The Stevie Awards Blog

Retirement Is Changing, and Financial Services Groups Need to Keep Up

Posted by Daniel Ferguson on Wed, Feb 19, 2020 @ 10:40 AM

Financial wellness is a luxury that younger demographics seem to have a harder time achieving. Stevie-winner John Hancock is an insurance company refining its approach to develop financial solutions for the modern generation of consumers.

With the ongoing economic impacts of the Great Recession, astronomical student debt, rising housing costs, and myriad other financial factors, retirement looks a lot different today than it used to. Gone are the days of getting into a job, working for 40 years, and retiring with a handshake and a gold watch. Pensions and 401(k)s are increasingly hard to come by. Plus, with often insurmountably expensive real estate costs, fewer people are entering the realty market. As a result, many people don’t have valuable homes to supplement their retirement nest eggs.

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Given these kinds of factors, it’s little surprise that the concept of “retirement” has shifted. In this landscape, one thing is clear: If financial services groups want to continue to stay relevant, they will need to change their approaches, advice, and outlook to match what financial wellness means to millennials and members of Generation Z.

Rethinking Retirement Age

In a 2018 study by Bankrate.com, millennials responded that they think 61 is the ideal age to retire. Despite this aspiration of early retirement, however, approximately two-thirds of millennials have nothing saved for retirement.

Because of increased debt and decreased financial opportunities, more people than ever are being forced to reevaluate what’s realistic when it comes to retirement. For many, this means bumping out that expected age of retirement. Some don’t even expect to retire at all, instead considering part-time jobs, second careers, or other money-making opportunities as they get into the later years of their lives.

Increased longevity further complicates the issue. Across the globe, people are living longer than ever, which seriously skews issues related to realistic retirement age, health insurance, and life insurance.

Rethinking Financial Wellness

Companies that provide financial planning and other money-management services are often viewed as symbolic of a bygone era. After all, someone who has nothing saved for retirement, doesn’t own a home, and is working on paying down $50,000 in student debt can feel as if these companies aren’t relevant to their financial realities.

That doesn’t need to be the case, though. These companies can still help younger clientele reach their financial goals; they just have to shift how they think about accomplishing this endeavor. Stevie-winner John Hancock, which is based in Boston, Massachusetts, United States, is one such company successfully refining its approach. 

John_Hancock_logo-1“At John Hancock, we know it’s time to look beyond outdated concepts like ‘net assets’ and to build financial solutions that fit into customers’ whole lives—with easily accessible products that reflect their values, their approach to wellness, and their holistic well-being,” says Meghan Fackler, a thought leadership manager at John Hancock. “That’s why we’re redefining retirement, insurance, and investing for the modern generation of consumers to address both their health and wealth.”

To connect with this modern generation of consumers, one key is reframing the idea of financial wellness as the most important kind of wellness. Financial service providers are finding that the younger generation prizes a more holistic approach to well-being, and providing advice that resonates means tailoring to that mind-set.

“We believe good health and financial wellness are essential ingredients to overall well-being, and we want to help motivate people to make healthier choices—for themselves and their future,” says Fackler.

With this goal in mind, John Hancock has had success especially with one initiative: a partnership with the Vitality Group, which can serve as a template for similar companies looking to connect with younger investors.

“In 2015, we started a new chapter in our 155-year history when we partnered with the Vitality Group to help our clients live longer, healthier lives,” says Feckler. “As the first life insurance company in the United States to offer a wellness-based rewards program, John Hancock life insurance with Vitality gives our customers the financial protection they need while also helping them earn savings on their premiums, shopping gift cards, and travel discounts for their everyday healthy habits, such as going for a walk, eating well, and getting a regular health check.”

John Hancock was honored with seven Stevie® Awards at The 2019 American Business Awards®, earning the company a Grand Stevie® Award. This designation is reserved for the top 10 most-recognized organizations at the event. The company’s honors included four Gold awards (in the categories of Mobile Site and App, Innovation of the Year, and two in Achievement in Management), two Silver awards (in the categories of Woman of the Year and Financial Services), and two Bronze awards (in the categories of Information Technology Team of the Year and Customer Service Team of the Year).

Interested in entering the next American Business Awards?

Request the entry kit here.

Tags: The American Business Awards, Innovation, management awards

Winners in the 2020 Middle East Stevie® Awards Announced

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Wed, Feb 19, 2020 @ 09:56 AM

Honors Sponsored by RAK Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Recognize Innovation in 17 MENA Nations

Winners in the first Middle East Stevie® Awards, the only awards program to recognize innovation in the workplace throughout 17 nations in the Middle East and North Africa, were announced today.  The awards are sponsored by the RAK Chamber of Commerce & Industry.  The list of Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award winners is available at http://MENA.StevieAwards.com.

