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Career Zinger: Doing good work is the pathway to career success.
Ed Sheeran had the biggest hit song of 2017: Shape of You.
Bernadette Jiwa, in writing about 12 lessons derived from the biggest hit of the year stated:
You have to put yourself into the situations that give you the best chance of doing great work.”
The best situation I know to give yourself a chance for great work is to continually strive to do good work. For three years I have been adamant in defining work and employee engagement as: “good work done well with others every day.” If you do good work every day, once in a while the situation may arise that you will stumble into great work.
David Zinger is an expert on employee engagement with a keen focus on career engagement for 2018.
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Career Zingers #5: Be Resolute, Don’t Be Coercive.
Ah, New Year’s Day signals a time when many of us make resolutions to advance our career or begin the 100 other self-improvement initiatives we scheme up. The good news is that we don’t resist change but the bad news is we resist coercion. We can be quite self-coercive with our own career development. Trying to make ourselves or force ourselves to be better. This sows the seeds for failure. For 2018, I encourage you to be resolute without being coercive.
I’m David Zinger, engage along with me, the best is yet to be.
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During the day as I look through my glasses I often fail to notice how many smudges are on the glass – obscuring my worldview.
As I take off my glasses – and look at them – I see how much they are in need of cleaning. Before launching into 2018 stop looking at yourself, your career and world and take some time to look at the concepts, ideas, and evaluations that act as your internal lens. Give these concepts a solid cleaning to remove career smudges so that you have a clean and fresh view of 2018.
David Zinger is focused on career, employee, and work engagement.
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Career Zingers #3: On the Path.
As we speed into 2018 many of us make resolutions and dream of an idealized year ahead. Many of our resolutions are neither attainable nor sustainable. We get caught up in the frenetic compulsion to get to some idealized destination. Stop your motor mind and start thinking of yourself on a path. It can be helpful to travel together, don’t forget to appreciate the scenery right in front of you, enjoy some snacks on the way, and walk on.
David Zinger focuses on employee engagement, work engagement, and career engagement.
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Career Zingers #2: How to have an engaging career in 2018
Too often we view career development as aspirations, goals, and future results. In our pursuit of the future we miss the living moment of our career. To have an amazing career in 2018 ensure you don’t miss where you really are in a blind craving and endless pursuit of where you want to be.
David Zinger is an employee, work, and career engagement expert.
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Career Engagement: Incomparable.
Merry Christmas. I hope the gift you open on Christmas day is yourself.
Comparing yourself or your career development to others is to transform yourself into a wooden yard stick. You may be able to measure things but you are no longer human. The next time you feel jealous, diminished, or envy of another person, ask yourself:
Do I want to be a wooden yard stick or a living human being who is simply incomparable?
David Zinger is an employee engagement expert focused on career engagement in 2018. If you want to make a difference in your own career reach out to David today at [email protected]
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The absolute best book I have ever read and studied on burnout is 35 years old this year. Christina Maslach, an exceptional psychologist, wrote Burnout – The Cost of Caring. Below is a picture of my book with a well worn cover and a lot of underlining and notes on the inside.
It personally helped me when I burnt out as a youth care worker 35 years ago and, 35 years later, helped me this year when I was feeling cynical, exhausted, and lacking self-efficacy in my work on employee engagement and wellbeing.
Often in pursuit of the latest resource we forget a resource from years ago that can be so helpful to us. I call this resource myopia — the resource is there but we just fail to see it, think about it,or remember the lessons that we already know but forgot for one reason or another.
The book was designed specifically for anyone in the helping professions, but in the subtitle Maslach said it is for, “anyone who cares about people.” As I read that phrase I hope that is all of us and especially everyone who takes on a role of leader or manager in any organization.
Every manager and leader in every organization around the globe needs to care about people. If they don’t, get out of that role. Yet, recognize that caring can come at the cost of burnout if we don’t know how to read the signs of cynicism, exhaustion, and low self-efficacy. When we read the signs we can take action to prevent burnout or assist in full and robust recovery after burnout.
Here is a snippet from the book:
When I try to describe my experience to someone else, I use the analogy of a teapot. Just like a teapot, I was on the fire, with water boiling – working hard to handle problems and do good. But after several years, the water had boiled away, and yet I was still on the fire – a burned-out teapot in danger of cracking, Carol B. (page 2)
I will not stop caring, it is in my heart, soul, and DNA. My personal experiences with burnout provided me with a very authentic and powerful dimension to my work on wellbeing, employee engagement, management, and leadership. I would not chose it but I would never change it.
If you are looking for a very powerful speech or workshop on work and wellbeing I encourage you to contact me right away to help ensure work makes us well: [email protected]
Engage along with me, the best is yet to be.
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A personal experience with a small nudge for you to replicate this where you work.
I presented on employee engagement at the Employer Branding Summit in Sofia, Bulgaria last month. I had a wonderful day engaging with the participants and other speakers.
I was thrilled today to receive the following feedback from Nicole Georgieva of the To The Top Agency in Sofia. Nicole is the woman in the top left hand picture. Ralitsa Gencheva the woman in the center of the top right picture was the person who wrote the feedback and Georgi Georgiev, the conference host and organizer, is the gentleman in the top left hand picture.
David Zinger was our key speaker at the Employer Brand Summit conference which took place on 12th October 2017 in Sofia, Bulgaria. We were amazed by his professionalism, expertise, presentation skills and humanity. He was extremely well received by the Bulgarian audience – we gather feedback from each event and almost all participants who completed the feedback forms pointed him to be the speaker they liked the most and that made the greatest impact on the summit.
We faced absolutely no problems with him also on the organizational part – he is very disciplined, gave us all the resources that we needed in a timely manner and was so kind to shoot a promotional video before the event at our request. To The Top Agency will be delighted and is looking forward to working again with Mr Zinger and to have him here in Bulgaria again.
We highly recommend him!
This made my day and the key message I leave you with is to take time today to make someone’s day where you work by passing on your uplifting feedback about their work.
Knowing we are appreciated is the fuel and nourishment to keep us engaged for the long run.
