From the BlogSubscribe Now

Employee Engagement: Leap Into People Artistry

Are you ready to Leap Into People Artistry?

People Artists Cover

From Ground Hog Day on February 2nd (Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow – hopefully an early spring) until leap year day February 29 I am focusing 4 weeks on People Artistry.  I encourage you to get involved in drawing out the best in others at work and home.

Today I encourage you to stop seeing shadows at work and look closely and carefully at who you work with. Go out of your way to draw out the best from 3 people today. As you make their day you will find that you are also making yours.

Great offer: During the LEAP into People Artistry Campaign we will be selling 10 or more copies of People Artists: Drawing Out the Best in Others at Work for just $14.95 a copy plus shipping. This is a phenomenal value for this beautiful hardcover book full of images and insights to bring the people you work with fully to life! People Artists makes a great gift or recognition tool to give to all your supervisors, managers, and leaders. Unleash art from gallery walls and infuse people artistry into your workplace to make work better for all.

To preview the book sample, click here.

To order 10 or more copies of the book contact me directly and I will set this up for you:

Can you solve the employee engagement equation?

What’s your answer to employee engagement?


Many of us are puzzled trying to solve this engagement equation:

Work + ? = Employee Engagement

What variable must we add to work to increase engagement? The puzzle has offered a vast and confusing array of suggestions and solutions. I’d like to guide you through some of the proposed solutions, and encourage you at the end of this post to write your own equation to solve employee engagement.

To read my latest blog post at the Talent Space Blog click here

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker, educator, and global expert.

Employee Engagement: The Revenge of the Management Jargon Slayer

John Junson is approaching his 500th cartoon on employee engagement.

He returns this week as the management jargon slayer. He even gave me a byline which makes me feel like Sancho Panza helping Don Quixote tilt against the windmills of useless management speak.

Today At Work 491

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert (yes, I know employee engagement is jargon but I simply define it as: good work, done well, with others, every day.) John Junson does good work day after day. He will approach 500 cartoons early in 2016.

Book Launch of People Artists in Winnipeg Tonight (November 30th 7PM)

People Artists: Drawing Out the Best in Others at Work by Peter W. Hart and myself is launching at 7PM tonight in Winnipeg at McNally Robinson bookstore in Grant Park.

If you are in Winnipeg join with us for the launch and celebration.

Bookstore Image

David Zinger co-authored People Artists with Peter W. Hart. This is David’s fourth book on work.

Free People Artists and Employee Engagement Workshop in Winnipeg on Tuesday December 1

My friend and co-author, Peter W. Hart, and I are offering a free 90 minute workshop on Tuesday December 1 from 8AM to 9:30 at the Winnipeg Winter Club. Space is limited, if you are interested contact me at:

Winnipeg Workshop invitation

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.

People Artists: The Little Human Guidebook for Leadership and Management

People Artists Draw Out the Best at Work

Reading time = 55 seconds


People Artists: Drawing Out the Best in Others at Work will be released this October. I encourage you to think about what it would mean for you to be a People Artist. By this, I mean someone who brings an artistic sense to how they lead, manage, and work with others. Henry Mintzberg demonstrated the importance of art, science, and craft in management. In our time of unbounded enthusiasm for analytics and the science of work, let’s not ignore the art of managing.

And don’t tell me you are not an artist.

Everyone can be, and already is, an artist. Perhaps you need some encouragement, inspiration, and education to be a better People Artist. Peter and I would love to show you the way and in the interim we encourage you to take initial steps to bring out the best in others at work.

Just start. Once you embark down this path, People Artists can act as a guidebook and toolkit to take you further on the journey. If you want to know more before the October launch, I invite you to get in touch with me.

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert who believes in the power of People Artistry to enhance and enliven our employee engagement and employee recognition work.

No Time for Employee Engagement? Really?

Reading time: 54 seconds

Here is a headline from an engagement article from last week.

Who’s Got Time to Manage Employee Engagement?

I liked the post and the argument. I appreciated Johnathan Bright’s conclusion:

It is, as ever, a question of trust. The other question is of time. So, managers, get the results of your survey, find out the needs, set your KPIs, and then get the help of someone with the time and know how to implement the right strategy. After all, you’ve got other stuff to be getting on with.

To me, we need to weave engage into “the other stuff.” I fully concur with the lack of time available so rather than an extra lets ensure engagement is woven into the fabric of work with small, simple, strategic, structural, and sustainable actions.

I am currently working on 11 simple rules of employee engagement based on the 5 S’s stated above and derived from the 10-block pyramid of employee engagement.

Pyramid of Employee Engagement and Engaged Well-Being

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert who uses the pyramid of employee engagement to derive simple rules for leaders, managers, and employees to improve engagement for the benefit of all.

People Artists Coming in October: Catch the Fire

People Artists: Drawing Out the Best in Others at Work will be released this October.


Peter W. Hart and I will be releasing our new book on People Artists in October. The picture in this post, painted by Peter, was used for our cover. Watch for updates, ideas you can use, and other material as we approach the launch in a couple of months.

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert from Winnipeg, Canada.

If You Are Stuck in Employee Engagement, Get Sticky.

Are your employee engagement ideas sticky?

David Zinger - Employee Engagement Speaker

10 Second Employee Engagement Survey: Where Should We Focus Our Efforts in 2015?

Take 10 seconds or less to complete this one question survey. Thank you for your response.
Q Zing Survey Button

Are you with it? The Top 1 Post of Employee Engagement for 2014

Stop the clutter of Top 10’s and find the focus of Top 1!

It is that time of year when so many sites are letting you know about their top 10 posts of 2014. In my mind, that is nine posts too many. We need more simplicity and less clutter of content marketing.

So, instead of 10 posts here is a link to my favorite post of 2014: Get with it: Are you ready for Employee Engagement 2015? It take under two minutes to read but can sustain your engagement efforts for all of 2015.

What are you waiting for? Get with it.

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert striving do get simpler and use less to do more.

An Employee Engagement Journey Lesson from Dubai and the UAE

Employee Engagement Conference and Master Class Reflections

Dubai Sky Line

I recently travelled to Dubai for an employee engagement conference. I offered the opening keynote and provided a five hour master class after the conference. My thanks to Ramy Bayyour from Informa for the invitation and the conference.

There are quite a number of things that stood out for me and over a series of posts I will outline some key lessons.

The employee engagement journey. It was a long trip from Winnipeg Canada to Dubai UAE and return. Fittingly, the first thing that really stood out for me is the employee engagement journey metaphor for organizations and individuals. Masoud Golshani-Shirazi Vice Presiden HR from Aujan Coca-Cola Beverages Company referred to the journey directly during his holistic presentation onf employee engagement. I was impressed by the progress and resilience Aujan has had in its workforce and the idea of engagement being a work journey for employees to join with the organization.

Masoud Golshani-Shirazi

Masoud shared with us the wisdom of his grandmother who declared, “if you want to get to know someone travel with them.” Thank you Masoud, it was good to hear about the journey of engagement and the wisdom of your grandmother.

Here are my 4 points as I thought about the employee engagement journey:

  • Understand that different tools and pathways are required at different steps along the journey – surveys are not good nor bad, it is what we do with them that make all the difference.
  • The engagement journey does not have a final destination, it evolves as we keep moving forward or even stumble with setbacks.
  • Encourage employees to fully participate in planning and embarking on the journey, employees are not just along for the ride.
  • Journeys are about movement and ensure your engagement work does not become static.