MESA20_winners_bannerThe Stevie Awards are considered to be the world's premier business awards, conferring recognition for achievement in the workplace over the past 18 years in programs such as The International Business Awards® and the Stevie Awards for Women in Business. The name Stevie is derived from the Greek word for "crowned".

The 2020 Middle East Stevie Awards have recognized organizations in 12 markets including Bahrain, Egypt, India, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.  Several hundred nominations about innovative achievements in the MENA region were considered by the judges this year in categories such as Award for Excellence in Innovation in Products & Services, Award for Innovative Management, and Award for Innovation in Corporate Websites, among many others. 

Two Grand, or best of show, Stevie Award winners announced today are:

  • Boehringer Ingelheim, Istanbul, Turkey, is the winner of the Grand Stevie for Organization of the Year. The pharmaceutical giant’s six Gold, two Silver, and one Bronze Stevie wins are tops in the 2020 competition.

  • Dubai Health Authority’s nomination “Diagnostic & Prognostic liquid biopsy biomarkers for Asthma,” a Gold Stevie winner for Innovation in Medical/Dental, received the highest overall average score from the judges, of all nominations in the 2020 competition, and thus wins the Grand Stevie Award for Highest-Rated Nomination of the Year.

Winners of multiple Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie Awards include Akenerji, Istanbul, Turkey; Birevim, Istanbul, Turkey; Çelebi Aviation Holding, Istanbul, Turkey; DHL Express Saudi Arabia, Al Khobar; Digitallica, Istanbul, Turkey; Dubai Health Authority, United Arab Emirates; Dubai Public Prosecution, United Arab Emirates; Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue, Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Eng, Abeer Ramadna, MIT Jordan, Amman; Ministry of Interior, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain; Petrol Ofisi, Istanbul, Turkey; Phenomenal PR and Events, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Pixelate Creative, Istanbul, Turkey; RAK Transport Authority, Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates; Türkiye Vakıflar Bankası T.A.O., Istanbul, Turkey; Vitamin Marketing Services, Istanbul, Turkey; and Ziraat Bankasi, Ankara, Turkey, among others.

Stevie winners will be presented their awards at a gala banquet at the Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah Hotel in the United Arab Emirates on Saturday, 21 March.  Tickets for the event are now on sale.

More than 70 executives around the world participated on four juries to determine the Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie Award winners.  

“We are very pleased that our new Middle East Stevie Awards program has been such a success in its first year,” said Michael Gallagher, founder and executive chairman of the Stevie Awards.  “We are very gratified by the number and variety of the organizations that submitted nominations, and we have fielded a strong list of winners.  We look forward to celebrating them in RAK on 21 March.”

About the Stevie® Awards
Stevie Awards are conferred in eight programs: the Middle East Stevie Awards, the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, the German Stevie Awards, The American Business Awards®, The International Business Awards®, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the Stevie Awards for Great Employers, and the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Stevie Awards competitions receive more than 12,000 entries each year from organizations in more than 70 nations. Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. Learn more about the Stevie Awards at http://www.StevieAwards.com.

About the RAK Chamber of Commerce and Industry
RAK Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RAK Chamber) is the second chamber of commerce commissioned in the United Arab Emirates. Incorporated on 22 October 1967, RAK Chamber adopts the spirit of innovation and creativity, strong leadership and initiative to support and develop business sectors to achieve excellence and become pioneers, focusing on clients, investors and business by meeting their needs and offering them added value. The chamber is keen to create and develop a system of sustainable enterprise relations, and it also works to provide a business environment and practices that enhance the culture of group work by working in a spirit of a unified team – along with responding to internal and external changes by providing information, data, procedures and laws for all concerned categories. This is in order to achieve transparency and credibility and to create a business-motivating environment in order to promote the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah as an economic hub in the United Arab Emirates.  Learn more at www.RAKChamber.ae.

Tags: Middle East Stevie Awards, mena

Winners Announced in 2020 People’s Choice Stevie® Awards for Favorite Customer Service

Posted by Daniel Ferguson on Tue, Feb 18, 2020 @ 09:00 AM

101,000 Votes Determined Public’s Favorite Customer Service Providers Among Stevie Awards Finalists

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Winners of the 2020 People's Choice Stevie® Awards for Favorite Customer Service, a worldwide public vote, were announced today. Voting was conducted from January 16 through February 14, with the highest number of votes deciding the winners in 11 industry categories. More than 101,000 votes were cast this year.

