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Zings: Focus and Energy

Employee Engagement: Do you have energetic focus for your work?

Dr. Ed. Hallowell has done tremendous work on focus and energy. He recently wrote a post on the Harvard Business Review blog: Will Focus Make You Happier?

The post outlines the challenges to bring focus to our work, how current work makes it a challenge to focus, and the benefits for happiness and productivity when we focus. Here is a delightful and insightful snippet from the post:

Focus imposes order. So focus requires energy. It requires work. It can hurt. People often avoid pain and work. We humans have mixed feelings about expending energy, even if we know it will bring us pleasure… recreate boundaries that technology has broken down so that you have some time actually to think when you’re at work. Turn it off. Close the door. Don’t jump online the minute you feel frustrated or vexed. Push on. Grapple with the problem. Go deep. Persist. Don’t allow intrusions into the precious process of creative thought.

Now, read the full post, grab a cup of focus and engage more in activities that intersect with what you’re good at, what you like to do, and what adds value to the world.

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David Zinger, M.Ed., works with organizations and individuals to foster engagement.  He is a writer, educator, speaker, and consultant who founded the 3100 member Employee Engagement Network. David wrote, Zengage: How to Get More Into Your Work to Get More Out of Your Work.  David’s website offers 1100 free posts/articles on the engagement. David is committed to fostering a movement to increase employee engagement 20% by 2020.

Connect with David Zinger today to improve engagement where you work.

Email: dzinger@shaw.ca  –  Phone 204 254 2130  –  Website: www.davidzinger.com


Workaiku: Iceberg

Titanic error

failing to see what’s below

a leadership sinks

Employee Engagement: What do you C?

An Employee Engagement Leadership Classic

One of the employee engagement classic articles is: What engages employees the most or, The Ten C’s of employee engagement by Gerard H. Seijts and Dan Crim.

They offer their 10 C’s of what leaders can do to engage employees’ heads, hearts, and hands. If you are a leader, read the list and grade yourself. If you are an employee use the list to grade your leadership.

  1. Connect
  2. Career
  3. Clarity
  4. Convey
  5. Congratulate
  6. Contribute
  7. Control
  8. Collaborate
  9. Credibility
  10. Confidence

To read the full article, click here.

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David Zinger, M.Ed., works with organizations and individuals to foster engagement.  He is a writer, educator, speaker, and consultant who founded the 3000 member Employee Engagement Network. David wrote, Zengage: How to Get More Into Your Work to Get More Out of Your Work.  David’s website offers 1100 free posts/articles on the engagement. David is committed to fostering a movement to increase employee engagement 20% by 2020.

Connect with David Zinger today to improve engagement where you work.

Email: dzinger@shaw.ca  –  Phone 204 254 2130  –  Website: www.davidzinger.com

5 Employee Engagement Myths

Are You Mything Out on Employee Engagement?

Employee engagement has been capturing the attention of organizations because of the potential benefits ranging from better financial results to employee well-being. Here are 5 myths or mistakes that many organizations make with their employee engagement work.

Engagement measures must be anonymous.  Engagement requires a name and a face not an anonymous survey. I engage when I know others see me and they are thinking about me.  Disengagement should not be a punishable offence; rather it should be the trigger for a conversation.  I believe we rely far too much on anonymous surveys for engagement data which means that we have organizations where it is not safe to talk about how all employees are experiencing their  work. If that is the case, we don’t have an engagement issue; we have a safety and conversational challenge.

Engagement is about them. Far too often I see employees referred to by managers as “them” and employees refer to leaders as them. We must realize that “them is us.” CEO’s and presidents are employees who may struggle with their own engagement and we will be sowing the seeds of connection or engagement challenges when we believe we are apart from the organization not a part of the organization.

Engagement is the organization’s method to just get more work out of people. Employees need to both know and experience the benefits of engagement. Engagement can increase well-being, create a positive model for our children, enrich the hours of our working days, help us make a difference, create a richer experience for our customers, energize our working day, etc. Engagement is not a problem to be solved it is an experience to be lived.