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert who keeps journeying around the globe to learn more about engagement and help all of us as we journey together for increased, fuller, and more authentic employee engagement.


Employee Engagement: What’s Your Verb?

7 Ways to Make  Use of the  37 Verbs of Employee Engagement

Reading and Viewing Time: 1 minute, 22 seconds.

What's Your Veb

Below is a visual slide show with 37 verbs for employee engagement.

Here are 7 ways you can use this slideshow:

  1. Scan the slides for 37 seconds of inspiration to start your day.
  2. Pass on the slides to a coworker to make their day.
  3. Download the slides to use in advance of an employee engagement presentation.
  4. Show the slides to a training group and have them generate their own verbs.
  5. Create a personalized deck of your own engagement verbs.
  6. View if on your smartphone or tablet while waiting for a meeting to begin.
  7. Answer the question: what’s your verb?

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert who brings engagement alive through behaviors and actions. His 3 word theme for 2014/2015 is the repetition of the verb engage.

Zinger’s 8 Word Behavioral Definition of Employee Engagement

A shorter more simple definition of employee engagement

Employee Engagement Definition

It has taken me about 8 years and 10,000 hours to get to a definition of employee engagement that is both simple and elegant. I am discouraged with emotional and attitudinal surveys as I have become increasingly behavioral in my views of work and engagement. My definition puts engagement in the hands of each employee — I can choose to do this everyday while also being enabled and encouraged by my leaders, managers, and organization.

We are each responsible for our own engagement as we are accountable to each other for the impact we have on making engagement easy or difficult for others.

I define employee engagement in 8 words as:

Good work done well with others every day.

Good work means consistent quality and good is also a pathway to great while great is a by product of good. Good can be good enough. Good is sustainable while also being fused with gumption and grit rather than the hype and hyperbole of the continual and debilitating pursuit of great. Putting work in the definition means the focus of engagement is less about liking an organization or having a good attitude and more about our tasks, project, and specific work. Without work in the definition employee engagement is practically meaningless. Of course, sometimes our work extends beyond task and requires us to work on building robust relationships focused on achieving results.

Done well means we perform well and that good work can make us well.

With others acknowledges our connections and even a solo performer has inputs and interactions with other. We need to stop thinking that we work for someone or an organization, rather we work with someone or with an organization. We are joined and not subservient. We are all “social workers” these days.

Every day refers to enduring and sustainable work Engagement is not a biannual survey it is something we focus on every day, and we can change engagement for the better any and every day.

So let’s keep it simple and ensure employee engagement is good work done well with others every day.

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and global expert who does his best to engage fully with work every day while helping others ensure employee engagement is not so much mumbo jumbo but an enriching experience of the time we spend working.

Employee Engagement Roundtable Discussion for Mobile Managers

Join Us August 13 10AM PT


Monday is the 180th birthday of John Venn, the originator of the Venn diagram. As a small tribute to his simple yet powerful diagram structure I have made a venn diagram for an upcoming free webinar/roundtable on employee engagement and mobile management that will be held next week. This is not your typical webinar with a bunch of slides and a sales pitch. This is a one hour dialogue, sponsored by Fuze and hosted on Fuze, to help virtual, remote, and mobile managers foster and enhance employee engagement.

I am so excited to be joined in the dialogue with Wayne Turmel the author of Meet Like You Mean It; Yael Zofi the author of A Manager’s Guide to Virtual Teams, and Claire Ucovich, the  head of People and Culture at Fuze.

Our one hour roundtable dialogue will be unscripted and unrehearsed as we look at how mobile managers can be better at fostering employee engagement with out staff.

To read some terrific tips about mobile management visit my latest post at the Fuze site: You will find a link to register for the round table near the bottom of the post or you can click here to register directly. I look forward to you joining with us on August 13th at 10AM PDT.

David Zinger is an employee engagement expert and specialist who has written 3 books on work and engagement while also founding and hosting the 6400 member Employee Engagement Network. Fuze is a knowledge partner with the Employee Engagement Network committed to supporting and enhancing employee engagement for all.

Enliven Energy: 10 of 10 Daily Questions to Improve Employee Engagement

Enliven Energy

(Reading time = 28 seconds)

Pyramid Model of Employee Engagement

This is the tenth of a 2 week series outlining a different engaging question you can ask yourself each day. The questions are derived from the pyramid of employee engagement. Here is today’s question based on enliven energy, the block at the base on the far right hand side of the pyramid. This question was originally developed by Donald Graves as he examined the energy to teach:

What gives me energy, what takes it away, and what for me is a waste of time?

David Zinger developed the 10 block pyramid of employee engagement as a model to structure strong, simple, sustainable and tactical improvements in employee engagement.

Enhance Wellbeing: 9 of 10 Daily Questions to Improve Employee Engagement

Enhance Wellbeing

(Reading time = 28 seconds)

Pyramid Model of Employee Engagement

This is the ninth of a 2 week series outlining a different engaging question you can ask yourself each day. The questions are derived from the pyramid of employee engagement. Here is today’s question based on enhance wellbeing, the second block from the right at the base of the pyramid.

How do I work this week so that work makes me well?

David Zinger developed the 10 block pyramid of employee engagement as a model to structure strong, simple, sustainable and tactical improvements in employee engagement.

Make Meaning: 8 of 10 Daily Questions to Improve Employee Engagement

Make Meaning

(Reading time = 28 seconds)

Pyramid Model of Employee Engagement

This is the eighth of a 2 week series outlining a different engaging question you can ask yourself each day. The questions are derived from the pyramid of employee engagement. Here is today’s question based on making meaning, the second block on the base of the pyramid of employee engagement.

Why do I do what I do?

David Zinger developed the 10 block pyramid of employee engagement as a model to structure strong, simple, sustainable and tactical improvements in employee engagement.

Join Us at the TMA Employee Engagement & Retention Conference this July in Washington DC

Join myself and other employee engagement experts in Washington DC this July.

The Talent Management Alliance is hosting a conference at The Venable on employee engagement and retention in Washington DC from July 21st to July 23rd 2014. Here is the direct link to the conference if you would like to go there now:

I am presenting a keynote on Tuesday July 22nd., entitled: What Science Says Leaders, Managers, and Employees Can Do in 7 Minutes to Fully Engage, Achieve Results and Build Relationships. Here are a few key points from this presentation:

  • Equate the noun of engagement with the verb of engage by solving the employee engagement equation:  Employee Engagement = Small Actions + Good Work + Daily Performance.
  • Successful employee engagement is based on strategic, small, simple, strong, significant, and sustainable evidence based actions, such as high quality connection and progress monitoring to strength based conversations.
  • Engagement is built with grit, gumption, and caring for good work, done well, with others, every day.
  • The Zinger Pyramid of Employee Engagement offers a memorable, tactical, and practical structure to overcome the stumbling blocks and enliven the building blocks of full engagement.

