From the BlogSubscribe Now

Are you working with the 5 tools of People Artistry?

View this very short slide presentation to learn the 5 tools of People Artists.

Special 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. If you order 100 or more copies the price is reduced to $9.95 plus shipping. People Artists makes a great gift or recognition tool to give to all your supervisors, managers, and leaders.  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! You will learn lessons from 37 People Artists and how to apply the 5 tools of People Artistry in your work.

To preview the book sample, click hereTo order 10 or more copies of the book contact me directly and I will set this up for you:david@davidzinger.com

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert. He is working at becoming a better People Artist each and every day.

Question: Why Be A People Artist?

Why should you be a people artist at work?

People artistry is a form of powerful recognition that recognizes others while enhancing their engagement. It can foster both retention and loyalty. It may increase productivity and profits. But these are instrumental reasons. They are not bad. They are not wrong. They may even be necessary but they are not sufficient.

DSC_2610

Why be a people artists at work? Because people matter. We are in debt to the people who brought out the best in us. We need to be people artists because it is the right thing to do. It is right for others, it is right for ourselves, it is right for our organizations. Like sunflowers following the sun we need to follow the right way to work. Do the right thing…be a people artist.

Special 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. If you order 100 or more copies the price is reduced to $9.95 plus shipping. People Artists makes a great gift or recognition tool to give to all your supervisors, managers, and leaders.  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! You will learn lessons from 37 People Artists and how to apply the 5 tools of People Artistry in your work.

To preview the book sample, click hereTo order 10 or more copies of the book contact me directly and I will set this up for you:david@davidzinger.com

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert. He is working at becoming a better People Artist each and every day.

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: david@davidzinger.com

Employee Engagement Network Buzz – Our Eighth Anniversary Today!

What a buzz…

I started the Employee Engagement Network 8 years ago to gather 20 or 30 people to talk about employee engagement. We are now at 6941 members.

It was a very cold Saturday in Winnipeg, Canada and I did not want “to go outside and play!” It has been a joy, honor and pleasure to play with ideas and perspective on work, management, leadership and employee engagement with the network for the past 8 years.

I look forward to our next 8 years. Visit us now at: www.employeeengagement.ning.com.

CIMG1714.jpg

Are You Prepared for the End of Employee Engagement?

The End of Employee Engagement: David Zinger’s chapter in the ASTD Management Development Handbook

Creative Commons: https://www.flickr.com/photos/donabelandewen/3448225383/

Creative Commons: https://www.flickr.com/photos/donabelandewen/3448225383/

In 2012 I wrote a chapter on employee engagement for Lisa Haneberg’s (2012) The ASTD Management Development Handbook.

Here is the opening paragraph:

We need to put an end to employee engagement. I can imagine I hear a cadre of managers cheering at the suggested end of another task on their bulging to-do list while another group of managers look quizzically at the statement because they are just launching employee engagement efforts in their organization after receiving dismal survey results paired with the strong business case for engagement. Employee engagement needs to end by being woven into the fabric of work so that it does not fade away or be abandoned when managers are cajoled by management consultants to jump on the latest and greatest new bandwagon.

Some of my thinking has changed in the past 4 years and I use a different model of engagement based on the 10 elements of engagement but I encourage you to read this chapter as it can help you prepare for a happy ending!

Click on this link to Chapter 26 Engaging Management: Put an End to Employee Engagement or click on the cover below to read the chapter.

Employee Engagement ASTD Book Chapter Cover

Let’s ensure employee engagement ends well.  The term, employee engagement, was necessary as a focal point to move us towards more connected and integrated work but ultimately engagement is not an extra heaped on a manager’s long list of duties, rather management must be engaging and engagement is work.

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert.

Can you solve the employee engagement equation?

What’s your answer to employee engagement?

1Ball_QuestionMark

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: What’s Your Moonshot?

What's Your Moon Shot?

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and global expert.

Employee Engagement: Can you make the mundane engaging?

Check out my short post today on LinkedIN by Duane Bray on how IDEO strives to make the mundane engaging. There is also a short slide show included on The Little Book of IDEO. To read the post click on the picture by Peter W. Hart or click here.

20151123_130724

Image by Peter W. Hart

 

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert.

Employee Engagement: Are You A Toasted Marshmallow?

Don’t get burnt at work by lacking the vital human skills of leadership.

20150517_134708

I hate the term soft skills. Here is my latest post on LinkedIn on why we should stop referring to the human skills at work as soft skillshttps://www.linkedin.com/pulse/employee-engagement-dont-marshmallow-david-zinger

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker, educator, and consultant. He only enjoys toasted marshmallows when he is camping!

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.

Employee Engagement: Be The Fish

An employee engagement lesson from Turkey

I sometimes think we do too much fishing (surveying) for engagement.

Fishing

Engagement requires immersion.

As Rumi suggested:

You’re just a small fish;

you can’t live without water.

Don’t think about it,

just throw yourself into this stream.

David Zinger is a global employee engagement speaker and expert.

 

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: david@davidzinger.com.

Winnipeg Workshop invitation

J’aime Paris: A Heartfelt Plea for People Artistry

Written Saturday November 14th in Istanbul the morning after the Paris Massacre

People Artists Cover

We desperately need People Artists. We need people who bring out the best in others. We hear too much about the worst and fail to find, celebrate, and draw out the best. Please join me as a People Artist. Add color to your world to wash away the greyness of disengaged passivity and to obliterate the blackness of hate and terrorism. Be a person who brings out the best in others at work and everywhere else in life rather than a person who destroys, injures, and hurts. Life is too short – draw out the best.

Here is my plea…

 

Everyone is an artist. Don’t wither. Don’t go negative. Lay claim to the artist you already are. It is time to use your senses. It is time to move beyond yourself and make work matter by ensuring people know that they matter.

Artistry is a gift you give rather than a gift you have. People Artistry is a gift you give to others. It may even go beyond them and touch others you never see or never know. People Artistry is more than a pebble in a pond creating shallow ripples it is a positive explosion of recognition, gratitude, appreciation and engagement. It is connection that destroys mediocrity, passivity, and disengagement. And here’s the ironic thing, when you give the gift you receive the gift of moving beyond yourself and drawing out the best.

