From the BlogSubscribe Now

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

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.