This is just one session of 3 full days on employee engagement and retention.  Here is a list of the other speakers at the conference:

  • Christopher Henry Corporate Vice President, Talent & Organizational Effectiveness, MGM Resorts International
  • Andrew Biga Director, Talent Management and Analytics, JetBlue Airways
  • Linda Stevens Manager, Organizational Development, Agrium Inc
  • Ami Curtis Head, Leadership Development, North America, Nestlé
  • Jennifer Dudeck HR Director, Cisco Systems
  • Grant Beckett Vice President, Product, Globoforce
  • Elizabeth Lupfer Director, External Communications & Executive Engagement, BAE Systems
  • Jamie Leitch Director, Career Development & Training, American Infrastructure
  • Isabelle Michel Magyar Corporate Vice President for Employee Engagement and Diversity, Schneider-Electric Group
  • Sarah Matney Learning Manager, Leadership Development Ingersoll Rand
  • Derrick R. Barton Chief Talent Leader/CEO Center for Talent Solutions
  • Ruth Ross President, R Squared Resources
  • Sharon Arad Director, Assessment & Coaching, Engagement & Performance Management, Cargill

If you register by  June 27 you can save $200.

David Zinger is an employee engagement expert and founder of the 6300 member Employee Engagement Network.

The 8 Word Definition of Employee Engagement

Employee engagement in 8 words.

(Reading time: 9 seconds)

David Zinger Engage

Good work, done well, with others, every day.

David Zinger is an employee engagement expert striving for lean, simple, and significant approaches to employee engagement.

Making the real definition of employee engagement more real

Making it real

(Reading time: 1 minute)

Real Zing Box

When I wrote the original definition of real employee engagement, I was wrong. I usually am wrong about 50% of the time but being wrong promotes learning and revisions so being open to being wrong feels quite right to me.

I recently wrote the real definition of employee engagement:

Good work, done well, with others, on a daily basis.

I loved the down-to-earth elegant simplicity of the definition but I forgot something. Supposedly Albert Einstein said, make things as simple as possible but no simpler. I think I was too simple with the first definition. I had neglected the first principle of my 10 principles of engagement, first composed in January of 2008 and revised  in 2010. The first principle stated:

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?

I now believe the new real definition of employee engagement must add:

Good work, done well, with others, on a daily basis to …

You need to complete the “to …” What result is it that you seek from engagement? This could range from safety and wellbeing to profits, cost reductions, or lean processes. Ensure your engagement work has a direction.

For example, I was working with a group on employee engagement and customer experience. As I thought about the real definition of engagement for their purposes, I added:

Good work, done well, with others, on a daily basis to enrich the customer and employee experience.

This definition offered focus and direction to engagement and offered a specific purpose to the engagement work.

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert on his way to a better way of working with work.

People Artistry at Work Begins to Make Its Way Around the World

My friends at Deed send out a tweet and picture of People Artistry at Work:

People Artistry at Work: The Ennoblement Imperative

New Book: People Artistry at Work: The Ennoblement Imperative (50 pages)

Peoplt Artistry at Work Book Cover

We are not advocating for the nobility of entitlement or title but rather the nobility of people working together with a deepening of the authentic artistry that is possible in all work and relationships. ~ The opening line from People Artistry at Work: The Ennoblement Imperative  by Peter W. Hart and David Zinger

I am pleased to offer you this slim and  beautiful 50 page high quality book to improve recognition and engagement where you work. The book is printed on high quality glossy paper and is rich with beautiful illustrations. Yet, the true beauty of this book is to draw our your People Artistry at work to bring out the best in your people and your organization. Most readers have already requested bulk orders to get everyone in their organization on the same page with recognition and engagement!

People Artistry was co-authored with Peter W. Hart from Rideau Recognition and the paintings we used to illustrate the book are all originals from Peter.

Here are the 10 practices from the book:

  1. Gift
  2. See
  3. Inspire
  4. Give
  5. Dance
  6. Ensure
  7. Evolve
  8. Learn
  9. Capture
  10. Practice

To open a one page PDF owner’s guide for the book click on the following link: People Artistry an Owner’s Guide.

Early readers told us this is more than a book on recognition and engagement, it is a gift. They went beyond reading the book to buying copies for other leaders, managers, supervisors, and employees at work. It is a tremendous value at $9.95 and includes a beautiful envelope if we mail it to you or if you want to give it to others as a gift. If you order multiple copies we will send you multiple envelopes, just ensure you email me directly for bulk orders.

Chris Bailey sent us a picture when he received the book a few weeks ago saying “It’s cold outside but this book is warming my soul. Love it. Thanks David Zinger.” He added “As soon as I start at my next organization, I’m buying copies for all my staff.”

People Artistry Comment from Chris Bailey

For more information or to order multiple copies as a gift of recognition where you workContact David Zinger at

The price is in Canadian dollars and includes all shipping, handling, and taxes (ensure you use the arrow on the PayPal price link below to get the right price category for your location:

  • Canada  $16.00
  • United States $18.00
  • International $20.00


Enhancing Employee Engagement Recognition – People Artistry: The Ennoblement Imperative

People Artistry at Work: The Ennoblement Imperative will be released on March 11th.

People Artistry Book Cover

I am excited by next week’s release of People Artistry at Work: The Ennoblement Imperative. Peter Hart from Rideau in Montreal and I wrote this book and Peter’s art contributes to this being a beautiful little book. This is my third book and I know this small little gem will enhance your ability to draw the best out from others at work.

We offer you 10 practices and 8 tools and if you order the book from myself or bulk order the book from Rideau it will arrive in a beautiful custom envelope. We have had some early readers of the book and were amazed that almost every one of them upon reading decided to buy a copy for all the leaders and managers where they work.

They loved the size and the price of just $9.95! They also told us the book was more than a book, it was a gift. Watch for the formal launch on March 11th.

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and employee engagement expert dedicated to improving engagement for all.

Employee Engagement Resides in the White Space of Work

Engage employees by encouraging them to enter the white space of work

(Reading time = 1 minute, 15 seconds)

Enter the White Space of Work  

The white space on a page is the part of the page without print or images. The white space in an organization is the part without specifically designed tasks, performance, and work.

There is tremendous potential, value, and innovation that resides in the white space of work. Learn to engage employees with the white space, edges, and margins of work by asking rather than telling. Believe in your employee’s motivation and ability to determine what needs to be done and how they can go about doing it. Promote autonomy aligned with your strategic imperative.

Invite employees to voice and contribute and to frame and solve organizational challenges. For example, if you have a challenge with poor quality service ask each employee to use 5 minutes this week to assess the poor quality service and to quickly move from rumination about it to taking one small action to improve quality. Encourage employees to share what worked and examine how their actions in the white space of work can be scaled for greater use by all within the organization.

The blank white space in organizations invites voice, participation, innovation, and engagement. Shift your perspective at work and attune to the white space that resides in all tasks and organizations.

David Zinger, from Canada, is an employee engagement speaker and expert.

12 Title Tidbits from Scaling Up Excellence by Robert I. Sutton and Huggy Rao

Is your organization scaling up or just about to lose its grip?

(Reading time: Under 2 Minutes)

Scaling Up Excellence

Two days after Ground Hog day, Febraury 4th, 2014, we will all have the opportunity to come out of our cubicles and offices and either get blinded by looking up at the sun or get enlightened about scaling up excellence by reading Robert I. Sutton and Huggy Rao’s, Scaling Up Excellence: Getting to More Without Settling for Less. I believe Bob would tell us to get our head out of whatever and learn to scale excellence. I encourage readers of this blog to determine how they would apply the ideas to scaling up engagement at work.

There are few business authors that I would say that I love their work. Henry Mintzberg, Peter Block, Margaret Wheatley come to mind and I would add Bob Sutton. He had me at asshole with his terrific book, The No Asshole Rule.

I was reading Bob’s blog post on the writing life just before writing this review. He advised writers:

Ask for approval of any title of anything you write.  A lot of publications won’t like that either – but it has your name on it.