There is a way to engagement. Engagement is not something extra it is how we work and connect in this decade. Engagement is so much more than a happy dance pasted on YouTube or a half-day recognition and engagement program. Leaders and managers must stop seeing engagement as another item on an endless to-do list and start to integrate engagement ways to build relationships and achieve results through invitation, conversation, connection, co-creation, and community. There is no way to engagement, engagement is the way.

Engagement is something we do to you or for you. There is a wonderful principle from the field of positive deviancy that states: “never do anything about me, without me.” Engagement is not something we do to others it is how we connect and interact with all employees. Ensure employees don’t just answer survey questions – invite employee to have the opportunity to create the survey questions. Cease the endless time delay between surveys and results and bring all employees into the full process. I am often asked by people around the globe, “how do we get everyone on the same page for employee engagement?” My first response is to answer that question with another question: “did all employees have an opportunity to write on that page?”

Don’t myth out on the potential benefits of an engaging organization that fosters high levels of employee engagement through visibility, unity, experience, integration, and invitation.

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David Zinger, M.Ed., helps organizations and individuals increase employee engagement.  He is a writer, educator, speaker, and consultant. David founded the 3100 member Employee Engagement Network and he also wrote Zengage: How to Get More Into Your Work to Get More Out of Your Work.  He is committed to increasing employee engagement 20% by 2020. Contact David today to improve engagement where you work (Email: dzinger@shaw.ca  / Phone 204 254 2130  /  Website: www.davidzinger.com).

Employee Engagement: Right Effort

Taking Steps for Right Effort

What are you engaging in too little?
What are you engaging in too much?
What are you engaging in just right?

Now add something to the too little.
Take away something from the too much.
Keep doing what is just right.

That’s right effort.

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David Zinger, M.Ed., works with organizations and individuals to foster engagement.  He is a writer, educator, speaker, and consultant who founded the 3160 member Employee Engagement Network.

David wrote, Zengage: How to Get More Into Your Work to Get More Out of Your Work.

David is committed to fostering a movement to increase employee engagement 20% by 2020.

Zing-Review: Employee Engagement and Life Cycle

Do your employees have a shelf life?

Daily HR tips fused employee engagement and the employee life cycle from orientation to disengagement.

Here is the tip: Take a look at your key employees and determine their place in the ELC. Identify any actions or interventions you need to take—particularly for employees at ELC stages 4 and 5.

Click here. Now go read the article and see if the life cycle perspective can bring more engagement to your organization.

Workaiku: Sun

inert cloudy day

nothing to show for effort

finish task sun shines

Zing-Review: Who Want’s to be a Manager?

We need good managers for employee engagement

Julian Birkinshaw is a professor of strategic and international management at London Business School and a senior fellow at the Advanced Institute of Management Research.  He wrote a fine post on Who Want’s to be a Manager?

Here are two snippets from the post:

When you ask children what they want to be when they are older, how many of them say they want to be a manager?

Consider a recent study in the UK, where 40 executives who were working part-time for an MBA were asked to describe their job. While they were happy to talk about themselves as leaders, change agents, entrepreneurs and coaches, not one used the word manager to characterize what they did. The “M-word” has, apparently, become so pejorative that people would prefer to redefine what they do rather than admit to being a member of the management profession.

We need to overcome our management mayhem and it appears to be occurring based on work by Mintzberg, Birkinshaw, and many others. We are creating the seeds for effective management development and adding meaty management gumption and engagement back to the art of work. To read  Birkinshaw’s short post, click here.

Are you fully engaging in management while also managing to engage?

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David Zinger, M.Ed., works with organizations and individuals to foster engagement.  He is a writer, educator, speaker, and consultant who founded the 3100 member Employee Engagement Network. David wrote, Zengage: How to Get More Into Your Work to Get More Out of Your Work.  David’s website offers 1100 free posts/articles on the engagement. David is committed to fostering a movement to increase employee engagement 20% by 2020.

Connect with David Zinger today to improve engagement where you work.

Email: dzinger@shaw.ca  –  Phone 204 254 2130  –  Website: www.davidzinger.com


What are you doing to increase employee engagement 20%?

