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Employee Engagement Through People Artistry

A People Artistry Tidbit

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Peoplt Artistry at Work Book Cover

I had a wonderful conversation with the latest reader of People Artistry at Work. He just retired this year as the Assistant Superintendent of a very large school division. He believed the book was a fine leadership book and that it summed up his approach to successful leadership.

He stated, “it is amazing what we can accomplish and achieve together when we recognize and value people even if they initially lack skills.” Through our people artistry we empower, we build capacity and as leaders we never lose sight of the fact that we are only as good as the people we lead. We need to recognize all employees so they recognize their own strengths, gifts, challenges, and contributions.

To learn more about this $10 book or to order people artistry for all you leaders visit:

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert.

How leaders can leverage six social media dimensions for employee engagement

Social Media Leadership for Engagement

Employee Engagement Social Media

Roland Deiser from the Drucker School at Claremont Graduate University and Sylvain Newton from GE wrote an insightful piece on the six social media skills every leader needs.  The six dimensions and skills outlined by Deiser and Newton are: producer, distributor, recipient, adviser, architect, and analyst. I will briefly describe the skills and outline some ways that a leader can apply each skill to employee engagement.

Producer. Leaders with high levels of social media savvy produce compelling and authentic content. They are willing to embrace imperfection and communication that is more direct and raw. Here are 3 examples of how leaders can leverage producing for employee engagement:

  • Spread the reach of your message and connection through blogs and videos.
  • Demonstrate your humanness through authentic communication.
  • Ensure that the compelling stories of your organization that glue employees to their work are told powerfully and repeatedly.

Distributor. Information comes from all levels of the organization and from inside and outside the organization. Distribute timely and helpful information to set the stage to co-create information:

  • Keep employees informed of what is going on both inside and outside the organization.
  • Publish a global employee engagement RSS feed on the company’s social media site.
  • Give employees the opportunity to comment and co-create information for new meanings and insights.
  • Post anecdotal comments from the employee engagement survey online for acknowledgement and further commenting.

Recipient. The leader of today must stay informed and can easily access information directly and automatically. Being a recipient means not only reading posts or viewing videos it also means replying, commenting, and linking.

  • Stay in touch with employee engagement information through Twitter searches, Google news feeds, and other automated ways to receive timely and helpful information.
  • Don’t just consume information — comment and add perspective and ideas to what you read
  • A good place to begin is a morning or evening scan of relevant blogs at the Harvard Business Review, Business Week, and Forbes blog sites.

Adviser. Social media is not just a personal issue, it is social. Ensure that you advise, enable, and support the social media literacy of the entire leadership team.

  • Leaders are employees and one of the things that they can engage in is value added social media interaction.
  • Encourage and educate other leaders and managers within the organization to develop and enhance internal social media savvy.

Architect. Play a role in structuring social media within the organization for openness, sensitivity, and accountability.

  • Being open and direct does not mean anything goes, balance openness with accountability, respect and sensitivity.
  • Understand the community can moderate much of the content on their own.
  • Ensure any organizational social media sites are attractively designed, compelling to visit, and easy to navigate.
  • Make use of how “glued” employee are to their smart phones to enhance and increase overall employee engagement through mobile technology.

Analyst. Leaders need to stay abreast of innovation and new trends. The Internet of Things means that about 50 billion devices will be connected by the year 2020.

  • Stay abreast of social media and social media will keep you abreast of what is going on inside and outside your organization.
  • Experiment with new methods of engagement based on mobile work and early technology, such as sociometers.

Conclusion. To read the original McKinsey&Company article by Deiser and Newton with examples from executives at General Electric, click here. Social media is here to stay and can become a powerful tool for employee engagement and strong organizations as we socially accelerate towards 2020.

David Zinger is a global employee engagement speaker and expert who uses the pyramid of employee engagement to help managers with engagement.

