Who We Are

The Engagement Performance Group (EPG) is a division of Merit Corporation, a consulting, change management, and skills training company. The EPG division was formed in response to the growing demand for a simple and systematic approach to building and enhancing a positive corporate culture in contact centers, one that provides higher levels of employee engagement and higher levels of customer engagement and loyalty. EPG provides contact center leaders and agents with the emotional and social intelligence skills needed to create exceptional customer experiences.


For many years Merit has specialized in change management, working with organizations that want to refocus or enhance their corporate culture. The EPG division evolved from this work. Several years ago, Ted Anstedt, CEO of Merit, took a sabbatical and returned to his alma mater, Stanford University, to research the latest trends in neuroscience and applied psychology. At Stanford, he worked with Dr. Laura Delizonna to develop a series of courses for Stanford Continuing Studies (SCS).

The Stanford courses focus on the application of the insights from Positive Psychology to the challenges of contemporary life and business. This yearlong series of courses includes Emotional Intelligence, Social Intelligence, Strategic Happiness: How to Thrive at Work, Mindful Leadership, and Thrive: Self-Coaching for Happiness and Success. The courses have become some of the most popular courses offered by SCS. 

In addition to regular Stanford students, the courses are attended by executives, managers, and employees of many Silicon Valley companies including Apple, Google, Facebook, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Stanford Hospital, Stanford Business School, etc. The thousands of students who have taken the courses over the years have provided a great deal of insight on the best practices that work in various organizational environments.

Insights from the Stanford Courses were combined with the insights from the Merit change management consulting when one of Merit’s previous clients, the head of Scotiabank’s Canadian Call Centers, requested some help.

He asked if Merit could use the Merit change management process to help him to shift the cultures of his call centers from one focused on extremely high levels of customer service to one focused on customer service plus employee engagement, customer engagement, and loyalty.

He said that their extensive research indicated that even though Scotiabank scored consistently higher in customer service than hundreds of other call centers in North America, this did not necessarily lead to the highest levels of employee engagement, customer engagement, and loyalty. 

His objective was to increase customer loyalty, and the research indicated that his people needed to use higher levels of emotional and social intelligence in their interactions with their customers and colleagues in order to create loyalty. He asked us if we could use our change management process, our leadership development process, and our emotional and social intelligence programs to assist him to shift his culture from one focused on service excellence to one focused on both service excellence and customer engagement and loyalty. 

Working closely with the customer engagement project leadership, we provided a culture change process for Scotiabank, which was delivered under the name of customer “CARE.” The program was successfully rolled out throughout Canada, Mexico, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic, and the skills and practices taught in the program have become part of their Customer Experience Model (CEM) and their culture.

The integration of the Merit change management process, the Merit leadership development process, and the Stanford emotional and social intelligence skills development process, was so successful in the Call Center environment, that Merit formed Engagement Performance Group (EPG) division to focus exclusively on delivering the Customer Engagement Culture Process and Products to the contact center environment.


One of the most important understandings that we gained from our years working with companies who were going through organizational change and consciously re-creating their organizational cultures, is that communication, leadership, and credible role models are key elements in creating the desired culture.

"Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence." 
~ Sheryl Sandberg


We have learned to focus on creating cultural leaders at all levels of the enterprise—peer leaders, team leaders, supervisors, managers, professional specialists, and executives. Leadership engagement at all levels is key to creating a culture of engagement.


Another key understanding that we gained from our years working with companies who were consciously re-creating their organizational culture is that leaders at all levels need to understand the purpose and importance of where they are going and why.

They need to own the vision and the goals of the engagement culture.

And, they need to have the insights into best practices, the skills, the tools, and the techniques needed to create and maintain an engagement culture.

"The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born—that there is a genetic factor
to leadership. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born." 

~ Warren Bennis



Leaders at all levels can be effectively trained to create, maintain, and enhance a culture of engagement. 

Our approach places the emphasis not on the training of general concepts, but on the creation of specific tools and techniques that will work in your specific environment, and on the development of specific insights, skills, and behaviors that will lead to higher levels of employee and customer engagement.

Learn By Doing
~ Aristotle


Our approach is based upon the principle of learning by doing. Over 2500 years ago Aristotle said, “For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.” If you talk with a sports psychologist, an NFL, NBA, or AHL coach, or a Cognitive Behavioral Psychologist, you will hear them say something similar—we learn, and we change our behavior, by doing and practice. EPG has built this principle into its process, its tools, and its skill building programs.


Our approach is to assist our clients to build their engagement culture resources that continue to be used long after we have worked together. We provide a wide array of resources that allow individuals, teams, leaders, and the enterprise to continue to “ Learn by Doing.” A number of these resources are listed below.

Your EPG Resources

For Your Culture of Engagement
  • Culture Analysis
  • Implementation Plan and Process
  • Communication Plan and Process
  • Engagement Best Practices Tool Kits
For Engagement Leaders
  • Emotional and Social Intelligence Tools and Techniques
  • Powerful, Emotionally Engaging Leadership Certification Program
  • Leading Engagement Leadership Guides
  • Engagement Leadership Skills developed in Leadership Team
  • Engagement Continuity System
  • Exceptional Engagement Conversations Call Library
  • Coaching Tools for Leaders available on EPG Website
For Engaged Agents
  • Powerful, Emotionally Engaging Contact Center Agent Certification Program
  • Contact Center Agents Skills Workbooks
  • Contact Center Agents Coaching Tools
  • Self-Coaching Tools for Contact Center Agents on EPG Website
  • Design suggestions for New-Hire Training in Engagement Skills


EPG is a team of consultants who provide a simple, engaging, systematic, tailored, and sustainable process for building and enhancing the employee and customer engagement culture.

SIMPLE: Our Approach is simple and easy to implement. We provide:

  • A Step-by-Step Process
  • Best Practices Models
  • Customer Loyalty Skills Toolkit
  • Customer Loyalty Skills Program
  • Customer Loyalty Coaching and Leadership Programs

ENGAGING: Our Approach is designed to demonstrate by example the principles of engagement by engaging leaders at all levels and the entire Contact Center Team:

  • Engage Senior Management
  • Engage Managers
  • Engage Customer Service and Sales Personnel

SYSTEMATIC: Our Approach takes a logical and research based approach to the development of an engagement culture:

  • Develop a Preliminary Engagement Culture Plan
  • Communicate the Plan and the Process
  • Develop Coaching Engagement Skills in Managers
  • Develop Leadership Skills in Managers
  • Provide Leaders with Tools to Enhance the Engagement Environment
  • Develop Customer Engagement Skills in Agents
  • Embed the Engagement Behaviors in the Organization

TAILORED: Our Approach is tailored to your environment:

  • Step-by-Step Process tailored to your environment.
  • Best Practices tailored to your environment.
  • Customer Engagement Skills Toolkit tailored to your environment.
  • Customer Engagement Skills Cases tailored to your environment.
  • Customer Engagement Coaching and Leadership Toolkits tailored to your environment.

SUSTAINABLE: Our systematic approach and continuity program ensures that the concepts, skills, tools, and techniques become part of your engagement culture:

  • Best Practices Models
  • Engagement Culture Continuity System
  • Customer Engagement Skills Toolkits
  • Skilled Engagement Coaches and Coaching System
  • Skilled Engagement Leaders and Engagement Management System
  • Systematic Engagement Culture Enhancements