The word engagement brings more questions to mind than answers. Especially to anyone that has technology as a foundational aspect of their position.

We throw the word around in the market as though there’s a uniform definition. There isn’t.

Is it:

Engagement marketing?

Content engagement?

Social engagement?

Sales engagement?

Candidate engagement?

Customer engagement?

Product engagement?

User engagement?

Employee engagement?

Process engagement?

I could go on.

Employee engagement, in its classic definition, involving an annual survey and 11 months of waiting to see how we did with last year’s initiatives, is an easy target and ripe for disruption. How we measure engagement is being re-written. If you are looking at one form of engagement in a silo, you’re doing it wrong. Innovators (both HR practitioners, line executives, the C-suite, and HR tech vendors) are looking at what aspects of engagement are important to their company, or even to distinct parts of it, and monitoring that. The kind of engagement I look to measure in sales is different than on the shop floor.

Engagement is also different by market segment. What a 30,000 employee pharmaceutical firm looks at with complexity and science as engagement is a far cry from what a 150 person high growth media technology startup, for example. The kind of technology, process, and approach to engagement is different depending on your size and your industry.

This year we’ll see new engagement platforms and point solutions battle it out this year. Look for more big funding rounds at firms like Glint, more acquisitions of firms like Related Matters, and for more innovators like BlackBookHR or cFactor Works disrupting the status quo in HR.