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Help Yourself to The 10 Best Free and Fantastic Employee Engagement Resources

Fantastic Free Employee Engagement Resources (plus a bonus resource).

I am celebrating my 61st birthday today. At my age, I don’t need any presents but I’d like to give some, so here are 11 employee engagement presents for you.



  1. The Power of Employee Engagement: Booklet on the Pyramid of Employee Engagement.
  2. Engage for Success: Enhancing Performance Through Employee Engagement.
  3. The Top Tens of Employee Engagement.
  4. Zengage: How to Get More Into Your Work to Get More Out of Your Work.
  5. Waggle: 39 Ways to Improve Human Organizations, Work and Engagement
  6. Employee Engagement: 72 Small Actions for Big Results
  7. Assorted Zingers: Poems and Cartoon to Take a Bite Out of Work.
  8. Engaging Questions: The Question is the Answer
  9. Primers for Engaging Conversations
  10. 22 Tools to Overcome Grumpiness: How Not to be Grumpy at Work (or in the rest of your life)
  11. Bonus: 15 Cartoons for 2015

Here is a bonus bonus resource for anyone interested in using gamification for managers: Game On

David Zinger Deed Image

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert.

Employee Engagement: 10 Ways You Can Flourish with Nourishing Work

Work can make you well – Really!

10 Ways to Flourish with Nourishing Work

(The reading time for this post is 5 minutes and 30 seconds)

Here are 3 reasons why you should read this post :

  1. You will build your wellbeing toolkit by developing familiarity with 10 ways to flourish at work.
  2. You will be given helpful links and resources to go further into learning about wellbeing.
  3. You are one of the first people to gain access to the free illustrated e-book on 22 Tools to Overcome Grumpiness.

Introduction. Here are 10 ways you can flourish by creating nourishing work. Embrace these ways as invitations to flourish. They are not rules or tips you must follow. You are the expert on your own wellbeing. I trust these ways will give you a nudge in the right direction. The 10 ways offer a pathway to wellbeing through well-doing because specific actions are strong triggers to install and sustain wellbeing at work. This post was created in conjunction with a one hour session I facilitated for Nurses Week at Winnipeg’s Heath Sciences Centre on May 11th.

Start your day off right. Establish a solid morning routine that gets you out of bed on the right foot. Perhaps you go for a jog first thing in the morning. Or you sit by the fireplace and hug a cup of coffee. Maybe you write for 20 minutes. Or you help your children pack their lunches for school. The specifics of your routine matter less than having a routine that effectively and efficiently triggers engaged wellbeing for you. I encourage you to read a post on my morning routine and follow this up by reading a new morning routine from someone each week at My Morning Routine.  Other people’s routines give clues and cues on how to construct a morning routine that works for us.

Begin each day at work with the double endings in mind. Stephen Covey said, “begin with the end in mind” while William Bridges said that all transitions begin with an end. Know the results you want from your work and also determine what must end for those results to be achieved. Take one or two minutes every day to determine the results you are working towards that week while also attending to what must end for wellbeing at work to begin. Perhaps you want to finish a project this week and you must stop focusing on a nonproductive task. Perhaps you want to improve patient safety and what must end is a strained relationship with your manager. Know your end (result) and your endings (what must stop).

Install PERMAnent wellbeing. I don’t care for the term positive psychology, it sounds too much like saccharine and pop psychology. I know that is not the case but I know many people are dismissive of positive psychology because of this. I appreciate the research behind this discipline, especially the work of Martin Seligman. Work offers opportunities for both happiness and wellbeing right inside the very work itself. Focus your work on building and sustaining PERMAnent flourishng with:  Positive emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Accomplishment.

Create meaning and purpose for your work. Know why you work. Perhaps you work because you love your hospital. Perhaps you work because you care about patients. Perhaps you work to give your family the best life possible. Perhaps you work because work enriches you with relationships and achievement. We do not necessarily share the same why of working. I encourage you to determine your meaning. Here is my response to the meaning of life and here is the response of so many others. Use these sources to create a strong scaffold of meaning to support you and your work. As the Dalai Lama declared, “The question is not to know what is the meaning of life, but what meaning I can give to my life.”