Accept the invitation. You don’t have to do this but why would you decline? Why would you ignore what brings out the best. This is your daily hero’s journey. Your dragons are ignorance, busyness, and fear. Your light sabre is to see beyond yourself and to connect like there is no tomorrow. Be like all the people who race to get on every flight at the airport, they can’t seem to wait to store their excess baggage and to claim their seat. Get rid of your excess baggage of fear and disconnection and race into a flight of People Artistry.

You owe a debt. Your debt is to the people who brought out the best in you. Perhaps your grandpa, your mother, your teacher, your brother, your friend, your co-worker, your boss. Don’t fail to pass the torch of drawing out the best from those who drew out the best in you.

You already have the tools. Your tools are not in a box or cabinet. They are you. You have a heart to care. You have ears to listen. You have eyes to see. You have lips to express. You have hands to give.

The time is now. Go ahead. Dwell deeply in the art of being human. Share your work. Enliven the blank canvas at work. Banish invisibility of others. Open your heart. Listen deeply. See beyond. Express fully. Reach far.

People Artistry is in your hands

start now,

embark on the journey,

don’t settle for anything less.

J’aime Paris

. . .

David Zinger is an employee engagement expert and speaker from Canada who is in Istanbul to speak on employee engagement. He is also a practicing People Artist engaged in drawing out the best in others. People Artists: How to Draw Out the Best in Others launches in Montreal and Winnipeg at the end of November.

Employee Engagement: Building Bridges

A lesson from Istanbul Turkey on Employee Engagement

Reading time = 57 seconds

Split Bridge Istanbul

On a Bhosporous ferry ride in Istanbul I saw the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge near the Black Sea. I believe this is an iconic image for work on employee engagement. Employee engagement is connection. We connect employee and employees connect themselves with results, performance, progress, relationships, recognition, moments, strengths, meaning, wellbeing, and energy.

I love how the bridge is being built from both sides. In employee engagement, engagement must be built by both the employee and the organization.

The construction project has much controversy You can read about it here. There is always more than meets the eye in both building real bridges and building bridges between work and engagement.

The gap in the middle of the bridge under construction symbolizes the work that is still needed to achieve full engagement. We will remove the gap as we focus more on both employees and the organization, when we focus on small, simple, structural. significant and sustainable actions and when we refuse to move forward unless employee engagement is for the benefit of all.

Employee Engagement: Invisibility is Not an Option

Banish anonymity and invisibility at work

Invisible Man

Don’t let employees be or believe they are invisible. Be a People Artist and draw out the best from the people you work with. This is accomplished by seeing everyone you work with and letting them know they are seen. We cannot rely on an anonymous survey as our GPS guide to greater employee engagement!

My friend, Don MacPherson, from Modern Survey offered today’s stat of the day: 6% of US employees say they see or talk with their manager once a month or less. This puts micromanaging on its head by suggesting we need a microscope to find the manager.

Managers and all employees: see, connect, converse, engage. Enough said!

People Artists Cover

David Zinger is an employee engagement expert and speaker. He recently wrote People Artists: Drawing Out the Best in Others at Work with Peter W. Hart.

Employee Engagement: People Artists Are Not Weary Travellers!

People Artists Use Their Eyes to See

People Artists Cover

On Friday I was returning to Winnipeg from Montreal. I had an hour before my flight and went to the Air Canada Maple Leaf lounge. As I scanned the lounge the travellers looked so weary and seemed impervious to the hard work of the catering and cleaning staff’s constant work to replenish food and beverages and to keep everything fresh and tidy.

No one in any workplace should ever be invisible!

I always thank the staff as I move around the lounge but I took it upon myself to offer a little extra gestures of appreciation. I grabbed a business card and wrote a sincere note of appreciation for their work and how they made my journey easier and more enjoyable. As I left the lounge I said thank you to the last cleaning person I encountered and handed them my little note.

When I landed in Toronto to catch my transfer flight here is an email I received on my phone:

Thank You Note

Be a People Artist: As you travel through your workplace don’t be weary. Care, Listen, See, Talk, and Give.

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert and the co-author with Peter W. Hart of People Artists: Drawing Out The Best In Others At Work.

Help Yourself to The 10 Best Free and Fantastic Employee Engagement Resources

Fantastic Free Employee Engagement Resources (plus a bonus resource).

I am celebrating my 61st birthday today. At my age, I don’t need any presents but I’d like to give some, so here are 11 employee engagement presents for you.

1Ball_Engage

 

  1. The Power of Employee Engagement: Booklet on the Pyramid of Employee Engagement.
  2. Engage for Success: Enhancing Performance Through Employee Engagement.
  3. The Top Tens of Employee Engagement.
  4. Zengage: How to Get More Into Your Work to Get More Out of Your Work.
  5. Waggle: 39 Ways to Improve Human Organizations, Work and Engagement
  6. Employee Engagement: 72 Small Actions for Big Results
  7. Assorted Zingers: Poems and Cartoon to Take a Bite Out of Work.
  8. Engaging Questions: The Question is the Answer
  9. Primers for Engaging Conversations
  10. 22 Tools to Overcome Grumpiness: How Not to be Grumpy at Work (or in the rest of your life)
  11. Bonus: 15 Cartoons for 2015

Here is a bonus bonus resource for anyone interested in using gamification for managers: Game On

David Zinger Deed Image

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert.

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.

Get Small and Simple for Employee Engagement

In employee engagement — SMALL IS THE NEW SIGNIFICANT!

Reading time = 54 seconds

Small2Simple2

How has that big employee engagement program been doing? Is your large employee engagement initiative making a difference? I have no doubt that employee engagement can make a big difference but that does not mean employee engagement approaches have to be big to matter. Small is the new significant.

Pyramid of Employee Engagement and Engaged Well-Being

We need to determine and act on small and simple behavioral practices that can be practiced daily by leaders, managers, and employees themselves. I am currently at work on taking the 10 block pyramid of employee engagement – making it action-oriented – articulating the actions as simple rules – and helping leaders, managers, and employees reduce the 10-block pyramid to a personalized 3-block pyramid embracing simple rules to govern their engagement work.

