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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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.