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Get Small and Simple for Employee Engagement

In employee engagement — SMALL IS THE NEW SIGNIFICANT!

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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.

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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

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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?

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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?

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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