David Zinger is a global work and employee engagement educator and speaker.
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Warning: The New Employee Engagement will Cause Change.
Be warned. If you focus on the New Employe Engagement where you work — work will change.
I believe employee engagement should come with a warning label for any organization or individual who is ready, willing, and able to undertake the journey into the New Employee Engagement.
The warning label is required because:
- The New Employee Engagement is a revolution. Rather than the loose concept and idea of engagement revolving around work — work, management, and leadership will revolve around engagement.
- The New Employee Engagement is predicated on the principle that everyone within the organization is an employee, including all managers and leaders.
- The New Employee Engagement will change how we work and how we work together. Employees will be responsible for their own engagement and the organization will be accountable to employees.
- The New Employee Engagement will result in higher levels of uncertainty and participation. Engaged employees do not sit passively and go along with the status quo.
- The New Employee Engagement will change the organization as much as it changes the individual. We all must be open to both input and influence.
- The New Employee Engagement will remove the cloak of employee invisibility and anonymity. Real recognition requires recognizing the pluralism of voices in the organization and who is voicing what so we can have conversation not interrogation.
- The New Employee Engagement will demand that we take responsibility for our own engagement. Engagement goes with us and it is real time, not some annual antiquated measure of attitude.
- The New Employee Engagement will require that we educate employees on how to engage not to chain them to the organization but to unleash their energy and engagement for their work contributions.
- The New Employee Engagement will be much more about task than a warm fuzzy feeling for the organization and leaders must realize most of their task is building relationships.
- The New Employee Engagement will demand that we are accountable for how we influence other people’s level of engagement.
- The New Employee Engagement will require us to get very comfortable with the idea of work as an invitation and the contingent consequences for accepting or declining the invitation.
- The New Employee Engagement will not be tethered to HR or Internal Communications – engagement will be everyone’s business.
- The New Employee Engagement will demand that work makes us well so that both our work and our health are sustainable as we thrive rather than just survive.
- The New Employee Engagement will not be about getting a higher engagement score rather it will install achieving results, building relationships, and cultivating wellbeing as the powerful troika of work.
- The New Employee Engagement will not be about passive attitudes or emotions rather it will be about small and significant actions attached to what is significant and meaningful to individuals and organizations.
- The New Employee Engagement will make us abandon programs and policy in favour of process and actions.
- The New Employee Engagement will have us abandon slogans of being a great place to work in favour of actually being a good place to work.
- The New Employee Engagement will force us to let go of thinking of engagement as something we do to or for employees into something we do with employees.
- The New Employee Engagement will come to an end not as a fad that failed but because it integrates so well into how we work, manage, and lead that we don’t need the term.
- The New Employee Engagement will abandon the antiquated focus of work/life balance for life/work infusion where our life contributes to our work and and our work contributes to our life.
- The New Employee Engagement will create new ways of working that we are only beginning to imagine.
There, you’ve been warned. I think it is worth the risk to dwell and work in the New Employee Engagement but know what you are getting into before you engage. To learn about 4 courses for The New Employee Engagement, click here.
To get working on the New Employee Engagement email David Zinger at [email protected] and begin the engaging conversation with David to change work where you work.
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Employee engagement is good work done well with others every day. There is no way to engagement, to engage is the way.
I am celebrating a new year of work and focus on employee engagement today, November 1st, 2017.
Here are the 4 major topics, keynotes, speeches, workshops, courses and master classes I will be focusing on to achieve results, build relationships, cultivate wellbeing and improve employee engagement for the benefit of all with my clients in 2018. I encourage you to contact me to have a conversation about my services and engage along with me because our best is yet to be.
Our first quarter century of work on employee engagement did not produce the organizational or individual results we expected. It is tempting to abandon our efforts and go in search of a new grail of leadership, management, and work.
I believe just the opposite is required, we need to get more into engagement to get more out of it.
The New Employee Engagement will help us attain the key ABC’s of work: Achieve Results, Build Relationships, and Cultivate Wellbeing because work will revolve around engagement rather than engagement circling around work.
1. The New Employee Engagement: Getting More into Our Work to Get More Out of Our Work
Leverage the 10 Essential Elements of Engagement to Turbocharge Leadership and Work.
Employee engagement has not lived up to expectations. There is no way to engagement, to engage is how we lead, manage, and work. Apply the 10-block pyramid of engagement for exceptional results, performance, progress, relationships, recognition, moments, strengths, meaning, wellbeing, and energy.
2. Well, Well, Well: Dynamic Tools for Wellbeing at Work
Build and Apply a Powerful Wellbeing Toolkit
Work can make us well but many people experience the opposite from disengagement and stress to illness and burnout. Wellbeing is not a program, policy, or work perk. Authentic wellbeing is derived from building and practicing a toolkit of powerful pathways and skills in being well at work and having work itself contribute to our overall wellbeing
3. Engage2 – The Essential Approach and Skills in Being an Engaging Leader/Manager
Mastering Engaging Conversations: From Curiosity and Questions to Conversations and Action
Leaders and managers must achieve results, build relationships, and cultivate wellbeing. We double the power of engagement by assisting managers in seizing personal responsibility for their own engagement while also being accountable to the organization and all employees with their positive influence on everyone’s engagement.
4. How to Be a People Artist at Work
Skill and Will Development to Draw Out the Best in Others at Work.
Everyone can be an artist of recognition, appreciation, and connection. People Artistry is the debt we pay forward to those who drew out the best from us. Learn how be a People Artist at work and draw out the best from others for performance, recognition, and engagement, and wellbeing.
David Zinger, a global employee engagement visionary, speaker, writer, network host, educator and consultant, offers four exclusive keynotes, speeches, workshops, master classes or courses in 2018. Each session can be customized based on the client’s unique needs and interests. These courses are unique and exclusive based on David’s limited availability and interest. The sessions are ideal for leadership and management education, conferences, keynotes, or company-wide sessions on engagement.
View a short sample of David speaking on Employee Engagement at a Wales conference on Leadership Engagement:
To learn more or request a topic, email: [email protected] or phone: 204 254 2130
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From confession to commitment – engagement to burnout and back again.
Engagement is the diamond in the heart of work and wellbeing.
This post is personal. Work is personal. This is not a vague theoretical outline of disengagement. It is also not a quick fix. This post outlines a challenging journey from disengagement to re-engagement. Although it is personal, I believe embedded in the experience are insights and approaches that have universal application.
Overall, my work had been steadily progressing in employee engagement for over a decade but on November 3rd of 2016 I hit a work-related speed bump. It threw the meaning of my work up in the air, jolted me emotionally, and almost brought me to a complete stop.
On November 3rd I was teaching my employee engagement course in Dubai when between 10AM and 3PM, three of the fully engaged participants suffered major economic and career setbacks that were out of their control. Engagement is no guarantee against the consequences of major economic upheaval. That same evening my wife phoned to let me know that she had been let go from the leadership position she loved. Susan had the highest level of work engagement I know but this was no guarantee of work, organizational appreciation, or career security. These two events on opposite sides of the globe hit me much harder than I first realized. I don’t believe burnout occurs in one day but November 3rd crystallized many other experiences, perceptions, and emotions over the previous year or two into my personal D-Day or Disengagement-Day.
Since that time I have been showing classic signs of burnout: exhaustion, cynicism, and the belief that my work was not making a difference. I felt that my work on engagement was equivalent to putting lipstick on camels. It isn’t very pretty and the camel is still a camel!
For the past decade, I had focused all my work on employee engagement from founding and hosting the 7400 member Employee Engagement Network to education and speeches around the world, and writing four books on work. Imagine my befuddlement as I found myself disengaged from my own work. I felt even worse because I had comprehensive knowledge and methods to engage yet I was stuck. I believe work can make us well but I was not well at this time. In addition, I have a 30-year background as an employee assistance counselor and university counselor educator. I was naively arrogant believing this knowledge and expertise would make me immune from disengagement.
My sense of being engaged in meaningful work was blurred and my vigor, dedication, and absorption to both initiate and complete tasks were depleted. I did most of my work but not at the level I expected of myself, and a number of tasks languished on the proverbial back burner.
At 62, I contemplated retiring from work yet I know in my heart that there was much I still feel called to do and I am stubborn enough not to give up.
A month ago, I encountered and fully resonated with a new word: “inanition.” Inanition means being empty, lacking in enthusiasm, vitality, and vigor. It is a spiritual emptiness, loss of purpose, and exhaustion caused by a lack of nourishment. My work failed to nourish me — my energy was dwindling, and I was a living example of inanition.
My experience is personal but it also seems to have a sense of universality to it. Your causes of disengagement, burnout or inanition may be quite different than mine, ranging from job loss and unfair practices at work to a lack of psychological safety or major career setback, but the pathway out of inanition to full engagement may have commonalities.
Here are 12 points of navigational guidance if you should encounter burnout or inanition during your career journey:
- Know that your career is a hero’s journey. In every hero’s journey there will be dragons (challenges and setbacks) and that’s what makes the journey so engaging, challenging, and rewarding. Of course you might also get scorched.
- Be patient, kind and accepting. The road back to engagement may be longer than you think. It may ask you not to be so tough on yourself. It may demand acceptance without giving up or sinking into despondent acquiescence or depression.
- Being resilient doesn’t mean you are a rubber ball that can instantly bounce back after being thrown to the ground. Infuse gentle tenacity and personal stubbornness based on your career purpose or calling into your human and fallible resilience. Embrace human resilience and authentic unfolding during your career quest.
- Acknowledge that setbacks are inevitable and they do not signal the end of the journey.
- When you are on fire because of burnout it is time to stop, drop, and roll. Determine what you may need to stop doing and what you may need to drop from your work and expectations. Once you have determined what you need to stop don’t freeze — determine how you will roll into re-engagement and healthy wellbeing.
- Take personal responsibility for your own engagement without sinking into self-blame or guilt when things are not moving as fast as you hope or think they should.
- Embrace impermanence. Nothing lasts. Know that change can, and will, occur. As one Zen statement declares: spring comes and the grass grows by itself. Authentic optimists know that setbacks are seldom permanent, pervasive, and personal.
- Let others know what you are going through and ask for help. Depending upon the severity, duration and intensity of the experience consult with a career coach or employee assistance counselor. Every hero needs a mentor or Yoda.
- Know that meaning at work and in life is not something we find, it is something we create and at times need to re-create. I will no longer put lipstick on camels but I can offer many contributions to make work better for individuals and organizations.
- Overall in overcoming inanition, look more for trending than transformation. I wanted to wake up the next morning and have it all be gone and for me to be my old self but I now focus more on positive trending in a more engaged direction than magic cures or effortless engagement elixirs.
- There are always lessons embedded in every experience. Inanition may not be the most welcome of work teachers but the lessons learned may be invaluable for the rest of your career. I am still very much in the process of determining what I have learned and how that learning will shape the remainder of my career.
- Embrace life and work. Work is not a problem to be solved; it is an experience to be lived. Don’t miss it because you imagine or believe it should be something other than it is in the present moment.
Pregnancy and Rebirth. I trace back my challenges with burnout and engagement to November 3, 2016. Today is August 3, 2017. If November 3rd was D-Day than I consider August 3rd E-Day, the day of full re-engagement. This time frame of nine months seems very symbolic to me. I have gone through a very challenging pregnant pause in my work on engagement but it has given birth to a rebirth in engagement and burnout made stronger by the challenges and setbacks. I would be delighted to work with you and your organization to help you give rebirth to engagement while also preventing or alleviating burnout by focusing on everyday employee engagement.
I often offer a line in the conclusion of my writing and after writing this post, I know that this is as much a message to myself as to my readers: Engage along with me, the best is yet to be.
David Zinger is a human and fallible expert on employee engagement and believes that work can make us well, even if sometimes it doesn’t. He designed and delivers a powerful daily behavioural approach to preventing and overcoming burnout and installing authentic and powerful engagement. This education is offered in keynotes, workshops, courses, and masterclasses. David believes in the power of everyday employee engagement to make work better and to make us better.
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After 9 months of wandering in the disengagement wilderness, tomorrow will mark a rebirth in my work on engagement. It was a very unsatisfying and challenging “pregnant pause.”
Yet, it is encouraging and energizing to feel that I moved through this thick and gooey wilderness and at T.S. Eliot would declare, “arrive where I started and know the place as if for the first time.
I strongly encourage you to read tomorrow post on 12 Lessons from a Personal Journey Through Burnout.
David Zinger is a Canadian employee engagement speaker and expert who works around the world helping individuals and organizations engage in good work done well with others every day.
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Employee and work engagement ask that we become fully absorbed in our work.
How willing are you to become fully absorbed? Do you recognize what that requires?
David Zinger is a Canadian employee engagement speaker and expert focused on the power of everyday employee engagement.
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What started as a small labor of love for work and engagement has now exceeded over 7400 members.
The Employee Engagement Network is a boutique media network focused on all things related to employee engagement. We have a fresh cartoon each week. A selection of work and engagement videos. New blog posts daily. And a host of other resources.
I encourage you to visit once a week for 5 minutes to see what’s up in employee engagement. Visit now.
David Zinger is the founder and host of the employee engagement network.
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If you laugh at work, you last at work. Enjoy John Junson’s 546th cartoon on work for the Employee Engagement Network.
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Employee engagement needs more good work.
My eight word definition is: good work done well with others every day.
I was watching a Sherlock Holmes TV show when Sherlock’s brother said, “Sherlock is better than great, he is good.”
I thought that statement summed up where we need to go with organizations, leadership, work, and engagement.
On July 4th., I received an email from Bernadette Jiwa from the Story of Telling. She said it so well that I believe it deserves repeating:
We frequently witness similar missteps like the Volkswagen emissions scandal and United Airlines passenger abuse in companies that are striving for our current narrow definition of greatness. In our Western world of abundance and privilege greatness is a game of comparison that drives us to achieve more. Bigger wins, more sales, rising revenue, increased market share, growth, scale, power and influence. Permanently higher highs that inevitably end in compromise. We have created a culture where we’re not winning unless someone else is less than or losing. It’s time for a change. While it seems like a daunting task, it’s possible for us as individuals to redefine greatness by changing how we measure success—by replacing our winner-takes-all worldview with one that requires us to question if we’re doing work we’re proud of.
Are you doing good work? Are you doing it on purpose? Are you doing it every day?
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In April 2014, I personally defined employee engagement as: good work done well with others every day.
I wanted to make engagement both simple and good. I am delighted to see CIPD, the leading work organization in the UK spearhead a strong focus on good work. Here is a wonderful short video by Chief Executive Peter Cheese launching CIPD’s Manifesto for Work 2017, underlining the fundamental importance of good work:
Here is a snippet from this short video:
Work can and should be a force for good. It should be good for individuals, good for organizations, and therefore also good for economies and wider societies. Good work should be purposeful and meaningful. It should be inclusive and it should be fair.
David Zinger is a Canadian employee engagement speaker, educator, and consultant who works on engagement around the world.
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Are you ready for the good stuff?
I have been defining employee engagement for a number of years as: good work done well with others every day.
I was thrilled to read the UK’s CIPD Manifesto for Work 2017. Here are the first few lines from the executive summary:
The UK faces a time of huge transition and transformation. We believe we must work towards putting people much more at the heart of business thinking and practice. It is people who drive creativity and innovation, productivity, customer service and all the elements of successful and sustainable enterprise of any kind. We need to invest in them, engage them, and lead from the principles that good work is purposeful, good work is safe, inclusive and good for our well-being, and that good work exists for the long-term benefit of individuals, organisations and society. That work can, and should, be a force for good, for all.
I put the “good stuff” in bold. Now that’s what I call good stuff!
David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and educator. Picture by Peter W. Hart, my People Artists co-author.
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The next step in employee engagement for individuals and organizations is to fully engage the quantified self.
I define employee engagement as: good work done well with others every day. I believe employees are personally responsible for their own engagement while each of us is accountable for the influence we have on the engagement levels of other employees.
Our antiquated methods of survey data and analytics in employee engagement do little to help us measure and master engagement. The bi-annual or annual survey of engagement is a data anachronism resembling a flip phone in the age of smart phones and pulse surveys are at best bandages losing their stickiness to halt the haemorrhaging of useful data.
What if we offered employees a device to help them with their daily engagement, a device that acts like their own engagement version of Jiminy Cricket, which measures what matters?
Let’s imagine a day in the life of an employee connected to a personal engagement device
Prabir wakes up and checks his E-Zone (Engagement Zone) watch to determine his rest and recovery overnight because he wants to know his physical readiness for the day ahead.
His device takes his heart rate and other biomeasures to give him a baseline of physical energy for the day as he arrives at work. Based on the measures, it offers Prabir two suggestions to sustain his energy and engagement for the day.
His engagement monitoring device helps him determine his engagement zone, the period of work between 5 and 90 minutes that is ideal for him to stay fully engaged with a task. It tracks his level of vigor, absorption, and dedication for each task based on the work of Arnold Bakker on work engagement and suggests the length of time Prabir should stay on task before switching to something else. Prabir does this because it helps him stay in the flow and assists him in doing more vital ‘deep work’ as outlined by Cal Newport, Georgetown professor and author of Deep Work.
When Prabir is working with a team, he gets measures of honest signals based on the work of Sandy Pentland, to determine how effectively his team is working. His device monitors overall psychological safety at work and notifies him when safety may be at risk for himself or others. The devise both triggers and keeps a measure of Prabir’s high-quality interactions based on the work of Jane Dutton and the contributions of these interactions to his energy and the energy of the overall workplace.
Throughout the day the device takes measure of his engagement. Prabir has his own engagement dashboard, including a personal profile of his engagement strengths and challenges. The device can be configured by Prabir to give him engagement nudges at appropriate times.
Prabir owns his own data but he has the option to aggregate his engagement data with the teams he works with, his department, and the larger organization.
There are additional social and gamification options that he can choose to activate if they help him to be more engaged. Prabir’s engagement device is loaded with notifications and recommendations to enhance and enliven engagement. Over time, Prabir’s interaction with his engagement device has created customized and personalized analytic recommendations that guide him in being more effective, efficient, and engaged.
We do not have to imagine most of what was offered in Prabir’s day as the technology and research behind it is already available or will be through rapid development and refinement. The current use of health tracking and smart phones demonstrates how engaged people are with mobile technology and tracking devices. According to a research by Deloitte, on an average, people look at their phones over 40 times a day while those in the age group 18-24 years, look at their phones over 80 times a day. And the number of “looks” has been steadily increasing. Moreover, a GfK survey that studied 20,000 people in 16 countries reveals that 1 in 3 people track their health and fitness already with an app or device.
Data is part of the essential lifeblood of an individual, and it should be owned by the individual with an option to share with the organization. It should not be a resource we pay survey consultancies with large fees, only to be returned as slick PowerPoint slides and a generic list of drivers and levers. We need to create and sustain real-time and relevant engagement benchmarks laced with immediate measurement and feedback.
When we make data more personal and owned first by the very person creating it, we need to step up fully and address issues of honesty, trust, and psychological safety in organizations where we no longer hide behind anonymous data gathering approaches. New engagement technologies will function as a trigger to focus on building bonds of trust between individuals and organizations because the organization will not have access to the data without trust. The new currency for data collection for employee engagement will be human trust not large survey consulting fees.
In 2009, roughly when the first Fitbit appeared, I wrote about Sandy Pentland’s work on “honest signals” and the application of social measures to determine real-time social and team engagement. His group measured elements like synchrony and mimicry to measure unconscious channels of communication between people.
New engagement technologies will function as a trigger to focus on building bonds of trust between individuals and organizations In the near future, we envision a new generation of management tools that are enabled by the sociometer’s capability to produce real-time maps of an organization’s information flow and function. These sensible organizations will use these new sensing capabilities to make sure that the sales department really is talking to the marketing department, and that employees aren’t overloaded and miserable.
The next step in employee engagement for individuals and organizations is to fully engage the quantified self. Technology challenges in doing this may be less than the ethical and psychological safety challenges that will be required for this to work. This technological opportunity might not only transform metrics and analytics, it may contribute to increased levels of trust and safety for individuals and organizations. Sandy Pentland alluded to this in 2009,
To achieve this, it will take special care to strike a balance between the “big brother” nature of such information and the benefits that can be reaped. We believe that this balance can be achieved by giving employees control of their own information, creating a transparent system with immediate benefits to everyone.
So, how are you preparing for the next big thing in employee engagement?
This article originally appeared in People Matters: Click here to open the PDF of this article from People Matters.
David Zinger is a workplace engagement educator focused on personal engagement, work engagement, and employee engagement
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Instil and install employee engagement with small and significant actions.
It was an honour to teach my 2-day employee engagement course in Bangkok last week. The participants were from Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand. We were a small group and it gave us lots of opportunity to work together and to understand employee engagement better together.
The MahaNakon was the inspirational backdrop to our course and very visible from the roof of our hotel. This building inspires a different way of looking at the world.
Engagement often left us scratching our heads and with many question about how to fully engage others and ourselves. We need to think carefully about what we really want from engagement and we need to keep a very mindful focus on how engagement changes and alters within moments.
Bangkok is exactly 12 hours difference than my home in Winnipeg, Canada and this journey half way around the world enriched and enlivened my learning, views, and teaching for employee engagement.
What most stood out for me about engagement is how we can both instil and install employee engagement with small and significant actions.
David Zinger is an employee engagement educator and speaker.
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The MahaNakhon and 7 lessons for Employee Engagement – An Open Architectural Metaphor
Ole Scheeren is the architect behind the MahaNakhon, the 77 story tallest skyscraper in Bangkok. The name of the building means “great metropolis.” The building’s shape creates the image of being unfinished, something like a Jenga game. It feels like a pixel building that is either being constructed or destructed. I keep thinking of the word fragmented as I view the building from many perspectives around Bangkok. I believe Scheeren is preparing us and giving us the space to dwell more comfortably in an increasingly fragmented and pixelated world, and this resonates with the world of work and engagement.
Here is a comment from a CNN interview with the architect:
“MahaNakhon is a vision of a tower that is very much about process, about becoming, about developing,” Scheeren says of the building. Scheeren says the design’s distinct façade and use of space is intended to strike an ongoing dialogue with the city and capture its intensity. “I believe in the interest of space and also the power of space to do something to the people that inhabit it,” Scheeren says.
The building captures your eye and often creates a strong emotion when seeing it. About half of the people I talked with love the building and the other half don’t like the building. In some ways people living and working within the building will become more transparent to the city of Bangkok. Scheeren added, “If you look at my buildings, they are not all the same. They are different because different situations inspire and require very different answers.”
Here are 7 mini lessons for engagement I derived from this new structure in Bangkok:
- Make engagement different where you work. Create ongoing dialogue with the full environment of engagement within your organization.
- Make what is going on more transparent as you move up the building or organization (leaders can learn a lot from this).
- Strive for engagement to be different through simplicity not specialness. (keep engagement simple in form while open to interpretation).
- Imagine things that are not there and consider what is there already (know where we are and how what we are building in engagement, changes things).
- The building exemplifies process, becoming, unfinished, incomplete, and developing (as we build engagement let’s not lose sight of these elements in our architecture of engagement).
- Ensure that what you are building with engagement is intriguing, visual, and engaging. If your approach to engagement is strong don’t expect everyone to like it.
- Ensure you create open space in your building or engagement for people to “move around.”
What stands our for you as lessons for engagement when you view the MahaNakhon?
For more on the building:
David Zinger is a global employee engagement speaker and expert. To read a similar type of post from Doha, Qatar see Employee Engagement in Doha: Geometry and Sun Light.
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This interview originally appeared on the Engagement Zone site one month ago. I invite you to read it if you’d like more information about my perspective on employee engagement.
We at The Engagement Zone sat down with the CEO of The Employee Engagement Network & Engagement 101 Fellow – David Zinger.
David Zinger an employee engagement speaker, author and coach that founded the Employee Engagement Network. With 15 years’ experience as a counsellor and coach at Seagram, Zinger has a depth of experience in working with employees and helping them reach their full potential.
In this interview, we ask David about the keys of employee engagement and where he sees the field in the future.
EZ: What does employee engagement mean to you?
DAVID: Employee engagement is all about the ABC’s of work: Achieve results. Build relationships. Cultivate wellbeing. I define it in 8 words: good work done well with others every day.
EZ: What are your three tips for companies looking to drive engagement in their organisations?
DAVID: Stop being mechanical. Employee engagement is not about driving and levers, it is a human experience. We need to move away from engagement as something we do “to” or “for” employees into something we do with employees. Stop thinking about engagement as a noun and view it as a verb – engage – requiring engaging actions every day.
Employees are responsible for their own engagement and we are each accountable for our influence on other’s engagement. Ensure that you help all employees (leaders, managers, frontline) be ready, able, and willing to do what is necessary to engage based on personal responsibility.
Stop trusting consultancies and tips (even ones like this from me). Test them for yourself and your organization to see if they work. Move from best case to test case. Your people are smarter than you think — they could develop a survey that is unique for your organization. And if you think you need to benchmark just use the standard bell curve from statistics and you have a decent benchmark free of charge. Engagement requires relationships so enliven this classic line from positive deviancy: never do anything about me without me.
EZ: What do you feel are the biggest pitfalls that companies should look to avoid when executing their engagement strategy?
- Stop looking for engagement, there is no way to engagement, to engage is the way.
- Never go on a retreat to create strategy rather charge into the organization and draw the strategy out rather than giving strategy as something ready-made.
- Work towards more open and transparent approaches to engagement.
- Stop making people invisible by giving them anonymous surveys that make it impossible to personalize the feedback you received from employees in an anonymous survey. Employees should be the first to see their own engagement levels if you believe in personal responsibility for employee engagement.
- Strive towards making your organization as psychologically safe as possible and one day you could stop all this anonymous stuff and make engagement authentic and real.
- Disengagement should not be a punishable offence; it needs to be a trigger for an engaging conversation.
- Never sell or pay for your personal and organizational data to be taken from you. You should own your own engagement data and individuals within the organization should own their engagement data.
EZ: Why do employees fail to buy in when companies try to ramp up engagement?
DAVID: Employees fail to buy in because of the “buy in” metaphor. Stop selling engagement. Engagement needs to be seen much more as an experience to be lived, shared, and worked with than a problem to be solved. If you want to get everyone on the same page they must be invited to write on the page.
EZ: What skills are most useful for everyone to have when trying to move towards a culture of engagement?
- The ability and skills to listen.
- The ability to get comfortable with error and mistakes.
- The ability to have engaging conversations any time there is a positive or negative variance from expectation.
- Skills in understanding “the numbers” and to have a stat for every story and a story for every stat.
- The skills to make work psychologically safe for both ourselves and others.
- Robust relationships skills wedded with know how to infuse wellbeing into the very fabric of our work.
- The ability to simultaneously connect and care for both results and relationships.
EZ: You’re a judge for the Employee Engagement awards. What will you be looking for in the entries?
DAVID: If I was a judge, I am on a quest to see that all 3 of the ABC’s of work are covered.
- Is this creating results that matter to organizations and individuals?
- Does engagement build relationships?
- Is engagement integrated into how the organizations works, manages and leads.
- Does engagement create wellbeing derived from the very act of working?
- Is engagement of benefit to all?
I want to see a genuine and authentic mixture of pride and humility in an entry.
EZ: How important do you think it is to connect Employee Engagement to Customer Engagement and why?
DAVID: We are in this together and engagement is connection so yes they are linked. Perhaps we could just call it people or human engagement and people can be either employees or customers and often we are both.
EZ: What’s the best EE idea you’ve seen a company roll out/attempt and wish you’d had that idea yourself?
DAVID: I love to see companies that don’t trust all this engagement stuff. They test it and I love when I see even a quasi-experimental design used to offer more control and to get at engagement causation. I think it is wonderful and creatively disruptive to have operations or finance be the engagement champions rather than automatically thinking it should only be housed in HR or Internal Communications. The best ideas fuse engagement with other key interests so that what you are doing in improving performance management, engagement, wellbeing, and operations occur all at the same time with key actions and behavior to engage!
EZ: What’s the worst and glad that you didn’t?
DAVID: When the anonymous survey numbers become the sole focus of engagement and some managers demand that employees give them high numbers. Any idea that is manipulation disguised as engagement — so that what is called engagement does just the opposite and creates deeper disengagement.
EZ: Since you entered the world of work, what’s the best experience you’ve had?
DAVID: The best has always been embedded in relationships that made work better, made me better and made the other person better. This “better” is all 3 of the ABC’s at one: results, relationships, and wellbeing.
EZ: What’s the worst?
DAVID: When I have witnessed people with very high work engagement let go because the organization was threatened by their high level of engagement and their willingness to challenge the status quo. Sometimes I think organizations fail to understand what it fully means to be engaged and are disguising manipulation as engagement as a feeble attempt to get better profits or performance.
EZ: If you could only roll out only one programme, which of the following would you choose and why? Wellbeing, Leadership Development or Recognition.
DAVID: Engagement is a daily process, not a program. Programs tend to have a shorter shelf life than behavioral processes integrated into everyday practice. Engagement offers us the opportunity not to be “siloed” by department or function. Engagement is best as the verb engage and engaging actions can be infused into all we do.
EZ: Which person (dead or alive) would you love to be able to come in and speak to your workforce/colleagues?
DAVID: Charlie Chaplin, because he wouldn’t say much but he once said, “life is a tragedy in close-up and a comedy in long shot.” I also know, if we can laugh, we can last :).
Seriously, one of Engage for Success’ four enablers is employee voice so I want to hear genuine, real, and authentic employee voice fused with the full realization that in organizations we are all employees from the first day hire to the retiring CEO.
EZ: Favourite song to crank up after a tough day at work?
DAVID: I want the music of work that is inside of us be turned into a symphony of relationships creating results and wellbeing simultaneously. I sometimes hum at work and I love how Shonda Rhimes called full engagement, “The Hum”. I strongly encourage you to view this 2-minute summary video on “The Hum”
Meaningful results are vital. I think we should all hear the lyrics from the Spice Girls annoying earworm song Wannabe: “so tell me what you want what you really really want.” Engagement must help both individuals and organizations work on meaningful results that matters to both so we should have ongoing conversations with organizations letting employee know what they “want, what they really really want” and employees are asked what they “want, what they really, really want” as employees craft their work for the benefit of themselves and the organization.
EZ: Best place in the world you have visited?
DAVID: I have been around the world and have visited so many wonderful places from the Taj Mahal in India to Iguazu Falls in Argentina but it is never the place that is best — it is the people I travel with and the people we meet. Engaging people can transform a dreary airport waiting lounge into a wonderful place of meeting and conversation. I like sites while I love people.
EZ: The place in the world you’d most like to visit?
DAVID: There is an old quotation that goes, “If you make where you are going more important than where you are, there may be no point in going.” So, this is not so much about a place for me as it is about time and dwelling fully in the present moment. I visit the present moment occasionally but the past, the future, and endless thoughts churning though my mind make dwelling in the present a challenging visit to prolong yet I strive to keep going there again and again and again.
EZ: Where is employee engagement headed as we move towards 2020?
I think employee engagement is going in two directions at once and both spell the end of engagement.
The first direction is that engagement will die as a management fad that failed to deliver on its promise.
The second is that engagement dies or disappears because it fully integrates into how we work, manage, and lead so that we do not need to use it as a distinct phrase. I often say, there is no way to engagement, to engage is the way. My work is to help employee engagement die the second death so engage along with me, the best is yet to be.
To get in touch with David Zinger, go to the following websites or send him an email:
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Reflections on Employee Engagement in Singapore
I am returning to Asia next week to conduct an employee engagement session in Bangkok. Last year I was fortunate to conduct sessions in Singapore, Istanbul, Dubai, and Kuala Lumpur to very small groups and I was able to learn so much from the participants.
I believe around the globe we are more similar in what we are doing with work, management, leadership and engagement than different. We are joined in making work better for our organizations, others, and ourselves.
Yes, we do need to produce results but what is most memorable for me is the short engaging relationships we have with one another.
Below is a wonderful picture of people from Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia during a recent course.
To everyone I have taught from Istanbul to Doha and Egypt, and Dubai to Singapore and Sri Lanka, please know that I have been enriched and inspired by your interest and focus on engagement.
Let’s keep our focus on the definition of employee engagement: good work done well with others every day.
Engage along with me, the best is yet to be.
David Zinger is a global employee engagement educator, consultant, and coach.
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Whoever said “it’s nothing personal” was not talking about work.
This post is personal. I apologize in advance for not offering you levers, drivers, or 11 action items to boost engagement. I took the pictures in the post, I am not inserting stock photography of people jumping with joy at work – perhaps stock photography should be only used for livestock not to represent real people at work.
I hope sharing a personal experience encourages you to reflect upon your own personal experiences with work.
At the end of this post, I will outline new directions and implications of what I learned for my future contributions to work, management, leadership, and employee engagement .
I experienced an employee engagement watershed day on November 3, 2016. A watershed is an event or period marking a turning point in a course of action or state of affairs.
On November 3rd, I was conducting a 2-day workshop on Employee Engagement in Troubling Times in Dubai with 3 people from Egypt. On the second day their phones starting vibrating and ringing around morning coffee break bringing them distressing economic news. During our second day together, the Egyptian currency was devalued 40%. Interest rates were raised 3% and subsidies were removed from basic goods. They were still doing the same work but within the course of just a few hours it was worth less, by about 50%.
Later that day, after I had returned to my hotel room in Dubai , my wife called me from Winnipeg, Canada, half way around the world from Dubai. Susan told me that she had been walked out of her leadership position without cause at a health care facility. I am not saying this because Susan is my wife, I am saying this because it is true: Susan is one of the most engaged people I know. She has extremely high levels of work engagement yet her years of work and contribution, irrespective of her engagement, was taken from her in a few minutes in a vacuous meeting room.
That day felt devastating and demoralizing. External events can literally make work worth less or make you feel worthless in relationship to your work. I felt a sense of violation against the hard work people were doing. Perhaps because I was in Dubai it triggered the belief that my work in employee engagement was equivalent to putting lipstick on camels.
Regardless of how much lipstick you apply, it is still a camel!
It was over 5 months ago that I felt washed away and carried downstream away from my work on employee engagement over the past 10 years.
During this interval, I had the good fortune in February to visit the powerful and mighty Iguazu Falls in Argentina. Iguazu Falls personifies a real watershed. I saw and felt the power of rushing water. My wife, son, and I took a boat that went through some of the falls. We were drenched and the pressure of the water left us feeling that we had experience a liquid sandblast. Yet, the next day we walked to an isolated falls where you could relax under the water and be rejuvenated and refreshed through the power of falling water.
I intend to transform the November 3rd watershed day away from being sandblasted by organizations and towards being refreshed by the stream of possibilities that lie, often dormant, in our work and engagement.
Not only do I feel differently, I want it to change how I work, and what I work on.
It is time for me to put the lipstick tube down and face up to all that is involved in engagement at work. I intend to be stronger and more personal in my writing, expressions, and work on engagement. You can see some of the early developments of this in my recent posts on LinkedIn and my regular contributions on the Halogen TalentSpace blog:
Watch for a stronger more personal focus on my keynotes, coaching, consulting, workshops, and online courses during the next eight months in 2017.
In addition, a major project during 2017 is researching and interviewing people for my fifth book on engagement and work. The working title is Wisdom at Work. I am interviewing 100 people who have retired to draw out their stories, perspectives, and wisdom on how to work. I chose retired people as they offer a full perspective on work and career and they are removed from day-to-day work and organizational politics. I believe they will feel freer to open up about work and engagement. I have only interviewed 12 of my 100 people but I have learned so much already, including:
- Often the most personal is the most universal.
- It is harder to define work than you might think.
- Recognition from peers and clients trumps recognition from organizations and bosses.
- You don’t have to like all of your work but if you don’t like 80% of your work you need to make changes.
- You can create your own psychological safety at work…
Don’t forget, work is personal.
David Zinger is a global employee engagement expert and educator who won’t be buying any lipstick for camels in the near future.
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Allow the world, right in front of you, to be your teacher at work and you dwell in a classroom the size of the universe.
Where and how do you learn about employee engagement? Can you learn from flowers and snow? I believe they can.
Read my latest LinkedIn employee engagement post by clicking on the picture or clicking here.
David Zinger is an employee engagement expert and speaker.
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Here is an interview I did with Stephen Goldberg on the ABC’s of employee engagement:
David Zinger is an employee engagement consultant, coach, educator, and speaker.
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A winning cartoon from John Junson on replacing employees with robots:
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I love the latest cartoon by John Junson for the Employee Engagement Network on RESPECT.
David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert.
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Sometimes, I feel like we in the employee engagement field resemble Don Quixote tilting at the windmills of surveys, levers, and drivers.
I am a fan of Liana Fincek’s recent New Yorker cartoon with a new take on Don Quixote.
How do you stop from “spinning you fan” in employee engagement?
David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert.
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I like good engagement. I like good work. I like good people.
David Zinger is an employee engagement expert and speaker who believes in the power of good for employee engagement.
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William Kahn if the founding father of employee engagement. We conducted a 2-part interview on his views and experiences with engagement.
An interview with William Kahn, the founding father of employee engagement. https://t.co/TT9gts7hmP
— David Zinger (@davidzinger) January 23, 2017
Here is a quote from William during the interview on what we lost as we shifted terminology from personal engagement to employee engagement,
The shift in the industry to “employee” engagement is, in many ways, a reversal of that idea, and of my intention. The industry focus is on how leaders can get people to work harder and with more energy on behalf of their organizations, with less focus on whether people are bringing their best, cherished selves into that work. I think that the power of the ideas about personal engagement gets lost in that reimagined focus.
To read the full interview go here.
David Zinger is a global employee engagement speaker and expert. He founded the 7200 member Employee Engagement Network.
http://www.davidzinger.com/what-we-lost-shifting-personal-engagement-to-employee-engagement-20155/feed/ 0 20155 http://www.davidzinger.com/where-do-you-go-to-learn-about-work-engagement-management-and-leadership-20145/ http://www.davidzinger.com/where-do-you-go-to-learn-about-work-engagement-management-and-leadership-20145/#respond Mon, 16 Jan 2017 09:41:01 +0000
This last weekend I left Winnipeg and -33 degrees to go to Santiago and plus 33 degrees.
I am looking forward to learning about employee engagement, work, leadership, management, and Chile while I am there. I have travelled the world to teach about employee engagement but the reward for me has been to travel the word to learn about engagement. If nothing else, Santiago will unfreeze my view of work (and I won’t have to shovel snow for a month)!
The poetry of Pablo Neruda has opened my heart before I even touched down in Santiago. I invite you to read my short LinkedIN post about this.
You don’t have to be a world traveller but I believe it is valuable to ask yourself: Where do I go to learn about work, engagement, management, and leadership?
David Zinger is an employee engagement expert and speaker who travels the world in search of engagement.
http://www.davidzinger.com/where-do-you-go-to-learn-about-work-engagement-management-and-leadership-20145/feed/ 0 20145 http://www.davidzinger.com/the-employee-engagement-network-a-labor-of-love-20129/ http://www.davidzinger.com/the-employee-engagement-network-a-labor-of-love-20129/#respond Thu, 12 Jan 2017 19:30:18 +0000
I am heading to Chile, Argentina and Uruguay for a month on Friday.
I am not sure how much online time I will have so I want to acknowledge that the Employee Engagement Network will be celebrating nine years this month. It has been a labor or love and I learned more with every hour I have invested in this community and network! The network would not be what it is without all the work of John Junson!
Visit us today. I can’t wait for 10 years! Engage along with me, the best is yet to be.
David Zinger is the founder and host of the Employee Engagement Network. He is a global speaker, expert, coach, and consultant on engagement.
http://www.davidzinger.com/the-employee-engagement-network-a-labor-of-love-20129/feed/ 0 20129 http://www.davidzinger.com/employee-engagement-people-matter-language-matters-20124/ http://www.davidzinger.com/employee-engagement-people-matter-language-matters-20124/#respond Thu, 05 Jan 2017 14:38:45 +0000
Stop referring to humans as assets or resources.
We get employee engagement ass backwards when we use language that dehumanizes employees. Read my short LinkedIn post: Employee Engagement: Ass Backwards.
David Zinger has many assets and resources but he is not an asset or a resource. David Zinger is a human speaker and expert focused on employee engagement.
http://www.davidzinger.com/employee-engagement-people-matter-language-matters-20124/feed/ 0 20124 http://www.davidzinger.com/employee-engagement-leaders-it-is-time-to-get-with-it-20116/ http://www.davidzinger.com/employee-engagement-leaders-it-is-time-to-get-with-it-20116/#respond Wed, 21 Dec 2016 14:38:12 +0000
Do you really believe as a leader that you get work done through people?
If so, you may be creating the very disengagement you are trying to alleviate.
http://www.davidzinger.com/employee-engagement-leaders-it-is-time-to-get-with-it-20116/feed/ 0 20116 http://www.davidzinger.com/are-your-managers-and-leaders-strong-enough-for-employee-engagement-20106/ http://www.davidzinger.com/are-your-managers-and-leaders-strong-enough-for-employee-engagement-20106/#respond Wed, 14 Dec 2016 16:02:27 +0000