Don’t forget to wear your SCARF at work. David Rock knows about your brain at work. When we align our work with SCARF (Status, Consistency, Autonomy, Relatedness and Fairness) our work – works better. Here is a brief article outlining the SCARF model at work. Rock’s book on Your Brain at Work is an insightful book on how to improve your day with your brain in mind by following one couple as they proceed through their day and how they could improve their day if they made better use of their brains.

Pair Mindfulness-East with Mindfulness-West. Mindfulness has been sweeping through workplaces around the globe. Did you know there are two types of mindfulness? Mindfulness-East is the perspective of being aware in each moment of what you are doing without judgement. Mindfulness-West, developed by Harvard psychologist Ellen Langer teaches how to engage by actively noticing novelty and distinctions. Noticing novelty and distinction engages you and brings new life to your day.

Eliminate the negative. Baumeister and others have shown that bad is stronger than good. Before you get busy trying to add additional things in your day as the pathway to wellbeing ensure you address your challenges and bad events. Some researchers suggest that bad is 2 or 3 times stronger than good. When something bad happens do not be surprised at how it can knock you off kilter and how it begins to feel so permanent, pervasive, and personal. Remember to eliminate the negative before accentuating the positive.

Take the 90 second pause. Jill Bolte Taylor a neuroscience researcher, who also suffered a stroke, suggested that the shelf life of an emotion is 90-seconds. This would mean that upset or negative emotions last only about 90 seconds, yet for many of us they seem to last a lifetime. Give yourself 90 seconds from the moment you feel a negative emotion before you act on that emotion. Also know that you must feed negative emotions every 90 seconds to keep them alive. We feed it with fragments of tragic stories, feelings of being wronged, and a multitude of tiny, almost unconscious mechanisms, to keep being upset. If you remain upset ninety seconds after the initial emotion it is essential to ask yourself: “How am I feeding my upset to keep it alive?”

Sharpen progress while making setbacks dull. Most of us fail to maximize the benefits of progress and minimize the impact of setbacks. Progress and setbacks are so pervasive at work and daily life that we often fail to fully notice their impact. End each day by taking a minute to notice what stood out for you that day. When progress stands out ensure you let it soak in, celebrate it, and determine ways to extend it. When setbacks stand out ensure you determine what you can do next, how you might learn from it, or what you can do to let it go. Know that work and life often resemble a real-life game of snakes and ladders and our job is to climb ladders and squish snakes.

Use 22 tools to exit from grumpiness. Does work make you grumpy or do you find yourself surrounded by grumpy people?. I just completed an e-book, illustrated by John Junson, on 22 Tools to Overcome Grumpiness. Click on the cover below to enjoy this short, yet engaging, book.

22 Tools to Overcome Grumpiness Cover

A Short Reading List. Here are 9 books that can improve your motivation and skills to flourish with nourishing work:

  • Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer, The Progress Principle.
  • Ellen Langer, Mindfulness.
  • David Rock, Your Brain at Work.
  • Steven Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
  • Tom Rath, Are You Fully Charged?
  • William Bridges, Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes.
  • Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
  • Martin Seligman, Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being
  • Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wherever You Go There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation is Everyday Life.

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada who works around the globe helping organizations and individuals improve work engagement and engaged wellbeing.

Employee Engagement Speaker - David Zinger

Employee Engagement: Who is Your People Artist?

People Artists draw out the best in others. It is our debt. The debt we owe to the people who drew out the best in us. In the 48 second video below an attendee at the HRPA conference in Toronto acknowledges her People Artist. Watch the video and imagine you are in front of the camera asked to answer the following question:

Who drew out the best in you and how specifically did they do this?

People Artists 5 from David Zinger on Vimeo.

