From the BlogSubscribe Now

A New Lesson in Employee Engagement with Gratitude to Cappadocia Turkey

Turkey has taught me much about employee engagement. I will be writing more about this over the next few months. I wrote a short post on LinkedIn today on what we can learn about employee engagement by ballooning over Cappadocia. Go there now to learn about the power of wind and lift in our work.

David Zinger is a global employee engagement expert and speaker who teaches individuals and organizations the powerful behavioral elements they can apply immediately to make a difference with engagement. He spoke to 2000 people in Istanbul at a People Management conference. The audience was both beautiful and amazing.

J’aime Paris: A Heartfelt Plea for People Artistry

Written Saturday November 14th in Istanbul the morning after the Paris Massacre

People Artists Cover

We desperately need People Artists. We need people who bring out the best in others. We hear too much about the worst and fail to find, celebrate, and draw out the best. Please join me as a People Artist. Add color to your world to wash away the greyness of disengaged passivity and to obliterate the blackness of hate and terrorism. Be a person who brings out the best in others at work and everywhere else in life rather than a person who destroys, injures, and hurts. Life is too short – draw out the best.

Here is my plea…


Everyone is an artist. Don’t wither. Don’t go negative. Lay claim to the artist you already are. It is time to use your senses. It is time to move beyond yourself and make work matter by ensuring people know that they matter.

Artistry is a gift you give rather than a gift you have. People Artistry is a gift you give to others. It may even go beyond them and touch others you never see or never know. People Artistry is more than a pebble in a pond creating shallow ripples it is a positive explosion of recognition, gratitude, appreciation and engagement. It is connection that destroys mediocrity, passivity, and disengagement. And here’s the ironic thing, when you give the gift you receive the gift of moving beyond yourself and drawing out the best.

Accept the invitation. You don’t have to do this but why would you decline? Why would you ignore what brings out the best. This is your daily hero’s journey. Your dragons are ignorance, busyness, and fear. Your light sabre is to see beyond yourself and to connect like there is no tomorrow. Be like all the people who race to get on every flight at the airport, they can’t seem to wait to store their excess baggage and to claim their seat. Get rid of your excess baggage of fear and disconnection and race into a flight of People Artistry.

You owe a debt. Your debt is to the people who brought out the best in you. Perhaps your grandpa, your mother, your teacher, your brother, your friend, your co-worker, your boss. Don’t fail to pass the torch of drawing out the best from those who drew out the best in you.

You already have the tools. Your tools are not in a box or cabinet. They are you. You have a heart to care. You have ears to listen. You have eyes to see. You have lips to express. You have hands to give.

The time is now. Go ahead. Dwell deeply in the art of being human. Share your work. Enliven the blank canvas at work. Banish invisibility of others. Open your heart. Listen deeply. See beyond. Express fully. Reach far.

People Artistry is in your hands

start now,

embark on the journey,

don’t settle for anything less.

J’aime Paris

. . .

David Zinger is an employee engagement expert and speaker from Canada who is in Istanbul to speak on employee engagement. He is also a practicing People Artist engaged in drawing out the best in others. People Artists: How to Draw Out the Best in Others launches in Montreal and Winnipeg at the end of November.

Employee Engagement: Building Bridges

A lesson from Istanbul Turkey on Employee Engagement

Reading time = 57 seconds

Split Bridge Istanbul

On a Bhosporous ferry ride in Istanbul I saw the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge near the Black Sea. I believe this is an iconic image for work on employee engagement. Employee engagement is connection. We connect employee and employees connect themselves with results, performance, progress, relationships, recognition, moments, strengths, meaning, wellbeing, and energy.

I love how the bridge is being built from both sides. In employee engagement, engagement must be built by both the employee and the organization.

The construction project has much controversy You can read about it here. There is always more than meets the eye in both building real bridges and building bridges between work and engagement.

The gap in the middle of the bridge under construction symbolizes the work that is still needed to achieve full engagement. We will remove the gap as we focus more on both employees and the organization, when we focus on small, simple, structural. significant and sustainable actions and when we refuse to move forward unless employee engagement is for the benefit of all.