All organizations honored in the Customer Service Department of the Year categories of this year’s Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service were eligible to be included in voting for the people’s choice awards. The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, now in their 14th year, are the world’s top honors for customer service, contact center, business development, and sales professionals.

More than 2,600 nominations from organizations of all sizes, in virtually every industry, in 48 nations were evaluated in this year’s competition. Finalists were determined by the average scores of more than 180 professionals worldwide in seven specialized judging committees and were announced last month.

This year’s people’s choice winners, who will each receive the coveted crystal People’s Choice Stevie Award, are:

Airlines/Distribution/Transportation: DHL Express Bangladesh
Computer Hardware & Services: SiteGround Hosting Group
Consumer Products & Services: 4ocean
Financial Services - Up to 100 Employees: Wells Fargo Merchant Services - Account Management
Financial Services - 100 or More Employees: DenizBank
Healthcare & Pharma: UPMC Health Plan
All Other Industries: VIPKid Teacher Support Team
Public Services & Education: OmniUpdate
Software - Up to 100 Employees: Carbonite
Software - 100 or More Employees: Loopio Inc.
Telecommunications: AireSpring

Nicknamed the Stevie® from the Greek word “crowned,” the awards will be presented to winners at the 14th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service awards banquet on Friday, February 28 at Caesar’s Palace Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada USA. Tickets for the event are now on sale. More than 550 executives from around the world are expected to attend.  The presentations will be broadcast live via Livestream.

Sponsors of the 14th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service include HCL Technologies, Sales Partnerships, Inc., and ValueSelling Associates, Inc.

Request an entry kit for the
2021 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service.

Request the entry kit

Tags: Sales & Customer Service, People’s Choice Stevie® Awards, 2020 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service

Marketing in the Age of AI

Posted by Daniel Ferguson on Wed, Feb 12, 2020 @ 11:05 AM

In an age where AI is changing the business landscape, agencies like Digital Resource are stepping up to help organizations gain online traction. Adopting AI can mean creating personal connections between businesses and clients.

Hollywood’s dire predictions of artificial intelligence (AI) taking over the world might not be coming true any time soon, but there’s no denying that AI’s capabilities are revolutionizing many industries. With newfound access to big data, machine learning, and in-depth insight into consumer behavior, the marketing industry, for one, is undergoing a complete overhaul.

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Most businesses today have the wrong idea about online marketing. It is not so much about the tools and platforms you use as it is about understanding human behavior and motivation. The deeper your knowledge of your target audience, the more impactful your marketing efforts will be. To that end, AI is a powerful ally for marketers who are willing to accept and to adapt to its capabilities.

AI for Your Marketing Team

Businesses across the world are using AI and machine learning insights to sharpen their marketing focus and to increase personalization. For instance, AI can help create ads that convert better by enabling deeper keyword searches, social profiling, and exhaustive online data research—all of which are not scalable efforts when done manually.

Intelligent analysis of search patterns, conversational chatbots to increase retention, individual-level user analytics, and several other marketing use cases of AI are all emerging globally.

“Marketing initially scared me because you couldn’t measure it,” said Susan Johnson, CMO of SunTrust Bank, in a conversation on AI with John Koetsier of Inc.

“I never thought we'd be here, where technology and marketing are completely intertwined,” said Johnson, who trained as an engineer and worked at Apple before making the shift to marketing. “Now, with technology, we have some degree of certainty about what is happening and why.”

This sentiment echoes the thoughts of savvy marketers everywhere.

AI Adoption and Marketing Impact in Numbers

Recent research and survey reports reveal the pace at which AI is changing the marketing landscape. For example, according to the Digital Intelligence Briefing, 2018 by Adobe, top-performing companies are more than twice as likely to be using AI for marketing (28 percent versus 12 percent) and Marketers' adoption of AI has grown at a rate of 44 percent since 2017 from the State of Marketing, 5th Edition, Salesforce Research.

Change Is Good

Digital_Resource_logoStevie-winner Digital Resource, which is based in West Palm Beach, Florida, United States, is a full-service Internet marketing agency that works with businesses looking to gain online traction. Started in 2014 by Shay Berman, who was twenty-two at the time, the agency aims to go beyond vanity metrics and to give businesses unfiltered, measurable results. With that goal in mind, they have been quick to explore and to implement AI in their marketing campaigns for clients.

