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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.

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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.

 

How to Live Fully at Work: The New Employee Recognition

We need more authentic and robust employee engagement and recognition.

Klinic World Suicide Prevention Day

I am honored to be invited by Klinic Community Health Centre in Winnipeg to speak during lunch hour at Vimy Ridge Park in Winnipeg during “Connecting Canada” for World Suicide Prevention Day.  If you are in Winnipeg on September the 10th., I encourage you to come by for the short presentation and the free community barbecue.

Yes, I believe that a strong organization or company will help all employees live fully at work – with a full life and a life full of meaning and mattering. We need to recognize when employees are struggling and what we can do to help. This adds a lot of oomph to how we work and relate with each other. Because our focus on September 10th. is on suicide prevention I plan to to offer a brief focus on what I consider the opposite of suicide — living fully.

To live fully is to have a full life in years while putting fullness into each day. It embraces and acknowledges life’s joys and suffering,  both our own and others, letting in compassion and support.  Living fully is about living for both us and for others. Living fully at work is more about work/life integration than trying to find an ideal state of balance. Living fully at work is the new meaningful employee recognition when we are attuned to others in our work community and we recognize and connect with them during progress, celebration, setback, struggle, and loss.

Consider accepting even one of the following 10 invitations that life offers us at work:

  1. Accept each day as an invitation to live fully.
  2. Be mindful of moments and in touch with all your fluctuating emotions.
  3. Engage with both your work and the people you work with.
  4. Acknowledge impermanence – know that even negative experiences will change over time.
  5. Move beyond isolation from others by making connection and contribution.
  6. Flourish at work with positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, accomplishment, and strengths.
  7. Open your head, heart, and hands to your coworkers.
  8. Transform the ritual question of “how are you today?” into an authentic curiosity and really listen and respond to what the other person says.
  9. Face fears and create safety at work by caring for others and caring about what they are trying to achieve in their life.
  10. Know that small is big, by taking small steps day after day you will make a huge difference in your life or the life of someone else.

Bonus: Entertain a playful serenity with this modified serenity prayer: God grant me the laughter to see the past with perspective, face the future with hope, and celebrate today without taking myself too seriously.

David Zinger is an employee engagement expert and speaker who resides in Winnipeg Canada and works around the world. David was also a volunteer counsellor at Klinic over 30 years ago.

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: www.peopleartistry.com.

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert.

Employee Engagement: How to use gamification to climb Mount Everest (almost).

Being game for work and wellbeing

(Reading time 4 minutes and 30 seconds)

Year of Points button

I have themed 2014 as a year of points. I am further extending my work on using the principles and practices of gamification for work and wellbeing. In a future post, I will provide an update of the daily game board I use to plan and track my time and performance to enhance  work and wellbeing.

For this post I want to outline a three week gamification of fitness. The Winnipeg Winter Club where I workout has a mean looking machine called Jacob’s Ladder. It is like a 40 degree angled treadmill with the tread being replaced by ladder rungs. It is exhausting and you feel a bit like Sisyphus as you climb a ladder and get nowhere, but it is a great workout. The first time I tried the ladder back in January I could only do a couple of minutes before being fatigued.

For the month of February my fitness club challenged members to climb 29, 029 feet, or the equivalent of the elevation of Mount Everest on Jacob’s Ladder. I decided this was a game, even at fifty-nine years of age, I wanted to play. I knew to be successful I needed to gamify the process and was ultimately successful in taking just twenty days from the time I started to making it to the summit.

Here was how I approached the task based on gamification ideas and practices:

Compelling narrative. I was not climbing a ladder I was participating in an adventure to get to the top of Everest. A strong compelling narrative often keeps people glued to a movie or a game. In this case, I kept imaging I was getting to the top of Everest. I wasn’t delusional but it made climbing the steps more fun.

Mount Everest

Being social. I didn’t climb with someone else but my daughter, Katharine, was my fitness buddy in another challenge at the club. Her support and knowing I was scoring points for us as a team was very helpful. I used almost daily updates on social media to report on my progress to make myself accountable to people who follow me and to gather energy and encouragement from their support. And of course, I kept broadcasting my success to my wife and sons.

Making progress. Progress is engaging while setback are disengaging. I did not wait until I arrived at the “summit” to celebrate. I printed out a Wikipedia list of all the mountain peaks around the world so I had the progress of reaching the elevation of over 1000 peaks along the way. Also I scored 10 points for a bigger fitness competition each day I completed ten or more minutes on the ladder.

Meaningful. This game was meaningful to me. For gamification to work and be sustainable the game must be meaningful to the player. Virtually climbing Mount Everest would not be either compelling or meaningful to many people but as someone who lived their whole life on the prairies it had always been a whimsical desire to climb the world’s tallest peak. Given everything else in my life this was about as close as I was going to get to achieving that desire.

Novelty. From one perspective I was just climbing a ladder to nowhere and that can be very fatiguing and boring. I enhanced novelty in the game by working at different paces and with different lengths of climbing. One day I climbed for 28 minutes and covered 1816 feet — this climb was the equivalent of climbing the CN Tower in Toronto (it must have been a foggy day as the view on Jacob’s Ladder never seemed to actually change).