The title and subtitles of this book jumped off of the page and into my mind so rather than a review I want to give you 12 titles or subtitles and encourage you to use those to springboard into the book yourself and improve your ability to scale up to excellence:

    1. Getting to more without settling for less
    2. Spread a mindset, not just a footprint
    3. Fear the clusterfug
    4. Do you suffer from delusions of uniqueness?
    5. Going slower to scale faster (and better) later
    6. Will bolstering Buddhism generate crucial understanding, commitment, and innovation?
    7. Hot causes, cool solutions: stoking the scaling engine
    8. Lean on people who can’t leave well enough alone
    9. Bad is stronger than good: Clearing the way for excellence
    10. Did this, not that: Imaging you’ve already succeeded (or failed)
    11. Teach us more, learn less
    12. The seven year conversation

As Robert and Huggy stated in the preface,

uncover pockets of exemplary performance, spread those splendid deeds, and as an organization grows bigger and older – rather than slipping toward mediocrity or worse – recharge it with better ways of doing the work at hand.

Take the 12 title tidbits and scale up excellence by reading the content of these chapters and sections. To learn more about the book and authors, check out the book’s website.

David Zinger Employee Engagement Speaker

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and consultant who refuses to be blinded by looking at the sun and put his head into this book with thoughts for scaling up excellence in employee engagement thanks to Bob and Huggy.


The Employee Engagement Awards for 2013

First Annual Employee Engagement Awards

 EENetwork Award Logo Large

The 7 Awards Winners – 2013 

From the 6200 Member Employee Engagement Network


Here are the 7 award winners in employee engagement for 2013 as chosen by the Employee Engagement Network. Each winner will receive a certificate, a 2013 Canadian coin prize, and a copy of People Artistry at Work: The Ennoblement Imperative by Peter W. Hart and David Zinger. 

Best Engagement Organization 2013: Engage for Success, UK

This employee engagement movement has spread across the UK to put employee engagement firmly into consciousness and action for a broad spectrum of companies and organizations across the UK. They have created a wonderful site full of resources, research, and current information. David MacLeod and Nita Clarke who lead the charge on engagement received the OBE in late 2013.



Best Engagement Book 2013: Catherine Truss, Rick Delbridge, Kerstin Alfes, Amanda Shantz, and Emma Soane (editors) Employee Engagement in Theory and Practice. Publisher – Routledge.

This engagement textbook should be required reading not just for HR students but for all practitioners and people involved in engagement. The editors have compiled an eclectic and informative mix of articles on engagement. The strong academic underpinnings of the book offer the reader research based conclusions and many important questions to consider.



Best Classic Engagement Book: Richard Axelrod, Terms of Engagement, Publisher – Berrett-Koehler.

Richard Axelrod offers connected ways of leading and changing organizations based on really engaging employees in the process of change through collective dialogue and interaction. This second edition of the book is rich with an engaging approach and fused with practical steps to create change through engaged connections.



Best Engagement Blog Post 2013: Doug Shaw, We are better together

Doug Shaw writes with passion, art, and presence. He offers a personal and unique voice on engagement and has been spreading his message from the UK and Europe into North America. Doug’s post, We are Better Together, was written in September of 2013. It was an informative and engaging post on connection and creativity supported with additional resources.



Best Engagement Video 2013: Leavesmarter, Marshall Goldsmith, Two minutes on the missing element of engagement.

This video is only two minutes in length yet offers a fine perspective from Marshall Goldsmith on the employee role in engagement. Marshall Goldsmith has mojo and offers true gold for our workplace. He approaches his work with authenticity and humility fused with very practical suggestions and approaches.



Exceptional Engagement Network Contributor 2013: Robert Morris

Robert has been indefatigable in contributing great information on management, leadership, and the workplace. Robert offers the engagement network multiple new posts every week with the most current knowledge from books, blogs, and other management and leadership resources.



Special Engagement Recognition Award 2013 – Juice Inc.

Juice made an outstanding contribution to initiating and fostering knowledge partnership for employee engagement. They are the premiere knowledge partner of the employee engagement network and support the ongoing development and growth of the network. Their contributions have ranged from recruiting new members, posting insightful blog posts, offering lightning lessons and creating one a new 50-work engagement case study. Because of Juice’s support the network will be moving forward into being a top education and recognition site for engagement in 2014.



About the Employee Engagement Network

The Employee Engagement Network started 6 years ago in Winnipeg, Canada and has grown to over 6200 members around the globe. Resources on the network included a dozen free eBooks on engagement, five case studies, 580 videos, 4000 blog posts, 600 forums, and a brand new cartoon on work each week. To engage means to keep moving. The network will be shifting in 2014 to a stronger education and recognition resource for all things involving employee and work engagement.



David Zinger is a Canadian employee engagement speaker and expert. He founded and hosts the 6200 member Employee Engagement Network. In 2014, the plan is to move the network to a strong source of recognition for engagement and contribution at work as well as a socio-educational resource for everyone interested in engagement.

Do you believe forced performance rankings are detrimental to employee engagement?

Would you rather work for Yahoo or Microsoft? 

Forced Rankings


Two articles written on the same day examine the road to forced rankings (Yahoo) and away from forced ranking (Microsoft).

At Yahoo:

Several months after the great work-at-home kerfuffle of 2013, Yahoo employees were up in arms about a new policy that forces managers to rank employees on a bell curve, then fire those at the low end. According to AllThingsD, Marissa Mayer reportedly told Yahoo workers that the rankings weren’t mandatory, but many people disagree. (Business Week November 12)

At Microsoft – Microsoft’s HR chief Lisa Brummel wrote a letter about the end of both ranking and ratings:

No more curve. We will continue to invest in a generous rewards budget, but there will no longer be a pre-determined targeted distribution.  Managers and leaders will have flexibility to allocate rewards in the manner that best reflects the performance of their teams and individuals, as long as they stay within their compensation budget. (The Verge November 12)

These are uncertain times for performance and engagement. It is interesting to see us go in both directions at once. Where do you stand on the role of ratings and rankings for performance management and what do you believe would be best for employee engagement? Would you rather work for Yahoo or Microsoft?

David Zinger Employee Engagement Speaker

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert who does not like to be forced to do anything but always tries to perform at his best!

9 Years in Social Media: Expanding my Mind and Shrinking my World

Social media has shrunk my mind and expended my world.


Today marks my ninth anniversary in social media. It all began with an awful blog post on going to the dentist and now I have written over 2500 good blog posts on work and engagement, created a community in employee engagement with over 6100 global members while maintaining a strong presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter.

I have made connections and friends. I have shared valuable information on leadership, strengths, and engagement. I have kept touch with old friends and made many work contributions.  I look forward to where this all heads as I enter my 10 year! I believe my world will keep shrinking as my mind keeps expanding.

Ranting Against Employee Engagement Evangelists

Be Small. Do Good Work. That is Enough.

Employee Engagement Development Symbol

Recently, I have noticed more experts referring to themselves, or having other refer to them as evangelists. Evangelist means  a person and especially a preacher who tries to convince people to become Christian or someone who speaks with “great” enthusiasm.  We don’t need to convert people to employee engagement. We need to respect, empower, listen and get out of the way. If you want to evangelize then go to a church and preach to your hearts content. If you want to make a difference at work:

stop cajoling -> start accepting

stop preaching -> start teaching

stop telling -> start asking

stop speaking -> start listening

stop presenting -> start facilitating

stop owning -> start sharing

stop the sermon -> start serving

stop shouting -> start whispering

stop getting -> start letting

stop fearing -> start caring

stop commanding -> start inviting

stop doubting -> start trusting

 David Zinger Employee Engagement Speaker and Expert

David Zinger believes in small, simple, strong, significant and sustainable actions to take steps in the right direction in employee engagement. Contact him if you dare to be small and good with your work.