“We're very interested in the introduction of artificial intelligence. While many are afraid AI will take jobs, we're exploring ways we can use it to complement and to optimize our employees,” says Emily Crieghton, a multimedia specialist at Digital Resource. “We're going to see a big uptick in the use of AI. On the flip side, though, we're also going to see companies striving to create more personal connections between businesses, influencers, and online users. So, we'll be working to find a balance between the two.”

Whatever the eventual specifics of AI’s incorporation into business marketing strategies, one thing is clear. Artificial intelligence has arrived, and marketers need to adapt quickly and to harness its potential in order to meet customer expectations and to drive business growth.

This year, Berman won the Silver Stevie® Award in the Entrepreneur of the Year - Advertising, Marketing, & Public Relations category at The seventeenth annual American Business Awards®.

Interested in entering the next American Business Awards?

Request the entry kit here.

Tags: The American Business Awards, artificial intelligence

Changing Workplace Behaviors, One Story at a Time

Posted by Daniel Ferguson on Wed, Feb 05, 2020 @ 01:18 PM

Workplace cultures and behaviors play a big part in determining employee motivation and performance. Media Partners is a production company committed to helping clients build strong, productive work environments through their engaging training films on challenging topics.

No one likes working with uncivil or downright toxic people, but even the best and happiest organizations have their share of them. Toxic workplace behavior lowers overall productivity and performance, affects loyalty and motivation, and opens up the organization to lawsuits and public defamation. To actually change employee behavior for the better, companies should consider investing in training people skills.

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A recent Harvard Business School study of more than 60,000 employees clearly demonstrated this need for workplace behavior training. It revealed that uncivil behavior in work environments can cost companies millions. Nearly half the employees subjected to incivility “decreased their work effort” and deliberately spent less time at work. Another 38 percent “intentionally decreased” the quality of their work, a quarter admitted to taking their frustrations out on customers, and over 10 percent resigned from jobs due to uncivil treatment.

Unfortunately, most corporate behavior training programs are too dry and fail to address or to engage employees in a meaningful way.

“Most corporate training is truly bad,” says Karen Edwards, vice-president of marketing for Stevie-winner Media Partners, a learning and development organization based in Bellevue, Washington, United States.

Media Partners_logoMedia Partners produces story-based, cinematic-quality, engaging training films to address challenging topics, such as sexual harassment, bullying, and workplace violence.

“Most people are surprised to know there really is good, engaging training on some of the toughest topics. With our programs, employees don’t yawn, roll their eyes, or fall asleep,” says Edwards.

Media Partners is one of a handful of learning organizations that are leveraging the power of storytelling to create more high-performing, respectful workplaces.

Why Use Storytelling?

Neuroscientist Paul Zak and his team work extensively on the physiological and behavioral effects of storytelling. Through a recent experiment, they concluded that the more a story resonates with a person, the more likely it is to modify behavior.

While the power of storytelling is only being scientifically proven now, it has been used traditionally and culturally as a behavioral modification tool for centuries. Most people grow up on a healthy diet of stories, which consciously or subconsciously shapes the way they interact with others.

“Nature shaped us to be ultra-social, and hence to be sharply attentive to character and plot. We are adapted to physiologically interact with stories,” writes Jay Bhalla in a Scientific American article titled “It Is in Our Nature to Need Stories.”

It makes perfect sense, therefore, that organizations should utilize storytelling to create positive behavioral changes in employees.

Show, Don’t Tell

Learning and development organizations typically deliver training programs either textually or orally. This means employees either have to read through tomes of textual material or to sit through presentations and lectures, many of which they’d rather not attend.

It’s not too difficult, therefore, to see why companies like Media Partners are veering toward video as the training medium of choice. Videos are one of the most compelling ways to engage people, and they are being consumed on a massive scale. Mobile video consumption is rising 100 percent every year, over 50 percent of people watch videos online every day, and almost 60 percent of senior executives say that, if there are both text and video options about a topic on one page, they prefer to watch the video (Forbes).

Media Partners has leveraged video-based storytelling to deliver over 150 original, high-quality training videos that creatively address workplace behavioral issues.

Their unique approach to workplace training led to a Silver Stevie win in the Training Video category at the 17th Annual American Business Awards®, 2019, for their training video titled “Once & for All: Stopping Sexual Harassment at Work.”

Interested in entering The American Business Awards this year? The entry deadline is February 12, 2020. 

Request the entry kit here.

Tags: The American Business Awards, video awards

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