Employee Engagement: Invisibility is Not an Option

Banish anonymity and invisibility at work

Invisible Man

Don’t let employees be or believe they are invisible. Be a People Artist and draw out the best from the people you work with. This is accomplished by seeing everyone you work with and letting them know they are seen. We cannot rely on an anonymous survey as our GPS guide to greater employee engagement!

My friend, Don MacPherson, from Modern Survey offered today’s stat of the day: 6% of US employees say they see or talk with their manager once a month or less. This puts micromanaging on its head by suggesting we need a microscope to find the manager.

Managers and all employees: see, connect, converse, engage. Enough said!

People Artists Cover

David Zinger is an employee engagement expert and speaker. He recently wrote People Artists: Drawing Out the Best in Others at Work with Peter W. Hart.

Employee Engagement Is Not A Problem

Employee Engagement: Problem or Experience?


Ultimately to me, engagement is not a problem to be solved. It is an experience to be lived, a result to be achieved, a relationship to be built, and a work-based pathway to well-being. ~ David Zinger

Keep that in mind as you work today. If you want a little more about this read my Linkedin post: Employee Engagement: What’s Your Problem?

David Zinger is an employee engagement expert and global speaker. David will be giving the morning keynote on the pyramid of employee engagement in Istanbul, Turkey this November.

Employee Engagement: People Artists Are Not Weary Travellers!

People Artists Use Their Eyes to See

People Artists Cover

On Friday I was returning to Winnipeg from Montreal. I had an hour before my flight and went to the Air Canada Maple Leaf lounge. As I scanned the lounge the travellers looked so weary and seemed impervious to the hard work of the catering and cleaning staff’s constant work to replenish food and beverages and to keep everything fresh and tidy.

No one in any workplace should ever be invisible!

I always thank the staff as I move around the lounge but I took it upon myself to offer a little extra gestures of appreciation. I grabbed a business card and wrote a sincere note of appreciation for their work and how they made my journey easier and more enjoyable. As I left the lounge I said thank you to the last cleaning person I encountered and handed them my little note.

When I landed in Toronto to catch my transfer flight here is an email I received on my phone:

Thank You Note

Be a People Artist: As you travel through your workplace don’t be weary. Care, Listen, See, Talk, and Give.

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert and the co-author with Peter W. Hart of People Artists: Drawing Out The Best In Others At Work.

Employee Engagement: 11 Years in Social Media and 11 Gifts For You

11 Years of Social Media Work – And 11 Gifts For You!


Today, October 4, 2015, marks my eleventh anniversary of writing, contributing and interacting on social media. It has been an awesome opportunity and privilege to make so many friends and acquaintances over the 11 years through social media. I would not be who I am today without my interactions with you.

I have been involved in social media during every year in my fifties and now I am into my second year in my sixties. I have progressed a lot from writing my first blog post eleven years ago about going to the dentist to thousands of blog posts on employee engagement.

I celebrated my sixty-first birthday ten days ago and in celebration of being 61 and 11 years in social media I offer you 11 fantastic free resources on employee engagement. Enjoy – and look for even better contributions and resources in the next 11 years!

  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. Game On

David Zinger Deed Image

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert celebrating 11 years of social media involvement.

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 and Working with Halogen Software

I am in Ottawa right now at the Halogen Software Conference.

Halogen Software Logo

It was a pleasure yesterday to facilitate a session on employee engagement. Halogen Software was welcoming, supportive, fun, and well-organized. My session went very well as I outlined the pyramid of employee engagement and even had the opportunity to have about 25 participants purchase an advance copy of the new book on People Artists by Peter Hart and myself.

It was an honour to give 3 People Artists awards to Connie Costigan, Melany Gallant, and Zoryana Cherwick for their ability to draw out the best in people through their work on the prolific, helpful and informative Talentspace blog. I think this site is worth a visit at least once a week.

For two and a half years I have written a monthly blog on employee engagement for Halogen. This was my first opportunity to meet them in person and I was impressed about who they are and how they work. Thank you Halogen for making my day!

An Ode to Distraction: The Lighter Side of Employee Engagement

I invite you to enjoy my Linked In post on distraction today. It includes a selfie taken with the Rosetta stone when I was in the British Museum. It also includes a picture of a tricycle that is too small for me to ride.

