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10 Principles

Employee engagement is specific. We cannot sustain engagement all the time and everywhere. When we talk about engagement we need to ask: Who is engaged, with what,  for how long, and for what purpose?

Employee engagement is connection. Connection is the key.  When we disconnect we disengage. Employee engagement is the art and science of engaging people in authentic and recognized connections to strategy, roles, performance, organization, community, relationship, customers, development, energy, and happiness to leverage, sustain, and transform work into results

Employee engagement must create results that matter. This means results that are important to the employee, manager, leaders, organization, and customers.There is little point in having engaged employees if they are not contributing and creating significant results. Also, if the results only matter to the organization and not the employee – or the employee and not the organization – employee engagement will not sustain over time.

Employee engagement is always a human endeavor. Engagement is depersonalized when we refer to employees as human capital or human resources. I manage capital or resources, I work with people! Engagement involves thinking, behavior, emotions, and relationships.

Employee engagement is fueled by energy. We must pay close attention to mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual energy at work. In addition we need to enhance organizational energy through meaningful connections and high quality interactions.

Employee engagement is more encompassing than motivation. Employee engagement embraces our emotions about work, how hard we work, how much we care about the organization, etc. It is a richer and more complex concept than  motivation and includes bidirectional engagement from managers, leaders, and organizational communities.

Employees are responsible for their own engagement, we are all accountable for everyone’s engagement. No one has a bigger role in engagement than the individual themselves – if engagement it to be it is up to me. We are accountable for other people’s engagement and we can influence their engagement – if engagement is to be it is up to we.

Employee engagement makes a difference. Employee engagement can improve organizational performance while also contributing to individual performance. Engagement is much more than an attitude, a feeling, or employee satisfaction.

Employee engagement is vital in recruitment, retention, and satisfaction. The majority of workers want to be engaged and look for work that will engage them. People will often leave organizations when they feel disengaged. It may even be worse for all if they remain when they are disengaged.

Employee engagement is here and now. Don’t wait for survey results or diagnosis from a management consultant. Look at the work you are doing right now and determine how you can engage with it more fully. Look at who you are working with and determine how you can help them to be more engaged.

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Principles created and revised by David Zinger

www.davidzinger.com /  david@davidzinger.com

January 18, 2010