My name is David Zinger.
If I was in a self-help group, I might say my name is Dave Z. But we work together and in the workplace and you need to know who I am, what I look like, and how I am experiencing work.
When did our workplaces become so unsafe that you could not know my name or know my face? Have you started to believe that survey companies and consultancies are the higher power, that they know more about us than us, and they should own the data we created, housing it on a distant server rather than serving us as a stimulant to authentic and engaged conversations about work.
There is no right way to do a wrong thing and I think it is wrong to make people we work with anonymous. Do not disengage me with another anonymous employee engagement survey. If you are afraid to know who I am than shame on you and if I am afraid to tell you who I am and how I am experiencing work than we have a bigger issue than engagement, we have trust, safety, and relationship issues.
Don’t you realize that when I become anonymous I become more disengaged from the organization and the work, feeling like a cog in the wheel of the organization rather than a living, breathing unique person willing and able to create results that matter to both you and I.
If I work for you don’t survey me, talk with me. If we need to survey because we are so big and we want to see if there has been changes, then ensure that I become a part of creating the very survey questions you ask. If you want us all on the same page than give me an opportunity to also write on that page. Some people make their mark, others sign their name and I would like to believe my perceptions, thoughts, experiences, and evaluations are worthy of my signature not a tick on a survey box than starts to tick me off.
I want you to know who I am and you are entitled to know who I am as I work for you and with you and you pay me. If I am disengaged we need to talk, to learn, to create change and results that matter to all of us. Don’t reduce my input to a pixel on a pie chart or .0001 on a statistical analysis of engagement within our organization.
If you are the CEO, President, Vice-President, I hope you’ll let me see you, perhaps you could grab your laptop and mobile device and spend a half day a week sitting beside the security guard at the entrance to our building. Work is portable so you could do some of your work there and and wave to me, or maybe if I knew you sat there every Thursday morning, we could talk sports while having a few sips of coffee.
We will be better served by less programs and more personal interaction. Recognize that if you spend all your time in the top floors of our tall building I will feel much closer to the security guard than you. Don’t forget, you are an employee and need engaging interactions to keep you engaged too! By the way, if you sit by the security guard you may learn a lot more about the organization than if you stay sequestered on the top floors with the employee experiences showing up on your screen as excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint. The real power point is our genuine and authentic point of connection so sit by the stream of people flowing in and out of our building and get to know us as we get to know you.
Don’t fear me and don’t fear hearing from me. I am not naive or a Utopian idealist. I am a working person who wants to be recognized not with long service pins but with an opinion that matters, a voice that is heard and becomes part of the organizational conversation, and a face that is a part of our organizational community.
We can work together. We can be more engaged. We can create stronger and more robust results for the benefit of all.
I am ready.
David Zinger, M.Ed., is an employee engagement writer, educator, speaker, coach, and consultant. He offers exceptional contributions on employee engagement for leaders, managers, and employees. David founded and moderates the 2250 member Employee Engagement Network. His website offers over 1000 posts/articles relating to employee engagement and strength based leadership. David is involved in the application of Enterprise 2.0 approaches to engagement and the precursor, creating engaging approaches to communication, collaboration, and community within Enterprise 2.0.
Book David for education, speaking, and coaching on engagement today for 2010.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone 204 254 2130 Website: www.davidzinger.com