Engage & Drive Performance with
Employees, Sales Teams & Channel Partners

About Us

We Drive Behavior Change To Support Your Business Strategy.

We are an alliance of best-in-class behavior change experts. With a strong partner network, we pull in the right skillset, at the right time, to provide the most impactful and cost-effective solution for our clients. Our well-rounded core group of partners holds a collective 250+ years of engaging and motivating key audiences across all industries.

We look at your business through a behavior change lens. Any type of audience who influences your business outcomes goes through stages of engagement and adopting change. We provide communications, technology, recognition, as well as behavioral insights, to dig deeper into why people think, feel and act the way they do and to drive change.

An executive from a large global retailer once said:
 “You don’t just chase metrics, you build a solid foundation of behavior change that leads to sustainable business results.” 

Typical discussions with our clients

Employees:  
Drive safe behaviors every day to decrease costly incidents; Create a positive patient experience by better engaging employees; Create a culture of innovation and accountability with ALL employees

Sales Teams: 
Drive more accountability with our sales managers; Move middle performers to the top; Provide tools to ensure a consistent message to customers

Channel Partners: 
Increase mindshare and loyalty with our distributors; Create a more apparent win-win relationship with our partners; Capture data and increase sales through dealer locations

Drive Safe Behaviors
Enable Consistent Sales Message
Increase Distributor Mindshare
Create High Performance Culture
Ignite Sales Excellence
Improve Channel Performance

Sharon Aho is the Principal of Inspire Engagement Solutions, LLC.  She has been a highly trusted business partner to a variety of companies in manufacturing, retail, healthcare, finance, and multi-level marketing for over two decades. Sharon challenges high level executives to view their business opportunities through a different lens – through the eyes of “people” whose behaviors must align with these goals.  She has facilitated hundreds of ideation sessions and mapped over a billion dollars of opportunities with these executives. Sharon is extremely hands on and believes if you are going to change the behavior of people, you need to walk in their shoes and get in their heads and hearts to design a more impactful program.  For example, she has toured dozens of plants, rode-along with service technicians and conversed with hundreds of retail employees and managers. She leads the charge from ideation of “what’s possible” to designing and championing the delivery of every solution.

OUR SERVICES

Formula For Success

We believe in combining the art & science of behavior change to deliver the most impactful results. The ART combines creativity and proven tactics to break through the clutter and get someone’s attention. How do you motivate and inspire them to take action? The SCIENCE taps into behavioral insights to understand the underlying drivers of why people feel and act the way they do and explains how our attitudes are influenced by things such as loss aversion or perceived fairness.

Our alliance provides services in three critical behavior change areas: clear and compelling communication strategies, motivational rewards & recognition, and the upfront analysis to provide the greatest return.

Analysis – It’s always good to do a little aiming before we fire out a solution. We roll up our sleeves and start with these two questions:

What Are Your “Specific” Business Strategies?
Do The Behaviors Of Your Key Audiences Align?

We can host a simple ideation session and review any materials needed and/or conduct a more in-depth audit, analyze data, and meet with key stakeholders to build a blueprint for critical change. 

Communication Strategies – People are busy and so distracted these days. Getting someone’s attention and making a true connection is tough. Taking static communications and making it more interactive, vivid and relevant is key. And it must be mobile. Need to make a splash at your next trade show - we can provide apps, 3D or virtual reality tools to fully engage your attendees. Need to hit a big sales goal - competitive performance dashboards drive results!  How about your next national sales meeting – stop the death by PPT and create an experience.

Rewards/Recognition Systems – You want me to be engaged and work harder? What’s in it for me?  Recognition is a key component to driving behavior change. We provide awards for short term incentives to long term, integrated recognition solutions. You need that special commemorative gift for a special occasion, to hand out at a tradeshow or to thank loyal customers, we have you covered. You need a fully customizable software solution to motivate and manage your sales channel’s performance with quick and easy contest creation, sales entry, configurable reporting and agnostic reward fulfillment, we have you covered here too.

Sample Deliverables

ANALYSIS

Ideation Sessions
Behavioral Insights
Recognition Inventory
Audience Analysis
Program Design

Communication Strategies

Content Strategy & Production
Mobile Design, Platforms & Apps Training Reinforcement Performance Dashboards
Sales Enablement Tools

Rewards / Recognition Systems

Commemorative Awards
Safety / Milestone Awards
Incentive Contests
Channel Platforms
Recognition Systems

A FEW EXAMPLES OF OUR WORK

manufacturing

Employee Safety Program

Industry:  Manufacturing

Challenge:  This client wanted to decrease accident rates by 10% meaning less lost time and fewer claims for workers compensation and disability insurance.  They also wanted to keep skilled workers on the job to help ensure quality and production levels.

Solution:  An initial needs analysis was performed to inventory current programs, confirm business objectives and to discuss daily behaviors needed of employees and managers to hit key goals. To be OSHA Compliant, leading behaviors vs. lagging indicators were focused on with awareness campaigns and monthly, quarterly and annual recognition. They started with a high touch, low tech safety stamps solution at various facilities. As the program grew and more initiatives added, a points currency was implemented. They exceeded their goal in the first year and continue to raise the bar each year.

manufacturing

DEALER CHANNEL INCENTIVES

Industry:  Telecommunications

Challenge:  This client was manually creating promotions and disbursing monetary rewards to thousands of dealer sales representatives across the U.S. The issues: too much time was spent creating promotions and verifying sales, high rate of error by manual processes, inability to track program participants and their activity, and no efficient reporting mechanisms in place to measure ROI.