Increase Employee Engagement by 20%

Last Thursday we began the 20% campaign on the employee engagement network. The goal is to increase employee engagement 20% by the year 2020. This is our 20/20 vision for work and the near future.

What have you done to take steps to increase employee engagement today? This could be for yourself, a person who reports to you, a person you report to, the organization, etc.

The Improved and Simplified Zinger Model of Employee Engagement

Changes to the model for 2011.

The Zinger Model of Employee Engagement has been revised for 2011. The biggest change is a move to more simplicity with each element having just 2 words while the core of CARE is one word for each letter of CARE. The revision makes  the model easier to view and more visually appealing. Other changes include:

  • Change element to: esteem organization
  • Change element to: foster community
  • Change element to: enliven roles
  • Change element to: maximize performance
  • Change element to: develop career
  • Change symbol for esteem organization to the letter “O”

Employee Engagement Definition

Employee engagement is the art and science of engaging people in authentic and recognized connections to strategy, roles, performance, organization, community, relationship, customers, career, energy, and well-being to leverage, sustain, and transform work into results.

The Zinger Employee Engagement Model


The 14 employee engagement elements and symbols for each element:

Employee Engagement ResultsAchieve results. Employee Engagement is directed towards achieving results.  The first key of the model is on the far right hand side and begins with the results the organization, department, team, or individual wants to achieve. The key question for this part of the model is: What do you want achieve and how will you know when you achieve it?

Employee Engagement StrategyCraft strategy. From the far right hand side of the model we move back through the model to the far left hand side of the model. To achieve results we need to craft a strategy to get there. How will we get those results and does everyone know the organization’s intentions and plans?  Is our strategy engaging and will we have high enough employee engagement to fulfill the strategy?

Employee Engagement Connection SymbolConnect. A central key of employee engagement is connection. In some ways connection is synonymous with engagement. How well are employees connected to the other elements of engagement ranging from their organization to genuine happiness? Connect starts the central keys of CARE embedded in the employee engagement model.

Employee Engagement Authenticity SymbolAuthentic. Authenticity is the the A of CARE. Employee engagement must be authentic. Employees and customers can spot phony from a mile away or even in a moment of time. We must transcend superficial relationships, community or happiness towards engagement that is heartfelt.  Powerful engagement is real and robust.

Employee Engagement Recognition SymbolRecognition. The R in the core of CARE is recognition. Potent employee engagement requires powerful recognition. We are talking about a lot more than long service awards or pens. Are employees fully seen and acknowledged? Do employees see the importance of what they are doing and how their work connects to results?

Employee Engagement Engage SymbolEngage. CARE ends with the E of engage. We so often talk about “engagement” and substitute the verb of working (engage)  for a static noun (engagement). Engage focuses on the actions of engagement. Engagement is not a one time survey measure or a steady state. To engage is to fully experience and contribute to the dynamic elements of work.

Employee Engagement RolesEnliven roles. We have various roles that we must fulfill to fully engage. A role is a set of behaviors, rights and obligations at work. We must guard against too many roles or role overload while also fully being in the roles that contribute to results, relationships, and engagement. Sometimes leaders and managers are almost impervious to their role as employee too.

Employee Engagement PerformanceMaximize performance. Engagement for results can contribute to effective performance management. Performance demonstrates our engagement while engagement can help us excel at performance. Good employee engagement should foster star performers. We want to help each employee become a star performer to benefit customers, the organization, and themselves.

Esteem organization.  How aligned is the employee with the organization? Is there a mesh between the organizational and individual brand? Do employees feel that they are a part of the organization or apart from the organization? Are they proud to work for their organization and equally proud to recommend their organization and be constant ambassadors for the organization.

Employee Engagement Relationship SymbolFoster community. A strong key of employee engagement is our connection to relationships and community. These relationships and community can be personal and social media. Do we build relationships and results? The essence of work is relationships and community. Organizations that do not transform themselves into communities are in danger of becoming obsolete or ignored.