Here is a perspective from the School of Life that inspires me to keep on this path:

Rikyū reminds us that there is a latent sympathy between big ideas about life and the little everyday things, such as certain drinks, cups, implements and smells. These are not cut off from the big themes; they can make those themes more alive for us. It is the task of philosophy not just to formulate ideas, but also to work out mechanisms by which they may stick more firmly and viscerally in our minds.

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

Employee Engagement: Embrace Your Jagged Experience of Work and Wellbeing

The New Balance in Employee Engagement is Jagged and Precarious

I know you have seen them. The stack of smooth stones that offer a visual of calm and tranquility. I confess that I have always been attracted to them and even used them on the cover of my first book, Zengage: How to Get More Into Your Work to Get More Out of Your Work.

Zengage Red

I trust you are also aware of the the increasing abandonment of the term work/life balance. Many say we can’t achieve balance because of how we work today and the influences of technology and the expectation to always be “on.”  It is problematic that we would use a balanced and smooth ideal image when jagged and precarious captures more of the lived experience of work, wellbeing and engagement for most of us.

Balance Rock Crayon 2015

 

Let’s embrace a new balance for work and life in 2016. This balance has rough edges symbolized by the third stone in this stack and balance is fleeting, temporary, and precarious as symbolized by the almost tipping top stone on the top of the stack. I believe 2015 asks us to get more comfortable with things being jagged. We need to find our equanimity in edges and crevices and cracks.

I placed some crayons beside the stones to symbolize our need to work and play with what we’ve got and not dream of everything being smooth. Zen perspectives embrace impermanence and ask us to stop being so smooth and rather to be mindful and accepting of what actually is.

I encourage you to embrace jagged work, such as:

  • Leaders who are frayed and flawed
  • Projects without enough time or budget
  • Fluctuating states of health
  • Energy that peaks, dips, and twirls
  • High degrees of uncertainty about future work.
  • Co-workers who can be just plain difficult

The new balance of life and work as we move towards 2016 is jagged, resilient, real, imperfect, and impermanent.

Learn to live it rather than trying to live up to some ideal.

David Zinger is an employee engagement expert and speaker who believes are best work can come when things are not smooth and balanced but rather jagged and precarious.

Employee Engagement: Get Respect

My post on employee engagement and respect was just published on Halogen’s TalentSpace. Click here to go read it.

Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 10.56.48 AM

I look forward to an action-packed and insightful presentation at the Halogen conference in Ottawa in September.

David Zinger is an employee engagement expert and speaker.

Turn People Artistry into Your Healthy Routine

Do you have a recognition routine to draw out the best from the people you lead and manage?

People Artists

People Artistry is anything but routine yet paradoxically a routine is what can get you into People Artistry and sustain your work at bringing out the best in others for many years. In our time of energy depletion of having far too much to do and too little time to do it, intentional structure and routine operate as strong guides of behavior.

Watch for People Artists: Drawing Out the Best in Others at Work coming in October 2015.

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert who joined forces with Peter W. Hart, an expert on recognition, to create People Artistry – an approach to making workplaces better for all.

People Artists: The Little Human Guidebook for Leadership and Management

People Artists Draw Out the Best at Work

Reading time = 55 seconds

Slide1

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.

People Artists Coming in October: Catch the Fire

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

Fire

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.

Employee Engagement: Just Another Brick in the … Pyramid

Here are 10 “bricks” I use for employee engagement.

Pyramid of Employee Engagement and Engaged Well-Being

The bricks from top to bottom and left to right are: results, performance, progress, relationships, recognition, moments, strengths, meaning, wellbeing, and energy.

They were unstructured bricks until one day I played with them and they rearranged themselves into a pyramid.

I like the 10 bricks and the pyramid but you can use your own bricks or another structure for employee engagement. Perhaps you can use my bricks or structure as a foundation or a launching pad. Or maybe in rejecting my bricks and structure you make a stronger declaration of your own approach. They key is that it has to work for you and who you work with.

What are your “bricks” and how are they structured for engagement?

Here is a short video made by m ss ng p eces (love their name) in conjunction with MIT Media Lab Knotty Objects to inspire you to think differently about your bricks for engagement:

MIT Media Lab Knotty Objects: Brick from m ss ng p eces on Vimeo.

This video is one of a series of videos in collaboration between m ss ng p eces and MIT Media Lab for the Knotty Objects Summit, the first MIT Media Lab Summit devoted to design.

David Zinger is a Canadian employee engagement speaker and expert who believes we need to be more playful in how we approach engagement.

Employee Engagement Survey: Black Hole or Portal?

Does your survey shed new light on work and the organization?

Employee Engagement Black Hole

Employee engagement surveys are instruments to penetrate the blackness of our knowledge about our employees’ attitudes and perspectives about work. They should offer insight leading to action leading to increased employee engagement leading to real improvement in other key metrics we want for our organization and for our employees.  Yet often the results seem to get sucked into a black hole, employees are poorly informed about the survey results, and even employee comments made on the survey are kept secret. I encourage you during July and August to determine how you can ensure your survey is a portal to better engagement rather than a black hole that in the process of measuring engagement actually disengages employees.

David Zinger is an Employee Engagement Speaker/Expert from Winnipeg, Canada.

If You Are Stuck in Employee Engagement, Get Sticky.

Are your employee engagement ideas sticky?

David Zinger - Employee Engagement Speaker

Is 15 Minutes of Employee Engagement Sufficient?

What is your engagement time zone?

Reading time = 2 minutes and 15 seconds

Block_Non3D_Moments_Time

Why should you read this post? We often ask too much of engagement and find that there are many times we postpone, procrastinate, and struggle to get going with a specific element of work or well-being (right now, I am writing this rather than completing some tax work). The solution is to find and dwell in your unique engagement time zone.