Click here to read the post and forget what you were supposed to be doing.

The post on Linked In begins:

What are the keys to employee engagement when we are distracted? Fox News  ( I often see a fox in the St. Vital park which is just a block away, and they have some lovely flowers) published an informative post on August 31st …

We should all know our keys. I just lost mine. I know they are around here somewhere. I also wish I could find my to-do list so I could remember what I was supposed to work on this afternoon.  I just can’t remember my password for Google Calendar, hey that’s a cool new logo they are using for Google. I know I put my passwords in a file somewhere (read the full post by clicking here – or did I already say that, I just forgot).

Employee Engagement: Engage the Year Ahead with 2-Simple Rules

Are 2 simple rules powerful enough to guide a year of work and interaction?

Reading time = 2 minutes and 50 seconds

2 Simple Engagement Rules

Simple rules. I have become enamoured with simple rules to guide and govern behavior and actions. It is a bit ironic as I always stated that rules were not engaging but somehow simple rules feels more inviting and not commandment-like at all.

A New Year’s Guide. This post outlines 2 simple rules I am using to guide my work and wellbeing from September 1, 2015 to August 31, 2016. Even at 60 years of age, September 1st. always feels like the first day of the New Year. In my mind and experience, September marks the beginning of the school year in Canada.

Moving on from a 3 word theme. For the past 7 years I have used a 3-word theme to govern the year ahead. I loved the focus and simplicity of it. I was reluctant to give it up but I was looking for a more active approach to the year ahead wedded with specificity. The three word theme was a nice beacon or personal north star while 2-simple rules is a detailed daily road map through work and wellbeing. I am craving a more behavioral action guide for 2015/16. I was planning to write 3 simple rules but in drafting the rules, and my love of small and simple, I decided I only required two rules.

My two daily rules are:

Rule 1: Action – 15

Start and record fifteen 15-minute periods of engaged work or wellbeing sustained with resilient grit.

Rule 2: People Artistry – 5

Draw out the best in others or myself 5 times through connection and expression of appreciation, curiosity, or recognition.

Rule 1 is focused on using short engaged time zones to maximize productivity and well-being. The key moment for me with this simple rule is to just start. I start each period of work or wellbeing by pushing the button on my watch timer already preset for 15 minutes. A second challenge is to sustain engagement for the full 15 minutes. To do this I added resilient grit into the rule. I want to bounce back after inevitable setbacks and I want the grit and gumption to stick with this rule for the year. I know that a big factor in success for me is to keep recording the periods. I don’t need to conduct detailed assessment and analysis but I know that I often become derailed when I stop recording.

Rule 2 is inspired by the new book I wrote with Peter W. Hart on People Artists: Drawing Out the Best in Others at Work. This book will be released in October of 2015. The image on the one page guide at the start of this post is taken from the cover of the book and was painted by Peter Hart. I did not want to just write the book and offer the book to others, I plan to make it a personal daily practice. This rule will bring the concepts and practices of the book to life while also offering a trigger for 5 daily acts of people artistry. Most of those acts will take the form of appreciation, curiosity, or recognition.

Background. Some of  the background for this change in approach from a 3-word theme to 2-simple rules came from the literature on Kaizen and a recent book  by Donald Sull and Kathleeen M. Eisenhardt on, Simple Rules: How to Thrive in a Complex World.

Rule your own world of work, wellbeing and engagement. The primary purpose of this post is to encourage you to develop a few simple rules to improve your work and wellbeing. My rules are not your rules. You are welcome to use mine as a starting point or a launching pad to design your own rules. Later this year and in 2016 I will be writing more about behavioral employee engagement and simple rules. You will learn guidance on how to formulate and apply the concepts of simple rules. I encourage you to read Sull and Eisenhardt’s book to develop a deeper understanding of how simple rules have been used in a variety of setting and how you can use simple rules.

Your next action. I encourage you, for now, to think about what rules would help you engage more fully with your work and wellbeing. As you think this through I encourage you to take a few notes and to write down some early drafts of the rules.

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert who is pairing the behaviors from the pyramid of employee engagement with simple rules to make a difference to engagement in 2016.