Special offer

During the LEAP into People Artistry Campaign we will be selling 10 or more copies of People Artists: Drawing Out the Best in Others at Work for just $14.95 a copy plus shipping. If you order 100 or more copies the price is reduced to $9.95 plus shipping. People Artists makes a great gift or recognition tool to give to all your supervisors, managers, and leaders.  This is a phenomenal value for this beautiful hardcover book full of images and insights to bring the people you work with fully to life! You will learn lessons from 37 People Artists and how to apply the 5 tools of People Artistry in your work.

To preview the book sample, click hereTo order 10 or more copies of the book contact me directly and I will set this up for you:

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert. He is working at becoming a better People Artist each and every day.


Crack Open Work With The Employee Engagement Six Pack

We are personally responsible for our own engagement.


Even if we accept, personal responsibility for engagement and we have the will to engage, we can benefit from the skills of engagement.

Learn the skills of:

  1. With
  2. Treasure
  3. Trigger
  4. Study
  5. Foster
  6. Play

Access my latest post on the Halogen TalentSpace blog, click here.

David Zinger is a global employee engagement speaker and expert.

Employee Engagement: People Artists See Behind Their Own Lenses

How to Leap into People Artistry

Please take 3 minutes to view this short video about six photographers being given six different stories about the man they are asked to photograph. Their story influences the shot they take.

Are you any different?

As People Artists we don’t really see people as they are, we see them as they are in relationship to us and the stories we have about them inside our head.

Tomorrow’s Action Plan: When you arrive at work tomorrow, do your best to either wipe your slate clean, challenge the negative stories you have about another, or simply assume the best about each person you meet and do your best to draw out the best you see.

I trust with this exercise you will recognize that being a good People Artist is as much an inside job as an outward expression.

Special offer

During the LEAP into People Artistry Campaign we will be selling 10 or more copies of People Artists: Drawing Out the Best in Others at Work for just $14.95 a copy plus shipping. Imagine starting a positive epidemic of People Artistry where you work for under $150 or a positive tsunami of artistry by purchasing 100 books for less than $1000, as 100 or more books is just $9.95 per book. This is less than the price you would pay to send just one person to one workshop!

People Artists is more than a book, it is a gift you give to others and a debt you repay to those who drew out the best in you.

This is a phenomenal value for this beautiful hardcover book full of images and insights to bring the people you work with fully to life! I think of this book as a powerful yet easy read for busy people — a picture book for adults, that helps you get the picture on engagement and recognition in your workplace.

You will learn lessons from 37 other People Artists and you will learn to apply the 5 tools of People Artistry in your own life and work.

People Artists makes a great gift or recognition tool to give to all your supervisors, managers, and leaders. Unleash art from gallery walls and infuse people artistry into your workplace to make work better for all.

To preview the book sample, click here.

To order 10 or more copies of the book contact me directly and I will set this up for you:

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert. He is working at becoming a better People Artist each day.

Employee Engagement: Leap Into People Artistry

Are you ready to Leap Into People Artistry?

People Artists Cover

From Ground Hog Day on February 2nd (Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow – hopefully an early spring) until leap year day February 29 I am focusing 4 weeks on People Artistry.  I encourage you to get involved in drawing out the best in others at work and home.

Today I encourage you to stop seeing shadows at work and look closely and carefully at who you work with. Go out of your way to draw out the best from 3 people today. As you make their day you will find that you are also making yours.

Great offer: During the LEAP into People Artistry Campaign we will be selling 10 or more copies of People Artists: Drawing Out the Best in Others at Work for just $14.95 a copy plus shipping. This is a phenomenal value for this beautiful hardcover book full of images and insights to bring the people you work with fully to life! People Artists makes a great gift or recognition tool to give to all your supervisors, managers, and leaders. Unleash art from gallery walls and infuse people artistry into your workplace to make work better for all.

To preview the book sample, click here.

To order 10 or more copies of the book contact me directly and I will set this up for you:

Employee Engagement Network Buzz – Our Eighth Anniversary Today!

What a buzz…

I started the Employee Engagement Network 8 years ago to gather 20 or 30 people to talk about employee engagement. We are now at 6941 members.