What do you think is next for employee engagement?

The Business Reporter, part of the Sunday Telegraph in the UK, asked 7 experts what is next for employee engagement?

Here is my abbreviated interpretation, using mostly their words, of what they believe:

Tony Thomson: A move to management by mutual consent

Frazer Rendell: Employees as players not pawns

Mark Quirk: Engagement at the center and real time measures

Claire Sporton: Amplify the voice of employees

Mark Allison: Engagement as a DNA type driver of the organization

Gary Cattermole: Stop using the buzzword and make engagement  inherent in what organizations do

Richard Lock: Get simple and move to engagement from people to engagement with people

I would agree with most of what was said. What do you think is next in the world of work for employee engagement?

I believe the future of engagement will be small, simple, significant, and sustainable as we engage every day with tactical and practical actions for the benefit of all: employees, organizations, customers, and other key stakeholders.

To read the full Business Reporter article, click here.

Zinger Associates

David Zinger is an employee engagement expert and speaker concentrating on small as the new significant in employee engagement.


Finding the “I” of Employee Engagement

Infusing and Maintaining Personal Responsibility in Employee Engagement

I own my own engagement

Who said there is no “i” in Employee Engagement?

There are six “e’s” in employee engagement but there is no “i” in employee engagement. This is wrong.  I am not playing vowel favorites here but if employee engagement is to ever reach it’s full potential we must firmly place our “I” into engagement.

The “I” of personal responsibility, and accountability.

The “I” that declares to the world that I own my own my engagement. I make choices on how I relate to work.

The “I” that refuses to be a victim or believes that the organization or other people control our engagement.

The “I” that sees engagement as an experience to be lived rather than an organizational problem to be solved.

The “I” that steps into engaging conversation when disengagement is being experienced by ourselves or others to see what we can do together to ensure work, works.

The “I” that recognizes we influence others’ level of engagement – we refuse to be energy suckers at work.

The “I” that will work to make changes in the organization when something or someone is disengaging while also not tolerating a toxic workplace.

The “I” that enters fully into work but will exit if necessary to sustain full engagement and personal wellbeing.

The “I” that brings our authentic self to what we do and is unwilling to hide behind roles or titles or job descriptions.

The “I” that leads through experience, example, enthusiasm, and effort.

The “I” that proves that work can make us well rather than merely be a source of stress, drudgery or making money to do other things.

The “I” that smiles, connects, nods, and is fully a part of the organization not someone who stands apart from the organization.

The “I” that demonstrates caring in all they do.

The “I” that is a holographic representation for all the is good, well, and healthy in the organization.

Now that I wrote this, I realize I was wrong. There is always an “i” in engagement. That “I” is you, and me.

Engage along with me, the best is yet to be.

speaking of experts2

David Zinger is an expert  global employee engagement speaker and consultant who uses the pyramid of employee engagement to help leaders, managers, and organizations increase engagement.

Enlivening the 6000 Member Employee Engagement Network

Upgrades, Additions, and Juice as our Inaugural Knowledge Partner

EEN EEN Knowledge Partner Badge EEN Juice Knowledge Partner Badge

To visit or become a member of the free Employee Engagement Network, click here.

The Employee Engagement Network began on a cold February day in Winnipeg Manitoba Canada on January 26, 2008. I believed there was potential and value in coming together as a community of people interested in employee engagement. My goal was modest, I hoped to gather 20 to 30 people together on the topic to share ideas and offer support. Within four days we had 20 people and have continued to welcome about twenty new members every week. We now have over 6040 members.

Together we have created a plethora of resources:

  • 3800 blog posts
  • 540 videos
  • 600 forums
  • 7 e-Books
  • 4 50-word case studies
  • 40 Special Interest groups

Some members have offered extraordinary support over the 5 years. To name just a few: Peter Hart, Craig Althof, Bob Morris, Heather Lattuada, Doug Shaw, Scott Simmerman, and Lisa Sansom. As we proceed with enlivening the network we will be recognizing our members who have made excellent contributions to our growth and development. The overall design of the network has been improved by John Junson who has also contributed a fresh weekly cartoon for over 370 weeks!

What began as a hobby or small community has far surpassed the initial intention. I always wanted to keep this network free – with a focus on employee engagement for the benefit of all.  The challenges have been to monitor the network, welcome new members, launch improvements and new services, keep the network spam free, recognize and encourage participation, and broaden the profile of the network and doing this without any fee to the members. It has been a labor of love that has involved a personal investment of over $20,000 and 2000 hours.

It is time for the next stage of the network. We have the opportunity to broaden and build a socio-educational approach to engagement, to offer greater contributions to the workplace, and to be a strong community based leader of engagement. To have this occur I began last year to search out possible knowledge partners who would join with the network while also supporting the network with knowledge, resources, and financial assistance. I wanted organizations who are committed and passionate to improving employee engagement for all.

I am pleased to welcome Juice Inc. as the inaugural knowledge partner of the employee engagement network. Juice is a Canadian company centered in Guelph Ontario. They focus on engagement, conversation, and innovation. They train progressive business leaders to attract, retain and energize employees to create an environment where people and organizations flourish.

Here are the benefits to our members with the addition of knowledge partners:

  • Continuing network security and timely welcome of new members
  • Better organization and navigation of resources including dedicated lists of videos, forums, and blogs
  • A stronger educational orientation to engagement including targeted resources for mangers and leaders inside HR and on the line
  • Global and community sourced recognition of Exceptional Employee Engagement blogs, books, organizations, employees, and employers
  • Better recognition of our own members
  • Overall strengthen and enhance this network as the premier dedicated place  for employee engagement
  • More opportunity for input and contribution from employee engagement experts
  • Stronger linkages with other organizations focused on employee engagement
  • Additional resources to those both interested and those devoted to employee engagement
  • Leverage the new design of Ning 3.0, our community platform, for improvements in 2014

To visit or become a member of the free Employee Engagement Network, click here.

Engage along with me, the best is yet to be.

David Zinger  founded the Employee Engagement Network. He is an expert  global employee engagement speaker from Canada and a consultant who uses the pyramid of employee engagement to help leaders, managers, and organizations increase engagement.


MOJO, Michael, and Marshall on Employee Engagement

  created this brief slideshow on engagement based on some of Marshall Goldsmith’s presentation from a 2011 presentation at Electronic Art’s HQ. I think it is well worth taking a second look. I like slide 8.

David Zinger is an expert  global employee engagement speaker and consultant who uses the pyramid of employee engagement to help leaders, managers, and organizations increase engagement.

21 Contemporary Employee Engagement Tools and Concepts

I recently wrote a post that was very popular on 19 antiquated employee engagement tools and concepts.

It is always easier to attack, criticize, or rip apart than to offer suggestions and useful tools. So this post offers 21 contemporary employee engagement tools and concepts that can make a difference in employee engagement in 2013 and beyond.