Solution:  A platform was implemented that automated processes for both administrators and participants. It featured: contest creator allowing administrators to build promotions with a few clicks, sales widget for entry on the fly, real-time leaderboard, comprehensive reporting showing sales by region, sales by region/sales manager/store location and compared them to contest spend.  Results included a 23% increase in sales with more consistent implementation of the program throughout dealer locations.

manufacturing

SALES & TRADE SHOW TOOL

Industry:  Chemical Company

Challenge:  This client already had sales presentations, customer service tools, business intelligence and sales management data.  We just made it better by simply modifying an app they’d already created. We also added functionality to make a greater impact for a leading industry trade show. It’s a once every three years opportunity to interact with your most important customers.

Solution:  The app empowered sales reps to navigate between relevant markets, value propositions, products, content and gave managers a useful dashboard.  When activated, the Tradeshow Mode turned off superfluous functionality, allowing booth workers to focus on key content and snap a photo of attendee’s badge to quickly gather contact information.  This client doubled their number of leads generated compared to their previous show and considered them more qualified.

manufacturing

EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT & PATIENT SATISFACTION

Industry:  Healthcare

Challenge:  A hospital system with 50,000+ employees had multi-faceted problems:  Their Gallup Q12 results showed low scores for employee engagement, their HCAHPS survey showed below average in categories relating to patient satisfaction, and they had dozens of disparate recognition programs with poor or non-existent tracking and analytics mechanisms.

Solution: Implemented an enterprise-wide flexible and scalable system that included:  administrator-controlled budgeting, tools for internal communication and training, customized reporting and analytics dashboard, and an online patient recognition portal allowing patients to acknowledge exceptional care. The ratio of engaged employees to actively disengaged employees improved by 40% going from 16% below their peer-group average to 17% above. Their ranking in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) survey of patient satisfaction jumped from the 40th percentile to the top 8%.

manufacturing

PARTNER BUY-IN PROGRAM

Industry:  Agriculture

Challenge:  Weeds are tenacious. They learn how to resist herbicides that are designed to kill them in as little as 5 or 6 growing seasons. When this company shared the scientific data that herbicide-resistant weeds were becoming a serious issue, most farmers disregarded the message because it was not impinging on their fields, the need to act was an abstract idea.

Solution:  Through a series of interviews with growers, agronomists, field sales reps and dealers, the problem was diagnosed as “acceptance of the issue” not awareness. A workshop was designed to introduce the data and issues in a vivid way.  Growers were asked to articulate their vision for their farm in 5 years. By presenting to each other, the farmers started owning the problem and felt accountable to be pro-active.  They had a sense of pride in their commitment (social pressure) to execute the plan.

manufacturing

CORPORATE-WIDE RECOGNITION

Industry:  Manufacturing

Challenge:  This company had a number of disparate recognition programs. The goal was to create ONE culture of recognition to bridge the divisions, find efficiencies and reward ALL employees for excellence.

Solution: An inventory of current programs was conducted and desired behaviors were mapped out for each division. Employees were involved with various aspects of the program build to create “buy-in” before launch. A points-based recognition platform was launched which provided a way for employees to accumulate throughout the year to redeem for a variety of awards. The platform also provided a way to communicate programs, track activity and recognize achievements. It housed corporate-wide initiatives (e.g., service anniversary, idea generation) as well as division specific (e.g., safety, sales performance).

manufacturing

COMMEMORATIVE EMPLOYEE RECOGNITION

Industry:  Food Technology

Challenge: Construction to create a new, open work environment required an extended, demanding work schedule, which upended employee work/life balance for nearly a month. Employees were concerned about the impact on their productivity.

Solution: Developed and implemented a plan that eased the stresses during this transition time, as well as bring to life a new logo for the company.  Goal was to strengthen emotional connection of employees to the company by demonstrating gratitude for their dedication and their families’ sacrifice with tangible recognition.  A multi-touch point, multichannel campaign was created that included original messaging, a company-branded gift card sent to each home for a family night out, and a company-branded “tool kit” packaged in a box displaying the new wing that was presented to employees at the opening celebration ribbon cutting event.  Within 4 weeks, 73% of families used their gift card and expressed appreciation for the thoughtful gesture.

manufacturing

BEHAVIORAL COMMUNICATIONS CAMPAIGN

Industry:  Healthcare

Challenge: This client approached our team to help them increase the understanding and buy-in of their incentive plans across the organization’s three business units and various sales forces. Organizational surveys had shown that only 45% of the field felt that they understood their plans.

Solution: After looking at the components of a successful total rewards model, a branded incentive compensation campaign was created that addressed the key issues of comprehension, consistency and efficiency. It was highly graphical, interactive and relevant to each audience with a variety of delivery methods.  It included professional electronic compensation books, webinar workshops, and info-graphic style quick reference guides. Client commented that they achieved forecast for the past several years partly due to the impact that the communications had on the field’s motivation.

Be Inspired

With decades of experience building engagement and motivating people, our alliance has gathered tried and true experience AND research on so many pieces of the performance improvement puzzle. Below is a topic that has come up over and over in conversions.

Cash vs. Non-Cash, that is a big question.

Which works better to motivate your employees, sales teams, and/or channel partners? If you ask them, they will say give me cash so they can spend it however they want.  Problem is, most of the time, they are guilted into paying bills. Studies show that a mixture of awards is best.  Work with a behavior change expert to determine when to stay with your cash and when to add in more tangible awards to drive even greater performance.

Here are two viewpoints on the topic of cash:
This first one is quite entertaining but makes a good point.  Check out a favorite video clip from Seinfeld for Elaine’s Birthday:

This second viewpoint comes from one of our strategic partners who studies and has applied behavioral insights for several decades.

tim houlihanOpen article in new tab.