Our work occurs in moments and our well being is also to be found in moments. Yet how well do you show up to, and use your moments? How long can you stay engaged with your work or a given task? I think it is vital to know our engagement time zone. The way to do this is to start working with a timer and to set a specific time period for work. This work can be project work, writing, exercise, cleaning, or another task. Perhaps start with 15 minutes and see if you can both engage and sustain work in that zone. If you can’t stay engaged – lessen the time. If it is simple to lengthen your time zone if you find the current duration too easy.

You may also find your time zone varies for different tasks or because of external events in your life. I often catch myself drifting away from my 15-minute time zone into a flurry of non-productive activity. Rather than looking for some underlying psychological reason or trying to sort out the neurology of work, I simply set my timer for the next 15-minute period and begin. Starting my watch timer for 15 minutes triggers engagement.

Last year, I conducted personal experimentation with the gamification of work and well-being. I worked in 24-minute time zones. Two of the most significant lessons from that year long experiment was to make my engagement periods briefer and simpler. It is easier for me to start and maintain engagement for 15 minutes versus 24 minutes and I had an elaborate game mechanism that I reduced to using a notebook and simply recording each 15 minute period I completed. My 15-minute periods focus on both work and well-being. In addition, each 15-minute period completed results in a 15 cent social donation. The amount is deliberately small yet adds up as frequent engaged time zones are completed.  My last donation was for $600 based on 15 cents for each 15 minute period of engagement. This went to the Red Cross for the victims of the Nepal earthquake.

I encourage you to enter and keep re-entering your engagement time zone and I believe you will find 15 minutes, repeated many times in any given day, is more than sufficient for achieving engaged results.

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert who uses the pyramid of engagement to increase engagement for organizations, departments, teams, and individuals. This post was based on the sixth block of the pyramid of engagement: mastering moments.

Employee Engagement Speaker - David Zinger

Employee Engagement: Start Your Day with an Engaging Morning Routine

Can you say “good morning” and really mean it?

CIMG3508

A few years ago, the morning I spent at the Taj Mahal, with my wife, was completely engaging. The picture I took above was just one of many that reflected my wakeful and blissful awe inspiring morning. It was an incredible way to start the day and the beauty was even better than described or anticipated. Unfortunately, this was just one of 365 mornings that year – I can’t start each day with a trip to the Taj Mahal (although I wouldn’t mind).

I focus on starting my day in a way that sets the stage for meaning, progress and relationships for the rest of the day.

My routine involves getting up around 5:00 or 5:30. I put the coffee on right away. I do a very quick scan of emails and then move into 15-minute periods of focused and engaging work. I work at completing fifteen 15-minute periods as early as possible in the day. After that batch of very focus work I often feel the rest of the day is bonus time. The vital key, for me, is to START. Once I click my timer to start a 15-minute period I am away at the races.

How do you start you day? Do you have a routine or ritual? Do you know the keys to setting the stage for an engaging day or what can happen in the first few hours that derails you into disengagement for the rest of the day?

Learn how others start their day. I encourage you to visit My Morning Routine and read each week how one person starts their day. Use their stories as a stimulus to create your personalized morning routine that fosters engagement for the rest of your day. Develop a routine that awakens you, engages you and enlivens you.

After you develop a good morning routine, you will be able to say, “Good morning” and really mean it.

Employee Engagement Speaker - David Zinger

Employee Engagement: Get Connected

Michael Lee Stallard released the book, Connection Culture, today. Congratulations to Michael, Jason, and Katharine on this wonderful book. Below is an image and quotation I created based on the book. I encourage you to get connected by reading Connection Culture.

Connection Culture

21 Tools and Concepts for Employee Engagement

One of my most popular posts was on 21 tools to improve employee engagement. I have create a slide presentation on the subject.

David Zinger
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Employee Engagement Speaker - David Zinger

Employee Engagement in Doha: Geometry and Sun Light

I am currently in Doha, Qatar to work on employee engagement. I strive to be influenced by the sights, feel, geography and architecture of wherever I am working. Flying to Qatar from Montreal I watched a brilliant video about I. M Pei and his architectural design and work on the magnificent Museum of Islamic Art by the Doha Corniche.

Creative commons Image by Jan Smith (Flickr) http://bit.ly/1OBUuwN

Creative commons Image by Jan Smith (Flickr) http://bit.ly/1OBUuwN

 

I was very impressed with the spirit, enthusiasm, smiles, discipline, and demands I. M. Pei had for this project. Two themes really stood out for me with some metaphoric parallels for employee engagement.

Pei was influenced by sand and water and Islamic architecture. He wanted the building to change based on the movement of the sun. He stated: “the movement of the sun makes the building come alive.” It made me think of engagement in our organizations never being static and the movement of energy offers vibrancy to help the organization come alive.

Pei also made use of water in the building. He talked about the power of water for sound, movement, ripple, stillness, trickling, and reflection. I believe in the same way we need to see the properties of water within our organizations. We need reflection at times and stillness. We need sound and movement. And we should see engagement as continually flowing, not merely an annual snapshot from a static survey.

I appreciated how Pei came from New York and used his insatiable curiosity to understand what needed to be built. There are many people in Doha from other parts of the world that play a role in employee engagement in Qatar. Pei gave massive credit to his team on the project and like employee engagement in an organization no one does it alone. Pei will be 98 in April — his smile, his way of working, and his engagement is an inspiration to me as I work on employee engagement in Doha, Qatar.

Employee Engagement Speaker - David Zinger

Employee Engagement: One Big Idea from One Little Book

Employee Engagement: A Little Book of Big Ideas by Jasmine Gartner (Book Review)

Reading time = 2 minutes and 45 seconds

Susan, my wife, accused me of trying to maim her with tennis balls during our vacation in Punta Cana last week. We played tennis at six o’clock every night. It seemed like the perfect antidote before our evening assault on the all-inclusive buffet line.

Susan played on the side facing the setting sun and was blindly assailed by my lob shots. Finding shelter and solace in relationship she engaged in a dialogue with the couple playing beside us about the stupidity and ineptitude of the resort architect to have the courts face right into the sun, a simple problem that could have been solved by rotating the courts ninety degrees. I did not join them in their castigation of the resort designer because I had just finished reading Jasmine Gartner’s chapter on why companies need to include or inform employees on important strategy and organizational decisions.