The image below is the pyramid model of employee engagement (Click on the image to download a document outlining a model demonstrating that employee engagement is never more than 10 blocks away).

the Pyramid Model of Employee Engagement Square

Contemporary approaches to employee engagement:


  1. Viewing employee engagement as a rich experience and opportunity that will benefit the employee, organization, management, leadership, customer, and society.
  2. Starting all employee engagement work by thinking about what needs to stop or end so that there is capacity and energy for engagement.
  3. Ensuring that engagement definitions and measure are inextricably woven into performance and results.
  4. Extending employee engagement invitations and “letting” employee engagement occur.
  5. Determining the smallest most significant thing we can do to enhance engagement and then building in structures to ensure it happens again and again and again…
  6. Co-creating our surveys with employees (yes, ask employees what questions should be asked on the survey) and offering real time feedback with the courage to face the challenges and the joy to celebrate the wins.
  7. Not holding, but rather acknowledging, that we are all responsible for engagement at a certain level.
  8. Using current social media tools to craft strategy and ensure everyone is on the same page by letting everyone write on that page. I love the line from positive deviancy, “never do anything about me without me.” This statements is especially true for all engagement work and actions.
  9. Amplifying employee voice so that we can be heard by all and working together to respond to what we hear.
  10. Using any signs of disengagement as a trigger for a meaningful conversation with the person who is disengaged.
  11. Ensuring that engagement enriches the wellbeing and energy of the employee both inside and outside of work.
  12. Recognize that engagement and effort is always under the discretion of the employee and working together to enhance their inherent discretion for work.
  13. Ensuring senior leadership knows they are employees too, and working with them to keep them fully engaged.
  14. Ensuring employees have their own dashboard of engagement which keeps them updated daily or even hourly.
  15. People are very engaged with their smart phones so ensure we use smart phones as a primary tool for engagement information, measurement, and intervention.
  16. Refusing to treat employee engagement work as a fad or bandwagon and integrating engagement so tightly into work, management, and leadership that we seldom feel the need to use the term employee engagement anymore.
  17. Making the workplace so safe that no one hesitates to sign their name to their work or their engagement measure. We don’t foster engagement with anonymous approaches and survey invisibility cloaks.
  18. Treating all performance variance conversations and interventions as engagement work rather than as another number, tick box, form, or something to avoid.
  19. Ensuring that we maximize the amount of autonomy and freedom within work and that we encourage employees strengths to come to the surface, to shine, and to make our organization stronger.
  20. Structuring work so that at the end of the day employees report that overall work is an energy gain for them not a constant energy drain.
  21. Measure less, engage more, and enthrall often.

Engage along with me, the best is yet to be.

speaking of experts2

David Zinger is an expert  global employee engagement speaker and consultant who uses the pyramid of employee engagement to help leaders, managers, and organizations increase engagement.

5 Zingers for The Laws of Subtraction (Matthew E. May)

Zing5 b

Matthew E. May wrote The Laws of Subtraction: Six Simple Rules of Winning in the Age of Excess Everything. Given that we have gone from doing more with less to trying to do everything with nothing I find May’s ideas quite compelling. The book is laced with great and detailed examples and woven together with 50 one page contributions from others on applications, implications, and extensions of May’s ideas.

Cover Laws of Subtraction

Here are 5  zingers (5 of the 6 laws) from the book:

  1. What isn’t there can often trump what is
  2. The simplest rules create the most effective experience
  3. Limiting information engages the imagination
  4. Break is the important part of breakthrough
  5. Doing something isn’t always better than doing nothing.

David Zinger is a global employee engagement expert who in 2013 has worked on engagement in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Berlin, Prague and New York. He has been working on what needs to be subtracted from employee engagement to make it work for all. To access Mr. Zinger’s services email him:

6000 Members now Belong to the Employee Engagement Network

Employee Engagement Network 6000

I am celebrating the 6000th member joining the Employee Engagement Network. The 6000th member is Joe Rafter from Larkspur California. He has some great blog posts on business transformation at his site. It has been enthralling to see the very specific employee engagement network reach so many people in 5 and 1/2 years. I have lots of new plans for September and look forward to a stronger and rejuvenated network in 2013.

speaking of experts2

David Zinger is an expert  global employee engagement speaker and consultant who uses the pyramid of employee engagement to help leaders, managers, and organizations increase engagement.


Employee engagement: What workplaces need to learn from honeybees

Fresh Buzz

Honeybee Yellow

Harvey Schachter from the Globe and Mail wrote a wonderful article on my latest e-book Waggle. If you would like to read the article, click here. If you would like to read or download the free eBook click here.

David Zinger is a global employee engagement speaker and expert who teachers the pyramid of employee engagement to help managers and organizations increase engagement, performance, and results.

Friday Employee Engagement Factoid #34: On the Lookout

On the lookout

Employee Engagement Recognition

A study of over 1,700 employees conducted in 2012 by the American Psychological Association (APA) indicated that more than half of all employees intended to search for new jobs because they felt under appreciated and undervalued.


Perhaps the quickest way to get rid of someone is not to fire them but to not value or appreciate them. The problem is, we may not want to get rid of someone but they get rid of us.

David Zinger is a global employee engagement expert who uses the pyramid of employee engagement to help managers with engagement.

Friday Employee Engagement Factoid #33: Performance

The 15% Gap

20 20 20

Most organizations need a 20% performance improvement to meet goals across the next year. But conventional performance management can only improve productivity by up to 5%. The key to achieving breakthrough performance is to focus on building employees’ enterprise contribution – the sum of individual task performance and network performance. (Source)


We need to engage all employees better in performance management while also striving to make employee engagement more engaging. Does your performance management system connect, excite, energize, and engage? Does it improve both people and performance?

David Zinger is a global employee engagement speaker and expert who teachers the pyramid of employee engagement to help managers and organizations increase engagement, performance, and results.

Why the Spice Girls are Essential to Employee Engagement

To make sure your employee engagement is not bland, just add Spice.

Spice Girls

I believe there is a much greater connection between employee engagement and the Spice Girls than most people imagine. I am not talking about having to form a female quintet dressed in colorful clothing. I am not talking about creating a musical recruiting YouTube video.

I am talking about knowing what you want from employee engagement. We need to ensure that engagement is directed towards results that matter.

To be more specific about the Spice Girls, it all comes down to just one of their songs, or the start of one of their songs. Be careful, the next line might create an Earwurm, a snippet of a tune that gets into your brain and won’t leave.

I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want
So tell me what you want, what you really, really want
I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want
So tell me what you want, what you really, really want.

We need to know the results we want. We need to ask others what results they want?

We need to twine these results into mutual purpose, create safety in the workplace, and ensure that employee engagement creates results that are meaningful to everyone.

So, tell me what you want from employee engagement.

speaking of experts2

David Zinger is an expert  global employee engagement speaker and consultant who uses the pyramid of employee engagement to help leaders, managers, and organizations increase engagement.

The Many Faces and Phases of Engagement: Engaged Parenting

I currently specialize in employee engagement. I often feel uncomfortable with that term as engagement can attach to so many elements of work and aspects of our life outside of work. We can engage with each other, we can engage with our organization, we can engage with customers or clients or patients or students, we can engage with the tasks of our work. You get the picture.

Not only are there many faces to engagement there are also many phases. I was reminded of this through Facebook on Father’s Day when my daughter posted a twenty-one year  old picture of me with my three children at the  Winnipeg Folk Festival. Yes we had 3 children less than 2 years apart almost 22 years ago.

David and Children at Bird's Hill 20 Years Ago

There was no work/life balance at this time as the demands of parenting were high, the amount of sleep was low, and the request for energy of being a dad was nonstop. I would not have traded it for the world, it was a great phase of engagement albeit a tiring one.

