“So what is it you actually do?”

In 2014 we chose the CIPD conference as the launch platform for our then brand spanking new Employee Engage app – the first of its kind to market and setting the pace for others to follow. Roll on to 2017 and we were back at CIPD again last week for the fourth year running – and for the first time the word ‘engagement’ seemed to be on every corner, there was a real sense of ubiquity about it that we hadn’t seen previously.

But what was interesting when you looked beneath the ‘engagement’ headline was just what a broad church of vendors and disciplines was laying claim to it, everything from analytics software to happiness consultants, survey providers to smoothie makers! So perhaps it wasn’t surprising that visitors wanted to ask ‘But what is it that you actually do?’ as employee engagement is just too broad to be a meaningful signpost on its own.

All of which confirmed our desire to bring some clarity and precision to what we offer, to get back that distinction and uniqueness we had on starting out in 2014. The line we ran with at the show sums it up pretty well:

“Helping you meet the challenges of the dispersed, non-desked and mobile workforce by making the personal smartphone the digital gateway to internal communications, employee enablement, experience, and engagement.”

Five rules of engagement

And the cartoons we used on stand illustrated the five central tenets of our proposition, in that every feature we offer or system we integrate with is supporting one or more of the following rules of engagement:

Sharing – making corporate, operational and L&D information easily available to a dispersed workforce, aggregating everything in one place

Pushing – the real-time, instant, simultaneous delivery of key news, achievements, alerts, where speed and immediacy are everything

Assisting – tools and widgets that make life easier, more frictionless and convenient for everyone eg epayslips, holiday requests, rota checks, training courses, just little things that add up to a lot

Nurturing – acknowledging, motivating and developing employees and employee relationships through having an effortlessly accessible benefits and rewards programme

Strengthening – conducting pulse surveys, sampling mood, and encouraging more dialogue, feedback and ideas (the art of continuous listening) to build rapport, respect and that vital sense of ‘connectedness’.

There is a lot on offer there, and one of the things that really struck us was that unlike so many of the pitches at CIPD where benefits are going to be necessarily deferred (change programmes can take time to fully implement, see results on, and get returns from), the Employee Engage app can change the game right now. The gains are there from day one, and for those needing to make the case for ‘engagement’ to their board, having a solution that is at once an engagement hub and an (immediate) improvement engine might well make your case for you.

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