Employee Engagement Customer SymbolServe customers. We want employees to serve the organization’s customers and there are very strong relationships between employee engagement and customer engagement. Does the employee feel served by the organization and management so much so that they in turn offer the same level of service to the external and internal customers.

Employee Engagement Development SymbolDevelop career. Work should offer benefits back to  employees. Employees should experience both personal and professional development through work ranging from courses and learning to developing their own strengths, value, visibility, and engagement.  We spend so much time at work and work should help us become all we are capable of becoming.

Employee Engagement Energy SymbolLeverage energies. The raw material of engagement is energy. Do we have the energy to fully engage? Do we offer the organization an energy gain or do we deplete the energy of our peers? Powerful engagement involves mastery of physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and organizational energy. Energy not time is the vital resource for engaged working.

Experience Well-Being. Ultimately work should contribute to employee well-being. Employees need to both engage in and experience healthy well being. An organization’s results are dependent upon the health and productivity of individual employees.

The model and symbols: This was a brief overview of the model and accompanying symbols. This website and David Zinger’s services will  contribute to enriching not just your understanding of the model for the organization and yourself but using the model to achieve results for  the benefit of all.

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David Zinger, M.Ed., works with organizations and individuals to foster engagement.  He is a writer, educator, speaker, and consultant who founded the 3160 member Employee Engagement Network. David wrote, Zengage: How to Get More Into Your Work to Get More Out of Your Work.  David’s website offers 1100 free posts/articles on the engagement. David is committed to fostering a movement to increase employee engagement 20% by 2020.


Employee Engagement: Workaiku

Workaiku: Malnourished

toiling late at night

writing an urgent report

the sitter feeds kids

The 20% 20/20 Employee Engagement Vision

Employee Engagement: November 11, 2010 to December 31, 2020

The 20% difference has been launched. Yesterday we started to build community mobilization on the Employee Engagement Network to make a 20% difference in employee engagement around the globe by 2020! Click here to check out some initial forum comments.

Community characteristics. I trust this work will be done through community that offers space for working together and for working separately. A community that does not impose but invites. A community that embraces differences. A community that supports and challenges. A community that mobilizes for results and moves beyond information sharing. A community that engages while also being very engaging.

Getting results while also learning about community work. I believe this community initiative could serve as a template for HR Managers to morph their organizational work into Workplace Community Mobilizers who build relationships while achieving results.

Let’s make a difference!

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David Zinger, M.Ed., works with organizations and individuals to foster engagement.  He is a writer, educator, speaker, and consultant who founded the 3100 member Employee Engagement Network. David wrote, Zengage: How to Get More Into Your Work to Get More Out of Your Work.  David’s website offers 1100 free posts/articles on the engagement. David is committed to fostering a movement to increase employee engagement 20% by 2020.

Connect with David Zinger today to improve engagement where you work.

Email: dzinger@shaw.ca  –  Phone 204 254 2130  –  Website: www.davidzinger.com

My 2011 3 Word Theme: Engage – Educate – Enliven

A One Year Focus in Just 3 Words

For 3 years now, I have been setting a 3 word theme. These themes have been helpful in giving me focus and helping me determine if each project, task, and piece of work is in line with and advancing my theme. I usually begin to ponder a possible theme for the following year starting in September. I keep playing with the words until I latch onto the perfect fit.

  1. In 2009 my theme was: authentic connect engage
  2. In 2010 my these is: engage mobilize produce.
  3. In 2011 my theme will be: engage educate enliven.

2011. My intention for 2011 is to keep the theme of engage alive while moving in a stronger direction to educate others for engagement and to enliven the noun of engagement into the verb of engage.

If you have never written a 3 word theme before, I encourage you to engage in writing your 3 word theme to encapsulate what you plan to achieve in the year ahead. I find it can take weeks to get the 3 words that exactly fit my plan.

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David Zinger, M.Ed., works with organizations and individuals to increase engagement.  He is a writer, educator, speaker, and consultant who founded the 3100 member Employee Engagement Network.  Connect with David today to improve engagement where you work:  dzinger@shaw.ca  –  204 254 2130  –   www.davidzinger.com.