10 Stops for Employee Engagement

Please come to a complete stop before proceeding…

  1. Stop waiting for a magic moment to engage.
  2. Stop mistaking engagement as someone else’s job or responsibility.
  3. Stop conceptualizing engagement as a problem to be solved.
  4. Stop searching for a stronger business case for engagement.
  5. Stop thinking of employee engagement as an extra.
  6. Stop believing you need more data to begin.
  7. Stop seeing the CEO or President as someone other than an employee.
  8. Stop wasting time formulating big programs and splashy launches.
  9. Stop extensive consulting with experts so that you have time to consult with employees.
  10. Stop trying and start doing.
David Zinger is a global employee engagement expert. Email him today at for speaking, education, or consulting services.


Employee Engagement: Should We Ban Disengaged Employees?

An Olympic Action – An Organizational Consideration

The Olympics banned a number of female badminton players. One article stated:

The evening session of the tournament descended into chaos on Tuesday, with fans jeering two separate matches as players deliberately missed shots and dumped serves into the net in a race to the bottom, forcing the BWF to mount an investigation. A BWF panel charged the players with “not using one’s best efforts to win a match” and “conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport” were brought against the players.

Ban disengaged employees? I am not suggesting that we ban all disengaged employees from workplaces as there are many causes for disengagement but it makes me think that we should take decisive action and “ban” employees who deliberately don’t give their best to their work because of self-interest as they fail to consider the impact their poor performance has on their customers, peers, and organization. Even if we work in a disengaging workplace we should be engaging our best efforts to advocate and create change for the better.

What are your thoughts? Is this a crazy idea or something we have neglected in our workplaces? I encourage you to write a comment. To ban or not to ban?

10 Story Tidbits for Employee Engagement

10 Tidbits – Kevin Bishop –  Anecdote – Employee Engagement –  Boston Story Course

David Zinger picture of swans at Boston Commons (June 2012)

Stories are engaging. Stories create a fabric and  foundation for our organization. Stories powerfully communicate what is going on in employee engagement in our organization.

Kevin Bishop from Anecdote in Australia conducted a one day workshop on story and leadership in Boston this June. I believe Anecdote does terrific work with story and organizations. It was an honor to attend Kevin’s session in Boston. The focus was not directly on employee engagement but I always relate my learning to the world of work and engagement. Here is a list of 10 tidbits I derived from the day. These are my thoughts and not necessarily exact representations of Kevin’s statements or Anecdote’s specific perspective:

  1. Stories paint images in people’s minds. They are facts wrapped in context and delivered with emotion.
  2. Be careful about using the word story in many organizations as many people will default on the “once upon a time” limited view of story.
  3. Jerome Bruner, one of the world’s leading cognitive psychologists, stated that we are 22 times more likely to remember a story than a set of disconnected facts.
  4. Stories are concrete – they move us away from abstractions.Words like disengagement take on new meaning and a high level of specificity when we talk about the time our boss created a needless and massive setback on the Miller project that lead to two members of our team leaving.
  5. We need a greater focus on the little stories rather than thinking we need an epic heroic story for our organization.
  6. Follow 3 pathways to stories: tell, trigger, listen.
  7. Your behavioral story is stronger than your told story. As a leader even if you don’t tell stories you trigger many stories in your organization. What stories do your actions trigger in employees? How well are you listening to the stories already embedded in your organization?
  8. We can all benefit from more deliberate practice with our story skills.
  9. Think of narrative strategy: 1. In the past.  2. Then something happened.  3. What we are going to do.  4. What will we have achieved when we succeed.
  10. We must go beyond story telling in organizations to a greater focus on how we elicit stories from within our organizations. It may be less about telling a great engagement story and more about asking: “tell me a time you were very engaged in your work, who were you with, what were you doing, what happened?”

What engagement stories are you triggering, telling, and eliciting?  For a more direct understanding of story and leadership visit the Anecdote site.



David Zinger is an employee engagement expert who is keenly interested in story and uses story extensively in his engagement work. Contact David today to speak and work on the story of engagement at your organization or conference.