It was a very cold Saturday in Winnipeg, Canada and I did not want “to go outside and play!” It has been a joy, honor and pleasure to play with ideas and perspective on work, management, leadership and employee engagement with the network for the past 8 years.

I look forward to our next 8 years. Visit us now at:


Employee Engagement and Gamification

Winnipeg Lunch and Learn, March 15, 2016 in conjunction with MCCA

Managers face serious tasks, problems, and challenges. They require a fully
engaged workforce, yet Gallup has revealed that engagement levels may be
as low as 30 percent around the globe. Gamification is rapidly being
integrated into our contemporary ways of working, along with employee
engagement and social media. Join David Zinger on March 15, 2016 at MCCA’s Lunch and Learn to find out how gamification plays into employee engagement!

Registration Options:

On or before

January 31


January 31

One Ticket Three Tickets One Ticket Three Tickets
   Member    $59    $125    $69    $155
Non Member    $89    $193    $99   



To read David Zinger’s cover article for ASTD on gamification for managers click this link: A Primer on Gamification for Managers

David Zinger is an employee engagement expert and speaker who believes that gamification helps us a lot with the inevitable progress and setback experiences at work.

A Step Towards Infusing Employee Engagement Into Performance Management

I have been advocating for the infusion of the many silos of understanding work, from employee engagement and performance management to wellbeing and making progress. This week the US government advocated for putting employee engagement into performance management with the Plus. I think this is a step in the right direction when far too many of us have far too much to do and so little time to do it.  I have a concern with using the term plus as it makes it seem you are adding more but if it moves to infusion and synergy of work, I am all for it.

Below is a tweet connecting to the post I wrote about this on LinkedIn

David Zinger from Winnipeg, Canada, is a global employee engagement speaker and expert.

Are You Prepared for the End of Employee Engagement?

The End of Employee Engagement: David Zinger’s chapter in the ASTD Management Development Handbook

Creative Commons:

Creative Commons:

In 2012 I wrote a chapter on employee engagement for Lisa Haneberg’s (2012) The ASTD Management Development Handbook.

Here is the opening paragraph:

We need to put an end to employee engagement. I can imagine I hear a cadre of managers cheering at the suggested end of another task on their bulging to-do list while another group of managers look quizzically at the statement because they are just launching employee engagement efforts in their organization after receiving dismal survey results paired with the strong business case for engagement. Employee engagement needs to end by being woven into the fabric of work so that it does not fade away or be abandoned when managers are cajoled by management consultants to jump on the latest and greatest new bandwagon.

Some of my thinking has changed in the past 4 years and I use a different model of engagement based on the 10 elements of engagement but I encourage you to read this chapter as it can help you prepare for a happy ending!

Click on this link to Chapter 26 Engaging Management: Put an End to Employee Engagement or click on the cover below to read the chapter.

Employee Engagement ASTD Book Chapter Cover

Let’s ensure employee engagement ends well.  The term, employee engagement, was necessary as a focal point to move us towards more connected and integrated work but ultimately engagement is not an extra heaped on a manager’s long list of duties, rather management must be engaging and engagement is work.

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert.

Employee Engagement: What I Learned from Why We Work

Why We Work by Barry Schwartz

Suggested reading time = One minute and eleven seconds

Why We Work Barry Schwartz

Over the Christmas holidays I read Barry Schwartz’s book on Why We Work.  I have decided to tightly focus my next 4 years on teaching about work and employee engagement. Having taught Educational Psychology at the University of Manitoba for twenty-five years, I think a vital quality of a good teacher is to be a good learner. To this end, I am studying rather than just reading a variety of book and I am also taking a number of courses on Coursera. I believe a good teacher should always stay in touch with what it feels like to be a learner.

I have appreciated Barry’s writing since his book on The Paradox of Choice. His new book, Why We Work, is a pithy 90 page TEDBooks examining meaning and work. I appreciate how Schwartz debunked the role of pay and incentives as the only reason we work and how incentives can interfere with our why of work. He does a fine job of outlining Amy Wrzesniewski’s work on job, career, calling, and job crafting through the case of Luke, a hospital custodian. I liked the section about when we ask people what they do they don’t usually tell us their job description, they offer us a story.