How many times have you cursed the decisions of upper management and rallied your peers in bemoaning the blindness of those on top? And if you are a decision maker how many times have you failed to let staff know how decisions were reached and why certain options were rejected while others were accepted?

Jasmine Gartner Employee Engagement Book CoverLike a good chair umpire, Jasmine Gartner, with her education in anthropology, offers excellent insight and judgement on employee engagement with her delightful book, Employee Engagement: A Little Book of Big Ideas. She outlines five spheres of engagement: engaging with the company, the work itself, the team, the network, and society. I will outline how her idea on engaging with the company can save you from employees complaining about what is going on, the perceived ineptitude of leadership and management, and the feeling that senior executives are blindly lobbing tennis ball at employees’ heads.

In discussing the first of five spheres of engagement Gartner admonishes companies who fail to let employee know how they made decisions and the sense of unfairness many employees feel about decisions that affect them. Influenced by her work with Derek Luckhurst, Dr. Gartner encourages companies to engage employees in key strategy decisions either with input, if possible, or a full understanding of how a decision was reached.  She stated: “the key is that everyone needs to understand strategy, or the big picture of why the company works the way it does, and everybody needs to feel that change is fair, rather than a personal attack on staff” (page. 34).

Leaders, mangers, and writers banter abstractly about transparency, understanding, fairness, and trust. I applaud the specific advice of Gartner and how her concrete idea brings meaning and meat to transparency, fairness, trust, and understanding. Staff need to understand the process of important strategies and decisions and that includes all the strategies managers considered before arriving at their preferred option. Staff need to know why other strategies were rejected or they will believe that upper management is blinding them with the tandem of ignorance and ineptitude.

Back to my wife, there may have been a very reasonable explanation of why the tennis court was positioned as it was but she lacked information and the information lacuna quickly generated negative stories and judgements of incompetence towards the resort designer. It is possible the designer was ignorant, but it is also possible drainage, the placement of nearby roads, or the angle of the sun during different seasons played a role in the court placement.

So don’t double fault at work. Ensure employees can engage with important decisions and when they can’t be part of the decision making process because of government regulations or confidentiality issues, engage with them about how the decision was reached, what else was considered, and why other options were rejected.

I encourage you to read Gartner’s 100-page book as she serves up some more big ideas including engagement differences between  small teams and a large organisation, “the lesson here is that the values that work in a small team can ultimately lead to disaster in a large organisation. Large organisations have a different culture to small ones, and they must live by different values and rules” (p. 67).

David Zinger - Employee Engagement Speaker

 

15 Great Employee Engagement and Work Cartoons You Can Use

15 Work Cartoons to Make Your Day

EEN Junson Cartoon E-book

My friend and resident Employee Engagement Network cartoonist, John Junson has created an e-book with 15 free cartoons that you can use for work. Pass it along to a colleague. Use it in a presentation. Pin one cartoon to your wall or cubicle. Choose one a month and put it in your newsletter. Stress is a staff infection and humour is contagious so use the humor here to fight stress at work.

If you would like to download a PDF of this book click on the image above or, click here.

Here is a slide presentation of the cartoons for quick viewing:

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert who appreciates the lighter side of work.

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

Employee Engagement: Good is the New Great

Why good is good enough in employee engagement.

Reading time = 1 minute.

Slide1

We need to keep things simple and real with employee engagement. I think when we move to superlatives such as great work and exceptional engagement we create a credibility gap and a trust issue. I have been in a number of workplaces that declared they were great workplaces yet many employees tell me it is not as great as they say.

My definition of employee engagement is short, real, and simple:

Good work done well with others every day.

Good work is both believable and attainable and sustainable. When we strive for good we will at time touch great or exceptional. I will take consistent good days of work over a few great days anytime. I also like how good work done with both intention and consistency will at times touch greatness.

I like good in reference to employee engagement because it refers to both the adjective of good or the quality of work and the noun of good about the benefit of the work. I like work that is of good quality and is good on many levels for employees, customers, and the organization.

I hope you have a good day of work that is also good for others.

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert striving to do good work every day.

Employee Engagement: How to Make a Small, Simple, Significant, Strategic and Sustainable Difference

The 4 Enablers of Employee Engagement Made Simple

4 Enablers of Employee Engagement

My passion and pursuit of employee engagement has taken over 14,000 hours yet resulted in me striving to make employee engagement small and simple. For example, my definition of engagement is just 8 words: good work done well with others every day. Although this is a simple definition of engagement, it does not mean that it is easy, yet I do believe it is attainable. This simple yet elegant definition avoids a lot of the excess jargon floating around employee engagement — which is itself a part of that jargon.

I admire the work of the Engage for Success Movement in the UK. I consider David MacLeod to be a friend and I am enriched by everyone who has been involved in the movement. One element that stood out for me from their work was using the term enablers rather than drivers or levers. It seemed real, kind, and more engaging.

Here is a short explanation of the four enablers from the Engage for Success Site:

Although there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach and no master model for successful employee engagement there were four common themes that emerged from the extensive research captured in the Engaging For Success report to government (also known as the MacLeod Report). Taken together, they include many of the key elements that go to make successful employee engagement.

These four enablers of engagement have proved to be useful lenses which can help organisations assess the effectiveness of their approaches.

Visible, empowering leadership providing a strong strategic narrative about the organisation, where it’s come from and where it’s going.

Engaging managers who focus their people and give them scope, treat their people as individuals and coach and stretch their people.

There is employee voice throughout the organisations, for reinforcing and challenging views, between functions and externally, employees are seen as central to the solution.

There is organisational integrity – the values on the wall are reflected in day to day behaviours. There is no ‘say –do’ gap.

To me that simply means good story, good managers, good voice, and good ethics. Surely that is within reach in every organization. I am not revising the four enablers rather offering a simple image and 8 words to make it memorable and then actionable.

4 Enablers of Employee Engagement

I don’t need a great story or great managers or great voice or even great ethics. To me, good is good enough. In the next post I will outline a few good behaviors and actions that contribute to good story, managers, voice, and ethics.

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

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert who is working around the globe to make work, work!

