The green box at the bottom of the cycle calls out the foundational nature of learning and continuous improvement cultures for engagement programs. 1 For more information, please see the Bersin & Associates’ report The High-Impact HR Organization. Subscribers to Bersin by Deloitte have access to an extensive library of research materials. This publication contains general information only and Deloitte is not, by means of this publication, rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or other professional advice or services. As used in this document, "Deloitte" means Deloitte Consulting LLP, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP.
Well, social programs not only help people in need, but also provide marketing opportunities for the generous, smart and socially aware small business owner.  It can be profitable to serve (for both you and the charity). But we sometimes miss the real marketing benefit — and there is no shame in taking advantage of that benefit, when you consider a few things.
QUICK TIP: Be careful about choosing a polarizing issue (unless you are ready to stand by it or your business is automatically connected somehow). Jamillah Warner (Ms.J), a poet with a passion for business, is a Georgia-based writer and speaker and the Marketing Coordinator at Nobuko Solutions. I spent 12 years working in a non-profit and could always spot the ones that were just looking for attention. But there were those (small businesses owners mostly) that always gave, but only a few used the marketing opportunity. Founded in 2003, Small Business Trends is an award-winning online publication for small business owners, entrepreneurs and the people who interact with them. Together with hundreds of expert contributors, Small Business Trends brings you the news, advice and resources you need. Rockabella Social Media Marketing can help your business grow using the power of Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Optimization. Typically, survey project managers spend weeks, maybe months pulling together questions, field testing the survey instrument, getting it translated, adapting it to multiple media for administration, fielding help desk questions, waiting weeks for the results to come back, then spend another month in survey reporting and communicating the results.
The cycle is predicated upon cultures of learning and continuous improvement for two reasons.

Reports and other research materials dated earlier than January 1, 2013 were created by Bersin & Associates LLC, prior to the acquisition of substantially all of the company's assets by Deloitte Consulting LLP, and bear the Bersin brand. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should it be used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect your business. The initiative is often expensive, time consuming, and for the project manager, exhausting.
Materials dated from January 1, 2013 to the present were created by Deloitte Consulting LLP and bear the Bersin by Deloitte brand. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting. When you offer a quality product or service and also support an initiative that you believe in, that’s social networking at its best.
In the case of a learning culture, individuals seek to close a development gap in order to improve their performance. Deloitte shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person who relies on this publication.
Once the survey is completed and results have been communicated, there are few resources saved for adjusting the way work gets done – the very changes in behavior that will raise engagement scores. In a continuous improvement culture, we seek to fix quality issues and improve efficiencies of work processes. With little energy and effort left over to improve engagement, it’s no wonder only 35% of organizations say engagement leads to business outcomes in their organization1.In the coming months, we’ll be publishing a series of research reports on employee engagement for WhatWorks® research members. Similar to improving performance and work processes, when we measure engagement, we assume that we will need to adjust work practices and cultures in order to raise engagement levels.Two, both cultures use feedback. At IMPACT 2012, we debuted a new cyclic model of employee engagement improvement which highlights the need to strike a balance between measurement and change. Individuals working within a learning culture readily accept feedback on a daily basis and incrementally adjust the way they work, as employees do with work process and systems within continuous improvement cultures.
The model also focuses on the importance of building an organizational culture which can not only support, but alleviate the workload of engagement improvement initiatives.

Similarly, in our pursuit of improved engagement, we choose what to fix and how to fix it based on the data – the feedback – that the engagement survey provides. In these cultures, incremental change based on timely feedback is a way of life, and a practice that is foundational when embedding engagement-supportive behaviors into the organization.At the top of the cycle, we featured how strategy and values are infused into the engagement initiative. Engagement is fuel – the fuel that will propel the organization to reach its business objectives. Within the context of the business’ strategy and values, leaders can target this fuel – employees’ engagement - to the functions and tasks most critical to strategy execution.After formulating a well-aligned engagement program strategy, an organization starts to move around the engagement program cycle. We measure engagement and teach employees’ about what needs to change through the initiative’s feedback reports and presentations. But then we go one step further – we look for opportunities to integrate engagement-supportive behaviors into HR practices, managerial styles, and work processes and systems. Perhaps the variable compensation plan needs to reward not only what is accomplished, but how goals are achieved as well – rewarding employees who support their peers and direct reports rather than sacrificing relationships in pursuit of goals. Maybe the online learning system needs to be deployed in far-flung locations so that every employee has equal access to learning – often a key driver of engagement.
The possibilities are limitless, but the end-result is one in the same – engagement-supportive practices need to be integrated into daily work-life. Only then will engagement become habitual, embedded in the culture, and far easier to maintain than the efforts derived from the typical annual engagement survey event. We evaluate the entire process of improving engagement – from the health of the culture, to alignment, to measurement, to change and integration.  Just as we use feedback to improve engagement, we evaluate our engagement program to make it more efficient and effective. In so doing, not only are we targeting our engagement – our fuel – to mission-critical elements of operations, but we also create, refine, and store the fuel, ensuring the health of the organization both now and in the future. WhatWorks® members and non-members can join Brenda Kowske, Senior Analyst and Charles Goretsky, Principal Consultant for Demystifying Employee Engagement, June 19 at 2pm ET.

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