I did not learn anything new from the book but I received a valuable reminder of the power of meaning, autonomy, choice, and engagement in making work meaningful.

Learning often entails relearning what we already knew but have lost sight of. Learning is often more about having good questions rather than ready made answers. So here is my question for you:

Why do you work?

David Zinger is an employee engagement educator, expert, and speaker.

Can you solve the employee engagement equation?

What’s your answer to employee engagement?


Many of us are puzzled trying to solve this engagement equation:

Work + ? = Employee Engagement

What variable must we add to work to increase engagement? The puzzle has offered a vast and confusing array of suggestions and solutions. I’d like to guide you through some of the proposed solutions, and encourage you at the end of this post to write your own equation to solve employee engagement.

To read my latest blog post at the Talent Space Blog click here

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker, educator, and global expert.


What is your 2020 vision for employee engagement?

Buckets of Pearls

Buckets of Pearls (Istanbul, David Zinger, 2015)

On January 1, of 2016 we will have four years or 1460 + 1 days until the year 2020. What are you going to do during this period? I would love to offer you some pearls of wisdom but I am settling for sharing my intention for the next four years and trust it may spark your intention.

I encourage you to engage along with me, for the best is yet to be.

It is time to fulfill the perfect vision for employee engagement where engagement will benefit all. Rather than outline the perfect vision for you (as no doubt there will be many flavours, shades, and nuances), I challenge you to think:

What would you like to see for engagement in the next 4 years and what will you need to do every day to get you there?

At 61 years of age, I have decided to return to what I know and to work with it in new ways. To quote T. S. Eliot:

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

For 25 years I taught Educational Psychology and Counseling Psychology at the University of Manitoba in Canada. I loved teaching. Over the past few months I have awakened from a lengthy educational slumber or hibernation. My love of teaching is not in the past tense, I still love teaching and perhaps more now than ever after a lengthy hiatus. It is time to engage fully with the teacher I already am.

Creative Commons:

Creative Commons:

Here is what you can expect from me for the next 1461 days. Teaching and lots of it. In addition, good teachers are first and foremost voracious learners.

I will work stop consuming information and replace that as learning from information. I will participate in courses and take a variety of lessons to keep the feeling of what it is like to be a learner.

I will ensure that the people I encounter become my teachers. I wrote a number of posts about what Turkey taught me about employee engagement, I will learn from my environment and context.

I have always been uneasy with the term professional speaker unless it referred to JBL, Harmon Karden or BOSE speakers and their very professional sound. I see myself more as a professional listener! Yes, I will speak, and still use the designation speaker, but I trust my talking will be infused with conversations, facilitations, and in ways that create dialogue and sparks learning.

My teaching for 25 years, for the most part, was housed in a university system.  My focus was on education and counselling while my focus for the next 4 years will be more on engagement, work, management, and leadership. I enjoyed teaching at university but it is time to take more control of teaching and reach out to a broader global audience. I will move much of my teaching to online courses, global conferences, and in house education.

I will strive to bring People Artistry to my work.

People Artists Cover

I am inspired by John Steinbeck’s statement:

I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit.

David Zinger is an employee engagement educator, speaker, and expert. He is devoting the next four years to improving employee, work, manager, and leader engagement through education!

Employee Engagement: What’s Your Moonshot?

What's Your Moon Shot?

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and global expert.

Employee Engagement: Can you make the mundane engaging?

Check out my short post today on LinkedIN by Duane Bray on how IDEO strives to make the mundane engaging. There is also a short slide show included on The Little Book of IDEO. To read the post click on the picture by Peter W. Hart or click here.


Image by Peter W. Hart


David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert.

Employee Engagement: Are You A Toasted Marshmallow?

Don’t get burnt at work by lacking the vital human skills of leadership.