Employee Engagement and Engaged Well-Being: Does Work Make You Well?

Work is about a search for daily meaning as well as daily bread, for recognition as well as cash, for astonishment rather than torpor; in short, for a sort of life rather than a Monday through Friday sort of dying. ― Studs Terkel.

Pyramid of Employee Engagement and Engaged Well-Being

I believe engaged work and well-being is the pathway of life-work infusion. Ensure that life infuses your work and that your work infuses your life so that you are able to thrive and sustain both your work and well-being. We need to see work and life more holistically and abandon the antiquated thinking of separation and balance.

I believe the pathway to this is less than 10 blocks away. Use the pyramid of engagement for both work and well-being so that you achieve results, master performance, experience progress, build relationships, recognize others and self-recognize, make the most of moments, use your strengths in the service of others and yourself everyday, create meaning in your life and work, work so that work makes you well, and that at the end of the day you experience your overall life and working life more as an energy gain than an energy drain.

If work is not making you well than start building your personal and work pyramid of engagement today.

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert focused on both employee engagement and engaged well-being to achieve full and authentic life-work infusion.

Employee Engagement Gratitude From David Zinger

Thank you and all the best in employee engagement in 2015

Harry Wyatt Snow Falling

This is a picture taken from my office window yesterday.

It has been a pleasure to travel around the world in 2014 working on employee engagement and it is a a treasure to be home. I am so grateful for how much I learned about employee engagement this year from people in Singapore, Dubai, St. John’s Newfoundland, Washington DC, and so many other locations. I also learned so much from all of you who are talking about employee engagement online.

All the best as we move forwards and towards 2015.

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert.

 

Employee Engagement: The Free Iatrogenic Disengagement E-Book

Employee Engagement: Let’s guard against creating disengagement in our efforts to improve employee engagement.

Iatrogenic Disengagement Book Cover

(Reading & Viewing Time =  2 minutes and 41 seconds)

Iatrogenic disengagement is the disengagement caused by trying to measure or increase engagement. It is often unintentional and frequently goes unnoticed. I am offering you two resources to help stop iatrogenic disengagement where you work. The first is a one minute video on the topic. The other resources if a slide presentation that can also be downloaded as an e-book. Use these resourses to increase awareness and stimulate conversation about iatrogenic disengagement where you work.

A video introduction:

Iatrogenic Disengagement from David Zinger on Vimeo.

The slides (e-book) resource.

If you prefer a PDF e-book version, click on this title or the image of the cover at the start of this article: Iatrogenic Disengagement e-book

David Zinger is a global employee engagement speaker and expert.

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.

A 21-Point Employee Engagement Manifesto

If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything

Heart Diamond Engagement

Have you taken a stand on employee engagement? I wrote this manifesto to declare my beliefs and practices for employee engagement. I invite you to read it, to reflect upon the statements, to act upon the statements that make sense to you, and to determine your own stand on employee engagement.

Here is the beginning of the manifesto:

Our current practices and approaches to employee engagement are failing. They are failing to achieve organizational results and most employees fail to experience the benefits of their own engagement. These failures may result in widespread abandonment of employee engagement. This is intolerable and unacceptable as engagement has the potential to create excellent experiences of working for individuals fused with organizations capable of creating robust results. Let’s work together to ensure we avoid the loss from a failure to engage!

Read this new 21-point manifesto outlining my core beliefs, principles, and actions to improve employee engagement and work. Notice that each item is a verb directed towards action. These are strong declarations. You will discover where I stand on the major elements of engagement because “if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” If you or your organization align with some of these statements I welcome and invite you to work with me.

Simplify employee engagement into an 8 word definition: good work done well with others every day.

Change engagement by changing behaviors and actions. We change attitudes, emotions and culture by changing behavior.

Make employee engagement actions and behaviors simple, small, strategic, significant, and sustainable.

Rewrite the grammar of engagement from the noun of engagement to the verb of engage.

To read the other 17 declarations view the slides below:

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert.

Employee Engagement and the Verb of Engage

I am currently crafting a 21-point manifesto for employee engagement.

Zinger Employee Engagement Manifesto

I trust I will have it completed in the next 2 weeks and look forward to sharing this document and engaging with people based on a strong action statement of what I believe is required to move employee engagement forward for the next 15 years. Here is a list of the verbs that begin each statement:

  1. simplify
  2. change
  3. make
  4. rewrite
  5. diminish
  6. monitor
  7. recognize
  8. offer
  9. substitute
  10. awaken
  11. ensure
  12. reframe
  13. integrate
  14. mobilize
  15. energize
  16. enable
  17. learn
  18. commit
  19. elevate
  20. build
  21. forge

Look for this action manifesto within the next two weeks then engage along with me because the best is yet to be.

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: 7 Qualities to Engage Successfully With Social Media

Reflections from a 10 year veteran of social media.

Bees on Keys

The picture above is of a computer I placed in a beehive. My most experimental involvement in social media was to put a live computer in a beehive connected to Twitter. You can read what the honeybees taught me in a wonderful free e-book: Waggle: 39 Ways to Improve Human Organizations, Work, and Engagement.

I celebrated 10 years of engagement with social media on Saturday October 4. I wrote a nice post on LinkedIn on 10 lessons from 10 years. I encourage you to go read it, a nice short piece. In this post I want to outline 7 qualities that will help you engage successfully in social media.

Discern. There is a diffusion of social media updates and sites. Learn to discern so that you don’t get lost in the flurry of continual social information.

Specialize. I focus on employee engagement. You know what you are going to get when you read my material.

Contribute. Ask not what social media can do for you, ask yourself what you can do for social media.

Experiment. Try things out, get a feel for it before you dismiss it or abandon it.

Play. Have some fun with this medium and visit the edges of your knowledge.

Engage. Stick with it and good things will happen.

Enjoy. Enjoy what you have done and be proud of what you contribute.

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert who has worked with social media for 10 years to enhance and enliven his contributions to employee engagement.

Employee Engagement: Is Employee Disengagement a Form of Death?

