The recent Employee Engagement Networking Event I ran in partnership with BergHind Joseph reflected the growing importance, interest and emphasis placed on employee engagement. The event attracted a number of people, most of whom were members of the over 4100 member Employee Engagement Network – a global network focused on employee engagement.
Three Parts. The workshop was divided into 3 parts. The first hour involved creating dialogue with the participants on 21 common myths of employee engagement. The second part was a presentation on kaizengagement: six tactical and practical engagement approaches. The third part was a gathering of most participants at a local establishment for further discussion and networking.
Don’t myth out. During the first section participants worked in 3 different groups of about 6 to discuss their thoughts and perspectives on 21 possible myths of employee engagement. We were not creating a correct answer to the myths but rather a discussion and examination of the myths we work by. There was much discussion, deliberation, debate, and declaration. Here is a sample of five of the twenty-one myths* participants discussed:
· Engagement is a noun
· Engagement is a problem to be solved
· There is a them in engagement
· Disengagement is a punishable offence
· Executives are not employees
Kaizengagement. The second part of the afternoon was on kaizengagement. This is a fusion of the words kaizen and engagement. Kaizen is the term often associated with small continuous improvement. Participants were invited to examine the small and significant things organisations, managers, leaders, and individuals can do to enhance engagement. It seems that we are often overtaxed with so much work that engagement seems like yet another burden. Given this perception from my work with many organisations I offered the following 6 kaizengagement invitations to action:
- Engage progress: Achieve small wins and benevolently hack your work for progress.
- Engage co-created relationships: Establish high quality interactions for optimal organizational energy, the foundation of engagement.
- Engage key moments and tactical behaviours: Determine when your actions will have the biggest impact and determine the tactical behaviours that you need to engage in.
- Engage your strengths: List, live, and leverage your strengths especially in the service of others to boost both engagement and authentic working happiness.
- Engage the community hive mind of organisations: We are in this together so follow the principles of getting everyone on the same page by giving them an opportunity to write on that page and follow the maxim: “never do anything about me without me.”
- Engage moments and conversations: Engagement is in the now and utilise 45 seconds conversations to enhance performance rather than relying on a cumbersome time-delayed performance management system.
Two other blog posts about the event. We were fortunate after the event to have two excellent employee engagement experts and bloggers, Doug Shaw and Jon Ingham, write about the event. I encourage you to read their excellent blog posts for more detail and person perspective on the event.
- Jon Ingham (July 8, 2011) With David Zinger on Employee Engagement
- Doug Shaw (July 6 2011) Beehive Yourself.
In conjunction with Berghind Joseph an examination of all 21 of the myths of employee engagement developed within the workshop will be available in the future.
David Zinger of David Zinger Associates founded the 4100 member employee engagement network. David is devoted to employee engagement and engaging work for the benefit of all. He has written 2 books, co-created 7 books with multiple authors, and written over 1300 blog posts on engagement. He is a very sought after speaker and educator on the topic.