9 Benefits and Advantages of the Pyramid of Employee Engagement

The benefits and advantages of using the pyramid of employee engagement to improve engagement.

The Pyramid of Engagement is a new model for employee engagement. At the end of 2011 and the start of 2012 a new model for employee engagement was developed through 10 years of study in the field and connections with over 4600 people involved in employee engagement. The pyramid of engagement is built on 10 blocks that offer the structure for great engagement. The blocks starting at the top and going down the pyramid from left to right are: achieve results, maximize performance, path progress, build relationships, foster recognition, master moments, leverage strengths, make meaning, enhance well being, and enliven energy.

Here are 9 advantages and benefits of using this unique model of employee engagement.

Simple.  The model can be grasped in seconds and with 10 blocks and bold images it is intuitive for many people. The images and the pyramidal structure make it easy to visualize and easy to recall. Yet, embedded within this simplicity are 10 powerful keys to create, sustain, and enhance employee engagement.

Unique. Each element of the model has a bold image to represent the foundation of that block. There is a target for results, an arrow for progress, a compass for meaning, and a clock for moments. The 10 icons add a strong and compelling visual dimension to the model.

Inspire. The model was inspired by the work of the Egyptian pyramids and John Wooden’s pyramid of success. The pyramids in Egypt demonstrate that the structure will stand the test of time and remain for many years. We all know the pyramids were not built in one day much as this pyramid took time to build based on leading thinkers and practices in employee engagement. John Wooden’s pyramid outlined 15 building blocks for success and was the structure behind Wooden’s phenomenal coaching success with U.C.L.A.’s basketball program and the legacy of his teachings for his players. The Wooden pyramid is still inspiring many players and coaches today.

Flexible. The blocks are placed in a specific order yet the pyramid is open to individuals or organizations moving the blocks around. For example someone may want to put relationships at the top of the pyramid and results at the heart of the pyramid. Someone else may have their own block they would like to switch with one of the blocks in the original pyramid. Although the model is solid, it is not static.

Building blocks.  The pyramid offers the big picture of what can be done for engagement while offering the ability and structure to tackle one block at a time. Many people are overwhelmed by work and perceive engagement as yet another task. With this model you can focus on just one block at a time for a day, a week, a month, or even a year. The blocks of the pyramid remind my of the alphabet building blocks many of us had as children helping us to build familiarity and comfortableness with our letters and language as we manipulated the blocks during play.

Self and other. The pyramid was originally designed for managers to use as a tool to increase engagement with employees who report to them. It quickly became apparent that the model can be used by managers to enhance their own engagement or be offered to employees as a tool to take charge of their engagement. We can only engage others when we are engaged.

Topple the people organizational pyramid. Many organizations are organized around a pyramid. The CEO or President is at the top and people are on levels below the CEO. We should stop putting people into pyramids (remember what they were used for in Egypt) rather this pyramid is based on elements and everyone can work towards results, performance, relationships, etc. We build the blocks of engagement together, not alone and the apex of the pyramid is a place for all.

One, two, three. It is easy to make mini pyramids out of the 10 blocks. I believe when we try to focus on more than 3 items at a time we end up getting confused and diffusing our efforts. For example, you could take the top 3 blocks and focus on results, performance, and progress. You can do an assessment of your strengths and weaknesses and build a mini pyramid to overcome weaknesses or build a mini pyramid to get the absolute most from your engagement strengths.

Evidence based building blocks. The blocks are based on research and evidence based practice. A few examples of the research embedded within the pyramid are studies by by Teresa Amabile from Harvard on progress and setbacks,  research by Jane Dutton from Positive Organizational Scholarship out of the Ross School of business on organizational energy, and research by Gallup on strength based approaches to work.

Around the blocks. In case you missed the 11 part series on the pyramid of engagement here are the previous posts:

David Zinger has built the model of the Employee Engagement Pyramid as an enduring structure and tool to sustain his work on engagement for the next 18 years. David is the founder and host of the 4600 member global Employee Engagement Network. This network is part of David’s labor of  love so that others will more in love with their labors. To request information and book David for a keynote, workshop, or course on the Pyramid of Employee Engagement contact him at [email protected]

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