What’s in a name?
In employee engagement, some people make their mark while others sign their name. I believe the key is to sign your name.
Engagement thrives when infused with playfulness. In the spirit of playfulness I have created an acronym, based on my last name. The acronym outlines 6 powerful keys I apply to unlock superior performance and achieve full engagement. Because the key is my own name it is easy to remember and I am fully integrated into the process of engagement.
At the end of the article I will encourage you to develop your own signature approach to engagement.
The ZINGER Signature:
Z is for Zest. Zest was the name for a brand of soap that was famous for not leaving a soap film and making you feel squeaky clean. When we work with zest we experience gusto – vigorous and enthusiastic enjoyment. With zest in my work I wash away lethargy and disengagement, I clean up on tasks needing my energy and attention, and I don’t leave a soap film!
I is for Interaction. The specific interaction I seek are the high quality interactions profiled by Jane Dutton that both energize and engage. High quality interactions (HQI) are based on positive regard, trust, and active connection. We are present and genuine as the HQI infuses both participants in the interaction with greater vitality, giving them more energy and capacity to work. HQIs can take place in seconds, are powerful in their simplicity, and we have thousands of opportunities each day to engage in them. I monitor and strive to maintain frequent high quality interactions every day.
N is for Nourishment. I am nourished by performances that feed both my personal and professional development. I target projects and opportunities that go beyond putting bread on the table and create an experience of psychological nourishment and genuine satisfaction. My barometer for nourishing performances is when I would perform the work even if no one was paying me.
G is for Gratitude. Engagement is anemic at work when we feel a sense of entitlement. Gratitude connects us with others. A sense of gratitude has been shown by researchers Robert Emmons and Mike McCullough to greatly increase joy, happiness, and life satisfaction. I often think about who I am so thankful for to be able to do the work I perform. I frequently dedicate a day of work or a specific task to someone who helped me be who I am today. My gratitude ranges from my parents and family to teachers, mentors, coaches, and clients.
E is for Energy. Energy is the raw matter for engagement. Physical energy provides the fuel for a large quantity of engaging tasks, mental energy gives focus to work, emotional energy provides the experience of quality in engagement, while spiritual energy gives engagement force and purpose beyond us. I work at balancing and leveraging my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual energy in the service of full engagement for the benefit of others, the organization, and myself.
R is for Resources. Our ability to transform our personal resources into work is the mainstay of engagement. Many people I work with fail to see or apply their vast resources – from strengths, skills, ability, and knowledge to experiences, competencies and relationships. I keep focused on my resources and I challenge myself to continually leverage these resources in my work.
ZINGER stands for the unique keys of engagement achieved through Zest, Involvement, Nourishment, Gratitude, Energy, and Resourcefulness. My name acts as a personal search engine as I accelerate these drivers of engagement at work.
- Use your last name to create a unique personal engagement acronym.
- If you work with someone who is disengaged, use their last name to develop an action plan to facilitate their engagement.
- Perhaps you have a short last name and need just a bit more to be fully engaged. In that case – buy a vowel. I suggest buying an “I” to foster initiative and industry as you take personal ownership of your own engagement.
Who said there is no I in engagement?