Something dies in us when we disengage

RIP Employee Disengagement

I was flying from Winnipeg to Singapore at the end of August to do a one day workshop on employee engagement. I was minding my own business when my brain began to nudge me with a quiet question that began to get louder and louder in consciousness: Is employee disengagement death?

At first it felt like an absurd question to be pondering at 39,000 feet over the Pacific ocean. My immediate answer was no. But the question had me in its grip and would not let go. Before I got to Singapore I had decided that disengagement is indeed a form of death. I believe something dies in us when we disengage.

What dies might be such things as

  • contribution,
  • fair exchange,
  • all the time we spend working,
  • a distant career spark burning out like an old light bulb,
  • a sense of meaning,
  • both care and caring for ourselves and others,
  • working relationships,
  • a spiritual connection that work provides to something greater than ourselves.

Here is a little thought or word replacement experiment I encourage you to try at work.

When talking about employee engagement substitute the word life for engagement, as in employee life or living. When using the phrase employee disengagement change it to employee death or dying. Yes, I know, it sounds too strong but perhaps we need this strong language to stop being complacent or helpless around employee disengagement.

Organizations, leaders, managers, and supervisors all have an obligation towards employee engagement not just for the organization but for the life and wellbeing of each employee. Don’t let employees die on the job because of career suicide, being murdered by meaningless work, or the hundreds of other ways one can die on the job.

So, what do you think? Can we infuse life into work or am I dead wrong on this?

David Zinger – Employee engagement speaker and expert who firmly believes that work can make us well.

Employee Engagement: Learn to Boost Engagement with Progress and Setback Conversations

If you are a virtual or mobile manager we need your help: 

  • Do you manage 10 or more mobile or virtual staff?
  • Do you want to improve employee engagement?
  • Do you know how to engage by focusing on progress and setbacks?
  • Are you willing to be experimental in your approach to management?
  • Do you want to make a contribution to the science of engagement?
  • Do you want free coaching to improve engagement?

David Zinger and Fuze are looking for a Virtual Manager to engage in “THE ENGAGEMENT EXPERIMENT.”

THE ENGAGEMENT EXPERIMENT is a 6 week initiative consisting of once a week online progress/setback conversations with half of your virtual reports. Our hypothesis is that regular online manager-generated and employee-focused conversations involving progress will increase employee engagement and other key results. By participating you will learn new engagement skills and approaches for a mobile workforce to achieve results and build relationships.

Ideally you manage 8 or more virtual employees. They will be randomly assigned to the conversation group or the control group. We will assess engagement before and after the experiment along with gathering anecdotal comments and any other relevant metrics.

We’re looking for managers who want to make a difference in their culture by applying new ways of engaging your staff. You have the opportunity to contribute to both the design and delivery of this experiment. We want your input combined with your critical thinking on this approach to engagement.

You will be coached by David Zinger, a global expert on Employee Engagement, on how to construct and hold engaging online conversations about progress and setbacks.

Your online management success will be dependent upon your willingness to ask a few good questions, listen closely to your reports’ responses, care deeply about employee voice, and do what you can to enhance progress and lessen setbacks. We want your thoughts, experiences, and input.

We trust you are excited about making a contribution to the science of organizations, management, and engagement. You are open to post experiment dialogue about the experience.

Your total time commitment to this would be about 10 hours spread over 6 to 8 weeks, in the fall of 2014.

Contact: David Zinger: david@davidzinger.com if you would like to learn more or if  you are interested in volunteering to be an engaging manager.

Employee Engagement Invitation: Work Can Make You Well

Get to Work and Find Well Being

Wellness_ZingerModel

I think for far too many of us work is hell not well.

  • We disengage.
  • We experience drudgery.
  • We burnout.
  • We feel drained.
  • We encounter toxic relationships.
  • We lack the resources for the job.
  • We live for the weekend but lack enthusiasm for much beyond napping when the weekend arrives.

The last thing we need is someone being motivational and inspiration and saying that we just need a little attitude adjustment and work will be great.

Now here is the tricky part. I believe work can make us well. Really? Really!

And much of it is simple even if it is not easy. I think it begins with experiencing work as an invitation to well-being. Like any invitation, we are free to decline it, we don’t have to go there.  Yet, we need to realize the consequences to us, our co-workers, our customers, and our families when we fail to accept this invitation.  Of course, here is the tricky part, no one sends you the invitation in a fancy card with gold embossed script saying you are invited to be well at work.

So if you have read this far, please accept this bland blog invitation to merely entertain the idea that work can make you well and join me over the next month or two and explore how we can find well-being right inside the work we do.

DavidZinger_sample2

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert who is saddened by disengagement and the impact it has on individuals and families. David taught counselling psychology at the University of Manitoba for 25 years and was the employee assistance counsellor for Seagram Ltd. for 15 years. He founded and host the 6400 member Employee Engagement Network. He knows work from the inside out.

 

Get with it: Are you ready for Employee Engagement 2015?

Get with it for more robust employee engagement

Reading time: 1 minutes and 51 seconds

Employee Engagement To For With

I frequently see three different approaches to employee engagement. In the first approach employee engagement it something the organization does to employees. In the second approach employee engagement is something done for employees. In the third approach employee engagement is something done with employees.

Here is a brief outline of each approach.

EETo

TO:  In this approach employees often experience the organization’s approach as something being done to them to get them to work harder and longer.  Levers are pulled and drivers are pushed to get more discretionary effort. Organizations go in search of the secrets of engagement or hope to plug another organization’s best case into their operations without having to do anything else. This is a mechanical approach and engagement is a method used to get more productivity with a failure to ensure engagement is a benefit to all.  Senior leadership and even many managers may fail to fully acknowledge that they are also employees. This approach may cause iatrogenic disengagement when employees are cynical of the organization’s motives and sometimes see the statement “employees are our greatest resource” paired with a lack to transparency and a lack of ethical integrity.

