Tips a from Stevie Awards Chair on Keeping Employees Engaged

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Mon, May 12, 2014 @ 12:50 PM

Robert Nicoson is Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at Constant Contact®, Inc., in Waltham, Massachusetts. Nicoson is the Chair of the Final Judging Committee for the Human Resources awards categories in The 2014 American Business Awards, the top business awards program in the US.

14 ABA HR Chair smallBob Nicoson has played an essential role in Constant Contact’s impressive growth. In the five years that he’s been with the company, the number of employees has tripled to more than 1,200 across six offices in the U.S. and abroad.  “My focus is making absolutely sure we hire well, and that we connect our people to our mission of helping small business succeed,” he says.  Bob and his team also get creative in ensuring that Constant Contact is an innovative and fun place to work, from regular employee Innovation Jams, to employee Wow! Awards, to a weekly “beer cart,” and more.

We asked Bob for his advice on how companies can find and keep the right employees.  “It’s all about engagement,” Bob told us.  “From the candidate experience right up through alumni status.  The best HR leaders are laser-focused on employee lifecycle strategies that set engagement metric records and promote an environment that supports extraordinary business results.” 

“Getting the basics right and sticking to the vital few priorities—a big challenge!—will lead to breakthrough HR outcomes,” concluded Bob


Constant Contact has evolved from an email marketing company to an online marketing powerhouse, serving the needs of more than 600,000 small businesses globally. The company’s tremendous growth has paralleled its expanding employee base. Amid such dynamic growth, Constant Contact’s human resources team fine-tuned its comprehensive employee program in order to empower all employees to serve as recruiters, to fuel innovation, and to develop leadership skills.  This approach has ultimately fostered a diverse employee base that drives customer success in a work hard/play hard environment.  It also led Constant Contact to win a Gold Stevie® Award for Human Resources Department of the Year in The 2013 American Business Awards.

“The Stevie is a nice badge of honor for our team,” Bob told us.  “It’s helped to build our brand both inside and outside of Constant Contact and has resulted in a number of unsolicited applications for HR professionals who want to join a winning team.”

On being appointed Chair of The 2014 American Business Awards Human Resources Final Judging Committee, Bob commented:  “It’s an honor to serve the Stevie Awards organization to select the ‘best of the best’ HR departments.  I guess that it takes one to know one!” 

Spanning The Globe

While he’s now happily settled in the Boston area and enjoying all things New England, especially Cape Cod, Bob’s career has spanned the globe.  For more than 20 years Bob worked internationally, opening offices in Ireland, the U.K., and Puerto Rico while in executive leadership positions at Scala Business Solutions, The Pioneer Group, and Lotus Development (now Lotus Software).  During that time he also had the opportunity to live for four years in The Netherlands.  His work took him back to the Boston area when he served as Vice President at social networking site Gather, Inc., and as Human Resources Director of the Weston Jesuit School of Theology. 

What keeps him happy at Constant Contact?  “I love being surrounded by really smart people who genuinely enjoy supporting small business success.  And our leadership completely backs our efforts to make sure that Constant Contact continues to be a great place to work.”

On The Fast Track

Bob is excited about the future. “I get stoked by building meaningful engagement programs and services to support an employee population,” he told us, especially when those employees are “on the fast track, are crazy about innovation, and have an affinity and alignment for a common purpose and goals.”

In his free time, Bob is an adventure junkie.  A recent vacation found him hiking Machu Picchu and he’s also backpacked every National Park in the U.S.  For his next trip, he’s off to Bhutan.  So don’t expect to find Bob just sitting around—except when he’s working on the American Business Awards final judging!

About Robert Nicoson:

Bob joined Constant Contact® in June of 2008 and has more than 25 years of experience in human resources leadership and general management. In his role, he oversees all human resources programs, practices, and policies that govern Constant Contact's business needs and culture. Bob also drives executive, cross-functional team, and management leadership and development; strategic workforce planning and staffing; and compensation, performance management, and recognition and reward systems for the company.

Prior to joining Constant Contact, Bob served as vice president at Gather Inc., a social networking site for adults. Before Gather Inc., he was the director of human resources and change management consultant at Weston Jesuit School of Theology and the director of human resources and administration at CertaLogic Inc. He also held executive leadership positions in global human resources at Scala Business Solutions, The Pioneer Group, Inc., and Lotus Development Corp. (now Lotus Software).

Bob holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana State University.

About Constant Contact, Inc.:
Constant Contact helps small businesses do more business. It has been revolutionizing the success formula for small businesses, nonprofits, and associations since 1998, and today works with more than 600,000 customers worldwide. The company offers the only all-in-one online marketing platform that helps small businesses drive repeat business and find new customers. It features multi-channel marketing campaigns (newsletters/announcements, offers/promotions, online listings, events/registration, and feedback) combined with shared content, contacts, and reporting; free award-winning coaching and product support; and integrations with critical business tools—all from a single login. The company’s extensive network of educators, consultants/resellers, technology providers, franchises, and national associations offer further support to help small organizations succeed and grow. Through its Innovation Loft, Constant Contact is fueling the next generation of small business technology.

Topics: hr awards, business awards, American business awards, Constant Contact, Robert Nicoson