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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)

Creative commons Image by Jan Smith (Flickr)


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 Through People Artistry

A People Artistry Tidbit

(Reading time: 50 seconds )

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?