EEfor

FOR: This approach is paternalistic in nature. The organization will look after employees. Brady Wilson from Juice Inc. has done some excellent work differentiating parenting from partnering in the workplace.  This approach often fails to involve employees in their own engagement, engagement data is not readily shared with everyone and sometimes the organizations seems at a loss when employees did not get on the bus failing to realize that many employees want to drive themselves or they may even prefer to walk. Employees are asked in surveys about their opinions and attitudes but are seldom drawn fully into conversations about engagement. Engagement data is not readily shared nor is it transparent. In this approach there is frequent reference to buy-in as leaders are transformed into sellers while employees are viewed as buyers or consumers of engagement. Engagement is seen as a problem to be solved rather than an experience to be lived.

EEWith

WITH: In this approach employee engagement is co-created with employees. Two of my favorite lines that demonstrate this are “never do anything about me without me” and “if you want everyone on the same page you need to give them an opportunity to write on that page.” Employees are seen as authentic partners and their input may even begin with the organization asking them to help formulate any engagement questions used in surveys or data collection. Engagement is much less about a program or initiative and more about the verb of engage being infused into how we lead, manage, and work. There is a lack of any sense of victims, villains, and helplessness in the organization. Employees are responsible for their own engagement while everyone is accountable for their influence and impact on the engagement of everyone else. Employee engagement is truly viewed and approached as being a benefit for all.

If you want to be successful with employee engagement in 2015 don’t you think it is time to get with it?

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and educator who is working more and more on with!

Employee Engagement Discernment

Finding employee engagement discernment on the wheel of engagement.

Wheel of Employee Engagement

Last week the Halogen Talent Space Blog posted my piece on 6 ways to be more discerning with employee engagement. Three of the six ways were:

  1. Abandon the search for the ONE definition of employee engagement.
  2. Be skeptical without slipping into being cynical.
  3. Cease your benchmarking mentality; get off of the bench and into the game.

To read more about these 3 ways and to learn about the other 3 ways visit the article:  The Wheel of Engagement: 6 Ways to be More Discerning about Employee Engagement in 2014.

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert.

Employee Engagement Roundtable Discussion for Mobile Managers

Join Us August 13 10AM PT

Slide1

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: http://blog.fuze.com/the-engaging-dozen-12-ways-to-improve-remote-employee-engagement/. 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.

Employee Engagement: Focusing on Results Does Not Mean We Can’t be Playful

Why we need to be more like the Spice Girls

speaking of experts2

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 when you attend an employee engagement event and knowing what you want from employee engagement. To be more specific about the Spice Girls, it all comes down to one of their songs. Be careful, the next lines might create an earwurm, a snippet of a tune that gets into the 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.

Just because we focus intently on results does not mean that we can’t be playful. We need to know the results we are looking for.

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.

Employee Engagement: 23 Things to Avoid That Cause Iatrogenic Disengagement

Are you and your organization creating the very disengagement you are trying to solve?

Wellbeing Symbol Flipped

In medicine there is a term call iatrogenic illness, define as of or relating to illness caused by medical examination or treatment. A common example is to go to the hospital for a procedure and end up with an infection. We don’t want to infect our employees with disengagement but many things we do may unknowingly or unintentionally be creating the very problem we are trying to solve.

Here is a list of 23 sources of disengagement caused by our efforts to engage:

  1. Taking away personal responsibility for engagement when we state that managers, leaders, or organizations are responsible for engagement.
  2. Using anonymous surveys unintentionally tells employees we don’t want to know who they are.
  3. Asking for comments on a survey and never ensuring that employees know that their comments were read and respected.
  4. Stopping our employee engagement work because we don’t like the lack of results we have received.
  5. Asking questions on an engagement survey that we lack the wherewithal to address.
  6. Taking far too much time between when we survey employees and when we release the data and sometimes never releasing the data. Engagement measure should be more like good toasters. You insert the data and have it pop up in no time.
  7. When employee engagement is talked about as something extra or a thing.
  8. Creating high levels of frustration when we foster motivation but fail to give employees the proper tools to do the job.
  9. When engagement is used as a new word for motivation and we fail to look deeper.
  10. Telling employees that we expect rather than encourage them to have a best friend at work.
  11. Having employee engagement as a mere program or event and expecting sustainable improvement.
  12. When we fail to ask employees directly what can be done to improve engagement.
  13. When we fail to ask employees to write some of the engagement survey questions.
  14. When we fail to believe in our employees.
  15. When disengagement is treated as a punishable offence rather than a trigger for a conversation.
  16. When we fail to address progress and setback as a key engagement issue.
  17. When our work becomes creepy.
  18. Failing to end something before we begin something.
  19. When we resort to hype and hyperbole about being a great place to work.
  20. Paying lots of money to be a great place to work and get the badge but there is a lack of substance behind the badge or credential.
  21. Believing that everyone should find the same sense of meaning from their work.
  22. Failure to make use of the inherent engagement in smart phones and tablets.
  23. Failure to move from surveys to just in time bio-measures of engagement.

What sources of iatrogenic disengagement are you seeing?

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert who founded the 6300 member global Employee Engagement Network.

Employee Engagement Pyramid: 10 Keys to Engaging The Power of One

A singular approach to employee engagement

Employee Engagement Model: Pyramid of Employee Engagement

I am working on the power of one and singularity in my employee engagement practice.  I have revisited my pyramid of employee engagement and awoke to another layer of it. This is a phenomenal coaching model to use with my clients who are striving towards full and powerful effectiveness, engagement, and efficiency. It offer a structure for them to follow and a structure for us to dialogue and develop engaging actions.

  1. Results: Work on what the client wants to achieve and for them to articulate the results. Discuss what needs to end and discuss what the end is they have in mind.
  2. Performance: Determine what the client will need to do to achieve results and how they make key performances worthy of their attention.
  3. Progress: Monitor and work towards progress and manage setbacks.
  4. Relationships: Determine key relationships that will be vital for the client.
  5. Recognition: Create self-recognition and fully recognize others.
  6. Moments: Determine a fine level of granularity of what behaviors to build, foster, and advance.
  7. Strengths: Determine and utilize strengths and use those strengths on a daily basis.
  8. Meaning: Focus on the why of work and find the why behind the results for self and others.
  9. Wellbeing: Encourage wellbeing found inside of work.
  10. Energy: Ensure that work is an energy gain and determine how to energize others.

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and coach based in Canada.

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.