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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.