What is your current face of engagement? Where is your engagement directed? How does this phase of engagement compare with previous phases?

Engage along with me.

David Zinger is an expert  global employee engagement speaker and consultant who brings the engagement  down to earth while striving to enliven the pyramid of employee engagement to help leaders, managers, and organizations increase engagement and results while also building relationships. David has worked on employee engagement from Winnipeg to Warsaw, Saskatoon to South Africa, and Boston to Barcelona. In 2013, David has spoken in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Berlin, New York, Chicago, and Toronto.

Employee Engagement Waggle on Slideshare

Waggle while you work

Honeybee Yellow

Here is the latest eBook by David Zinger on 39 ways to improve organizations, employee engagement, and work. The book is based on 3 years of experience convening honeybees and humans. Catch the buzz by learning to think differently inside and outside your human hive!

David Zinger is an expert  global employee engagement speaker and consultant who brings the engagement  down to earth while striving to enliven the pyramid of employee engagement to help leaders, managers, and organizations increase engagement and results while also building relationships. David has worked on employee engagement from Winnipeg to Warsaw, Saskatoon to South Africa, and Boston to Barcelona. In 2013, David has spoken in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Berlin, New York, Chicago, and Toronto. Contact him today at:


David Zinger Employee Engagement Speaker: Don’t Manage Change (Lesson 4)

Are you ready to change employee engagement?

speaking of experts2

Employee engagement involves change. Virgina Satir, an exceptional family therapist once taught me that people do not resist change. I asked her why people didn’t change and she responded that “the gravity of the familiar keeps pulling us back into its orbit.”

What people resist is being compelled or coerced to change. In the dying days of leadership command and control we still seem to want to make people change and we are very poor at inviting people to change.

I loved (a strong choice or words for a blog post) Daniel Markovitz’s Harvard Business Blog post on May 16:  No One Likes to Be Changed. Here are a few of his pearls of change wisdom:

I propose that we dispense with the concept of “change management” entirely. History shows that’s a recipe guaranteed to foment fear, resistance, and — ultimately —failure.

Research shows that there’s actually a decrease in cognitive function when people feel as though they lack control over their work environment. Moreover, repetitive change initiatives — particularly ones that include layoffs — inevitably lead to cynicism and often to a kind of learned helplessness.

The key is to pose a business problem to the workers actually doing the job and then having them design the change

The real secret to successful change, therefore, is not to change people at all. Let them figure out how to solve their own problems, and they’ll do the rest.

If employee engagement is a problem in your organization are you letting employees be the ones to solve it? As my friends at Juice ask: As a leader or manager, are you a parent or a partner with your employees?


David Zinger is an expert  global employee engagement speaker and consultant who brings the engagement  down to earth while striving to enliven the pyramid of employee engagement to help leaders, managers, and organizations increase engagement and results while also building relationships. David has worked on employee engagement from Winnipeg to Warsaw, Saskatoon to South Africa, and Boston to Barcelona. In 2013, David has spoken in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Berlin, New York, Chicago, and Toronto. Contact him today at:

Watch for Waggle – May 29

This background page for the new eBook Waggle makes me think of the old bat symbol in Batman. I hope you enjoy the book as much as I enjoyed Batman on TV from 1966 to 1968! Watch for Waggle this Wednesday.


The Bee Symbol

David Zinger’s New eBook Waggle Coming May 29 (Table of Contents Page)

My new eBook Waggle: 39 Ways to Improve Organizations, Work and Engagement will be released on May 29th. I hope you will return to this site on Wednesday to read or download this free eBook with ways to improve organizations, work, and engagement based on my work with honeybees, office objects, and computers for 3 summers. My favorite waggle is: One bee matters.

Here is the table of contents page from the book:

Waggle Table of Contents Promotion Page

David Zinger conducted a 3 summer experiment attempting to convene honeybees and humans into a shared space. David’s is devoted to improving engagement for organizations and individuals.

Lesson Two From an Employee Engagement Speaker: Some Things Should Never be Radical!

It should not be radical to be either honest or transparent

speaking of experts2

Employee engagement thrives with honesty and transparency. I trust we don’t have to make the business case for honesty and transparency in the workplace but I am sure someone has set about calculating the return on honesty (ROH) or an even better Dilbert-like acronym, Return on Transparency (ROT).

In recent years, I have increasingly encountered articles and blog posts about radical honesty and radical transparency. Ryan Smith and Golnaz Tabibnia (what a wonderful looking and sounding name) near the end of 2012 wrote a Harvard Business blog post: Why Radical Transparency Is Good Business. They claim radical transparency improves business performance in terms of focus, engagement, and growing and recruiting talent. I guess there already  is a ROT in our workplace. I don’t quibble with their premise or plea for transparency I just hope that we don’t see it as being so radical.

When did it ever become RADICAL to be honest or transparent at work. (Yikes, I think I am starting to almost write like Tom Peters and his tendency to try and shout through his writing with a plethora of BOLD UPPER CASE letters in a variety of colors.

Of course, maybe we do need to shout: YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE RADICAL TO BE HONEST OR TRANSPARENT. I yearn for the sound of respectful voices not shouting but rather being honest and transparent in our workplace.

One last thing, please do not ever approach me and ask, “Can I be really honest with you right now?”  I am going to say no. Not because I don’t want you to be honest but because it makes me believe that you have not been honest with me before. Just go ahead all the time and be honest, really! Trust me, you probably will be real more than radical.

‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.” ― Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

Engage along with me, the best is yet to be.


David Zinger is an expert  global employee engagement speaker and consultant who brings the topic down to earth while striving to enliven the pyramid of employee engagement to help leaders, managers, and organizations increase engagement and results while also building relationships.

Waggle: 39 Ways to Improve Organizations, Work, and Engagement (Coming May 29th)

Waggle is coming May 29th

Waggle Book New Cover Promotion

My newest free eBook Waggle is coming on May 29th. This book looks fantastic on a tablet or smart phone. It is based on 3 years attempting to convene honeybees and humans. It is not really about bees, don’t worry you won’t get stung. It is about what we can learn from bees to improve our own work, engagement, and organizations.

It will be released on May 29th. because that is Manitoba’s: Day of the Honeybee.

I will post it on this site and other places on that day. It is 68 pages long and has lots of pictures so it is an easy read, perfect while you are waiting at the gate for your flight to Timbuktu or waiting in your doctor’s office.

I no longer have the patience for most business books that drone on for 350 pages and generally I can find most of what I am looking for from an author in a good blog post. I just had so many great images that I wanted something that was easier to look at and pass around.

The book is free, you will just click on the image and read it or download it. There is no email or registration required. What I hope you will do is pass it on to others who may benefit by being able to think differently inside their hive.

Come back on May 29, catch the buzz, and start your waggle.

Waggle Promotion Image

David Zinger is an employee engagement expert and speaker who went to the honeybee hives for three summers to learn lesson for engagement from this enthralling species.

Friday Factoid #32: Priority but no Strategy

Yeah employee engagement is important but…

Employee Engagement Model Zinger 2011

The majority (79%) of respondents rate employee engagement as a high priority, but only 41% have an employee engagement strategy in place, according to research by YouForce.  (Source)


There is a gap between belief and action on employee engagement. It is rated as a priority but only half of those who rate employee engagement as a priority have a strategy. Now that’s a true lack of engagement with engagement!

