of connections to take action. A lot of organizations treat ESG and DEI as a paragraph in their business plans. Structural can make it real, organic and help create value from the bottom up.”
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Education, Certifications, and Information to Activate
Brand Media and Enterprise Engagement
A complete learning, certification, and information program and a course syllabus for educators.
Resources: The Brand Media Coalition, the only guide to the story-telling power of brands and where to source them for business, event, promotional gifting, and rewards and recognition. Enterprise Engagement Solution Provider Directory. The only directory of engagement solution providers covering all types of agencies and tactics as well as insights on how to select them.
Communities: The Enterprise Engagement Alliance and Advocate and the Brand Media Coalition free resource centers offering access to the latest research, news, and case studies; discounts, promotions, referrals, and commissions, when appropriate to third-party solution providers from participating coalition solution provider members.
Training and Certification
Enterprise Engagement Alliance Education: Certified Engagement Practitioner; Advanced Engaged Practitioner, and Certified Engagement Solution Provider learning and certification programs on how to implement Stakeholder Capitalism principles at the tactical level.
International Center for Enterprise Engagement: The only training and certification program for ISO 30414 human capital reporting and ISO 10018 quality people management certification.
The EEA offers a complimentary course syllabus for educators.
This is the definitive implementation guide to Stakeholder Capitalism, written specifically to provide CEOs and their leadership teams a concise overview of the framework, economics, and implementation process of a CEO-led strategic and systematic approach to achieving success through people. (123 pages, $15.99)
The first and most comprehensive book on Enterprise Engagement and the new ISO 9001 and ISO 10018 quality people management standards. Includes 36 chapters detailing how to better integrate and align engagement efforts across the enterprise. (312 pages, $36.)
10-minute short course: click here for a 10-minute introduction to Enterprise Engagement and ISO standards from the Coggno.com learning platform.
• The Engagement Agency at EngagementAgency.net, offering: complete support services for employers, solution providers, and technology firms seeking to profit from formal engagement practices for themselves or their clients, including Brand and Capability audits for solution providers to make sure their products and services are up to date.
• C-Suite Advisory Service—Education of boards, investors, and C-suite executives on the economics, framework, and implementation processes of Enterprise Engagement.
• Speakers Bureau—Select the right speaker on any aspect of engagement for your next event.
• Mergers and Acquisitions. The Engagement Agency’s Mergers and Acquisition group is aware of multiple companies seeking to purchase firms in the engagement field. Contact Michael Mazer in confidence if your company is potentially for sale at 303-320-3777.
Enterprise Engagement Benchmark Tools: The Enterprise Engagement Alliance offers three tools to help organizations profit from Engagement. Click here to access the tools.
• ROI of Engagement Calculator. Use this tool to determine the potential return-on-investment of an engagement strategy.
• EE Benchmark Indicator. Confidentially benchmark your organization’s Enterprise Engagement practices against organizations and best practices.
• Compare Your Company’s Level of Engagement. Quickly compare your organization’s level of engagement to those of others based on the same criteria as the EEA’s Engaged Company Stock Index.
• Gauge Your Personal Level of Engagement. This survey, donated by Horsepower, enables individuals to gauge their own personal levels of engagement.
For more information, contact Bruce Bolger at Bolger@TheEEA.org, 914-591-7600, ext. 230.