I hate the term soft skills. Here is my latest post on LinkedIn on why we should stop referring to the human skills at work as soft skills

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker, educator, and consultant. He only enjoys toasted marshmallows when he is camping!

Employee Engagement: Gathering is Our Work

3 Men in a Boat

3 Men in a Boat

Do you gather before you start your work? Do you see gathering as part of work.

In Turkey, I watched these three men gather before they began to get their boat ready to cast off. They seemed so connected and joined being with each other.

I encourage you to gather before you work by taking time to check-in with each other or to huddle or to chat a bit over the phone or text a bit on the computer. We do not get work done through relationships, we get work done with relationships so remember that relationships, not just tasks, are your work.

David Zinger is an employee engagement expert and speaker who believes engagement can help us to make both relationships and results more robust.

Employee Engagement Lesson From Pamukkale, Turkey: Not Everything is as it Seems

As a Canadian I tend to believe that everything that is white is snow or ice.


While in Turkey this November, my wife and I visited Pamukkale. Pamukkale means cotton castle. It seemed that we were back in Canada near a glacier. Yet, this was a deception caused by the white terraces composed of travertine,  a sedimentary rock deposited by water from the hot springs.  This was not the cold glacial water I have experienced in Canada — this was warm water from the hot springs.

To bring this back to the field of employee engagement, it is important to remember that not everything is as it seems. Sometimes surveys don’t just measure engagement they disengage employees and create cynicism. We sometimes create discouragement when we keep broadcasting that our workplace is a great place to work when we know even great workplaces are not great for everyone.

Sometimes we condone disengagement by not having conversations – disengagement should be a trigger for a conversation not a punishable offence. Sometimes we say we want engagement but we fail to devote any time, resources, or energy to improving engagement.

Leaders can be like kids in the candy store who want to eat everything, including the cotton candy, even though there is no more room to eat another bite of anything. In a world where we have gone from doing more with less to everything with nothing we must carefully consider what we can fully work on with our limited time.

The next time you look at employee engagement in your organization, or for yourself, take a second careful look because not everything is as it seems.

David Zinger is a global employee engagement expert and speaker who recently completed his fourth book, People Artists: Drawing Out the Best in Others.

Employee Engagement: The Revenge of the Management Jargon Slayer

John Junson is approaching his 500th cartoon on employee engagement.

He returns this week as the management jargon slayer. He even gave me a byline which makes me feel like Sancho Panza helping Don Quixote tilt against the windmills of useless management speak.

Today At Work 491

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert (yes, I know employee engagement is jargon but I simply define it as: good work, done well, with others, every day.) John Junson does good work day after day. He will approach 500 cartoons early in 2016.

People Artists See

I was so pleased during the last two weeks with the response to the launch of People Artists: Drawing Out the Best in Others at Work.

People Artists See. We see people. It is one of our 5 fundamental tools. I encourage you this week to really see others.

To learn more about the book visit

Peter W. Hart, my co-author’s art is inspirational. During the launch at his gallery in Montreal I was captivated by the following image from one of his pictures. I encourage you to see the image as a springboard and be encouraged to be captivated by the people you work with.

20151124_121955 (1)

David Zinger is the co-author of People Artists and an international expert and speaker on employee engagement and People Artistry.

Employee Engagement: Be The Fish

An employee engagement lesson from Turkey

I sometimes think we do too much fishing (surveying) for engagement.


Engagement requires immersion.

As Rumi suggested:

You’re just a small fish;

you can’t live without water.

Don’t think about it,

just throw yourself into this stream.

David Zinger is a global employee engagement speaker and expert.


Book Launch of People Artists in Winnipeg Tonight (November 30th 7PM)

People Artists: Drawing Out the Best in Others at Work by Peter W. Hart and myself is launching at 7PM tonight in Winnipeg at McNally Robinson bookstore in Grant Park.

If you are in Winnipeg join with us for the launch and celebration.

Bookstore Image

David Zinger co-authored People Artists with Peter W. Hart. This is David’s fourth book on work.