Keeping track. I used a notebook to keep track of time, steps, and speed. Monitoring the climb with the different numbers derived was motivating while keeping me on track and preventing a fitness goal derailment.

Celebrate. I did celebrate success of the goal achieved by opening a small bottle of bubbly champagne and toasting the feat with Jeff, the fitness director, in a couple of small paper cone cups. We should always make time to celebrate progress as this helps to mentally install all the benefits of our accomplishments.

Benefits beyond the game. I like games that are immersions rather than diversions. By this I mean the game has real world benefits and is not merely a distraction from work and life. This game increased my fitness, helped me shed about 10 pounds, and feel more energized each day.

The game as a booster rather than an end in itself. Sometimes the trouble with gamification is that it begins to lose its impact over time. Now that I was successful will this mean I stop using the ladder and let my fitness entropy to previous levels. To overcome this I am now planning to climb the equivalent of the 7 summits of the world over the next year. It won’t be as intensive as the last month but it will make the progress and fitness sustainable over a long period of time. As we begin to approach the end of a helpful and positive gamification of work or wellbeing it is quite helpful to ask ourselves: what come’s next? Just because the game ended doesn’t mean the practice and benefits should also end.

Are you game? How can you integrate the practices outline above into your own work and wellbeing to foster greater engagement in achieving a result that matters to you or your work group?

Many small steps are one giant step. In summary it was 29,029 small steps for David and one giant step for the application of gamification to better work and wellbeing.

David Zinger Employee Engagement Speaker

David Zinger is a Canadian employee engagement speaker and expert who believes in the benefits of gamification as a powerful tool for greater engagement.

Employee Engagement Waggle on Slideshare

Waggle while you work

Honeybee Yellow

Here is the latest eBook by David Zinger on 39 ways to improve organizations, employee engagement, and work. The book is based on 3 years of experience convening honeybees and humans. Catch the buzz by learning to think differently inside and outside your human hive!

David Zinger is an expert  global employee engagement speaker and consultant who brings the engagement  down to earth while striving to enliven the pyramid of employee engagement to help leaders, managers, and organizations increase engagement and results while also building relationships. David has worked on employee engagement from Winnipeg to Warsaw, Saskatoon to South Africa, and Boston to Barcelona. In 2013, David has spoken in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Berlin, New York, Chicago, and Toronto. Contact him today at: david@davidzinger.com

 

Watch for Waggle – May 29

This background page for the new eBook Waggle makes me think of the old bat symbol in Batman. I hope you enjoy the book as much as I enjoyed Batman on TV from 1966 to 1968! Watch for Waggle this Wednesday.

 

The Bee Symbol

David Zinger’s New eBook Waggle Coming May 29 (Table of Contents Page)

My new eBook Waggle: 39 Ways to Improve Organizations, Work and Engagement will be released on May 29th. I hope you will return to this site on Wednesday to read or download this free eBook with ways to improve organizations, work, and engagement based on my work with honeybees, office objects, and computers for 3 summers. My favorite waggle is: One bee matters.

Here is the table of contents page from the book:

Waggle Table of Contents Promotion Page

David Zinger conducted a 3 summer experiment attempting to convene honeybees and humans into a shared space. David’s is devoted to improving engagement for organizations and individuals.

Waggle: 39 Ways to Improve Organizations, Work, and Engagement (Coming May 29th)

Waggle is coming May 29th

Waggle Book New Cover Promotion

My newest free eBook Waggle is coming on May 29th. This book looks fantastic on a tablet or smart phone. It is based on 3 years attempting to convene honeybees and humans. It is not really about bees, don’t worry you won’t get stung. It is about what we can learn from bees to improve our own work, engagement, and organizations.

It will be released on May 29th. because that is Manitoba’s: Day of the Honeybee.

I will post it on this site and other places on that day. It is 68 pages long and has lots of pictures so it is an easy read, perfect while you are waiting at the gate for your flight to Timbuktu or waiting in your doctor’s office.

I no longer have the patience for most business books that drone on for 350 pages and generally I can find most of what I am looking for from an author in a good blog post. I just had so many great images that I wanted something that was easier to look at and pass around.

The book is free, you will just click on the image and read it or download it. There is no email or registration required. What I hope you will do is pass it on to others who may benefit by being able to think differently inside their hive.

Come back on May 29, catch the buzz, and start your waggle.

Waggle Promotion Image

David Zinger is an employee engagement expert and speaker who went to the honeybee hives for three summers to learn lesson for engagement from this enthralling species.

Employee Engagement Friday Factoid #23: 93% of us work with a Slacker

Are you slacking or picking up the slack?

Slacking co-workers cause a quarter of their hard-working colleagues to put in four to six more hours of work each week…four out of five say the quality of their work declines when they have to pick up their co-workers’ slack — a huge potential blow to the bottom line when you consider that 93 percent have a co-worker who doesn’t do his or her fair share.  Stuck With a Slacking Co-Worker?

Commentary

This survey was conducted by Vital Smarts and offered support for the importance of holding Crucial Conversations and Crucial Confrontations when working with others who have disengaged.

David Zinger is a global employee engagement expert. He teaches both Crucial Conversations and Crucial Confrontations for Shared Visions/Vital Smarts and believes in the power of conversation to foster engagement and to correct for disengagement.