David Zinger is a global employee engagement speaker and expert who uses the pyramid of employee engagement to help managers and organizations increase engagement.

Lesson One from David Zinger Employee Engagement Speaker

Employee Engagement Advice is Only Half Right

speaking of experts2

I often start my speeches on employee engagement with the following statement:

Half of what I will offer today is right on, half of what I will offer today is wrong, and I don’t know the difference.

Responses range from chuckles, to mild disbelief, to a request to just do the right stuff so people can leave early.

I believe it is important to come to a presentation on employee engagement with an open mind but not so open that your brains fall out. As individuals and organizations, we must find our inner expertise and rely more on test cases than best cases. What this means is that if you hear about evidence  based practices or surefire tips try them out to see if they work for you and your organization.

Don’t just attend a presentation to learn more or learn something new. Attend a presentation with the willingness to engage with the content, take it away, test it out, and if it works implement it at on a larger scale personally or organizationally. Increase employee engagement by engaging fully with what you are learning.

Engage along with me, the best is yet to be.


David Zinger is an expert  global employee engagement speaker and consultant who uses the pyramid of employee engagement to help leaders, managers, and organizations increase engagement.

5 Zingers on Trust Works! (Ken Blanchard)

This is a biased review of the book, Trust Works! by Ken Blancard, Cynthia Olmstead and Martha Lawrence

Zing5 b

This is a biased review of Trust Works! It is biased because I had the opportunity in San Diego to meet and spend time with Ken Blanchard and the Blanchard Company two weeks ago. I was impressed by how down-to-earth and open Ken, his wife Margie, and the Blanchard Companies are. Ken signed my book with my special request to put in a line that he and Norman Vincent Peale wrote in The Power of Ethical Management: there is no right way to do a wrong thing.

The Blanchard family has been to Churchill Manitoba which is in my home province. Not only were they enthralled by the polar bears they demonstrated a willingness to go anywhere for an enriching experience.

Trust is fundamental for employee engagement.

Book cover Trust Works

Here are 5 zingers from the book:

  1. Cats and Dogs. This book goes to the cats and dogs. An easy story to read about trust based on a fighting, backbiting, and a sabotaging cat and dog. Please know that trust does not have to go to the dog house and there are specific steps we can take to build trust for lasting relationships.
  2. Assessment. There is a short and practical assessment we can complete on our own trust level and have others do a similar form to assess our trust.  Trust me, if you do this it will help you understand and assess trust at a personal and interpersoanl level.
  3. The ABCD’s of Trust. Trust is based on the four dimensions of Able, Believable, Connected, and Dependable. Trust in organizations starts with the first four letters of the alphabet.
  4. Trust is in the eye of the beholder. Memorize this quotation: “Trust is a delicate thing. It takes a long time to build, yet you can blow it in a matter of minutes. All it takes is one incident of behaving inconsistently with what someone considers trustworthy behavior for that person to pull away from you.”
  5. The Defining Competency. “Smart organizations are increasingly taking proactive steps to build high-trust cultures, because they’ve seen clear evidence that it helps improve the bottom line. With trust, creativity flourishes, productivity rises, barriers are overcome, and relationships deepen.” Remember, trust works.

I encourage you to buy the book, it will make for a short and trusty companion on your next flight or afternoon read at the beach.

David Zinger is a global employee engagement expert who in 2013 has worked on engagement in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Berlin, Prague and New York. He builds and sustains his own engagement in tight 24-minute periods. He has pioneered a number of significant approaches to engagement. To access Mr. Zinger’s services email him:

Friday Factoid #31: Don’t Just Manage Employee Engagement, Engage Managers

Employee engagement: The strength of one and the power of many

Strenth Block Develop Others

80% of employees dissatisfied with their direct managers were disengaged.


Managers have a significant influence on engagement. When we improve the engagement of managers not only do we benefit by having more engaged managers we also improve the engagement of their direct reports. Don’t just manage employee engagement, ensure your managers are fully engaged.

David Zinger is a global employee engagement speaker and expert who uses the pyramid of employee engagement to help managers and organizations increase engagement.

Now View This: 500 Videos on Employee Engagement

500 Videos on Employee Engagement

Employee Engagement Network Video Page 500

We now have 500 videos relating to employee engagement posted at the Employee Engagement Network. This is a fantastic eclectic mix of videos on engagement, work, management, and leadership. These videos can inform, disrupt, inspire, engage, enthrall, and excite. There is something for everyone. I will create a concise list of the videos in the near future, for now ensure you join the employee engagement network and start watching by clicking here.

David Zinger is a global employee engagement speaker and expert who uses the pyramid of employee engagement to help managers and organizations increase engagement.

How to Find Employee Engagement: Just Say No

The One Ball - Red Dot

No content

No tips

No tricks

No talking head videos

No business case

No rules

No donuts

No mojo

No infographic

No drivers

No enablers

No evidence

No gurus

No experts

No statistics

No PowerPoints

No eBooks

No tweets

No flow

No secrets

No whitepapers

No competencies

No blame

No fault

No webinars

No formulas

No rants

No promos

No social media

No book reviews

No conferences

No workplace happy dances

No comments

No separation…

Just engage, and that will make all the difference.

David Zinger is totally engaged with employee engagement and is guilty of all of the above. To access Mr. Zinger’s services email him:


5 Zingers on The Spirit of Kaizen (Robert Maurer)

Zing5 b

Small is the new significant. The Spirit of Kaizen is a small book by Robert Maurer that offers excellent guidance on making changes one small step at a time. This is an invaluable resource in employee engagement to counter the withering away of employee engagement because of the failure of many large scale programs and change initiatives. Back in 2009, I wrote a short review of Maurer’s other Kaizen book: The Kaizen Way: One Small Step Can Change Your Life.

Spirit of Kaizen Book Cover

Here are 5 small zingers from the book:

  1. Full contribution. One failure of employee engagement work is the attempt to get everyone on the same page. The problem stems from not giving employees the opportunity to write on that page. As opposed to handing down the page or program Kaizen invites every member of an organization to contriubute, and the employees like the idea of being part of the solution.
  2. Small steps to skip big fears. Our brains are wired to respond to change with fear and in the process deny us access to the mental resources we need to create change. Maurer claims that small steps are like cat burglars what quietly, slowly, and softly pad past your fears.
  3. Three small steps to engagement and morale. Show appreciation, defuse difficult people, and encourage employees to take small steps toward solving their problems. It is amazing how many big scale changes are accomplished by repeatedly performing a few simple behaviors.
  4. Get the ball rolling. Maurer talked about changes made by UPS to expand into Europe. David Abney the president of UPS stated: We chalked up a little success and then built on the momentum. You don’t notice a snowball going down a hill until it grows to become the size of the stomach of a big, fat snowman. Within months, we saw small changes that eventually snowballed into a turnaround.
  5. Begin with small questions. Questions engage and small questions engage with less fear. Start your engagement by asking: What is the smallest way we could improve engagement at work. My favorite employee engagement question, seldom used is to ask employees at the end of the survey: What can you do right now to increase employee engagement right now for either yourself or another employee of our organization? Maurer holds a special regard for asking ourselves questions and not trying to answer them right away. Just keep asking and “let” the answer develop.

David Zinger is a global employee engagement expert who in 2013 has worked on engagement in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Berlin, Prague and New York. He builds and sustains his own engagement  in small 24 minute periods. He has pioneered a number of small approaches to engagement. To access Mr. Zinger’s services email him: