In my last post, I mentioned what I think of as David Zinger’s call to action on employee engagement:

“Employee engagement is an experience to be lived not a problem to be solved.”

So what does living employee engagement look like from David’s point of view? He has outlined that vision well in his 14 Keys of Employee Engagement.

This link includes David’s definition of engagement (quoted below), an image of his model of engagement for results, and a short description of each of his 14 elements of engagement.

Employee engagement is the art and science of engaging people in authentic and recognised connections to strategy, roles, performance, organisation, community, relationship, customers, development, energy, and happiness to leverage, sustain, and transform work into results.”

I encourage you to read David’s treatise on employee engagement and also this link on his 22 Awful Employee Engagement Mistakes. My favorite is number 20:

Drop that carrot. Don’t use the image or word carrot in reference to employees. We are not horses and even horses probably aren’t too fond of the carrot and stick. So stick your carrot and find a better more respectful metaphor for motivation and employees.”

I would add to this point: Break that Stick! Using manipulation and fear as a means of “motivation” is a sign of cowardice and poor management, especially when a simple, heartfelt “thank you” is so much more meaningful, personal and yes, motivating!

I liked the way Harry Levinson put it in The Jackass Fallacy:

“When the first image that comes to mind when one thinks ‘carrot-and-stick’ is a jackass, obviously the unconscious assumption behind the reward-punishment model is that one is dealing with jackasses, that people are jackasses to be manipulated and controlled. Thus, unconsciously, the boss is the manipulator and controller, and the subordinate is the jackass.”

Tell me your one sentence employee engagement call to action. What would you add to David’s list of awful engagement mistakes?

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