10 Principles of Employee Engagement

David Zinger is a sought after author, educator, coach, and consultant focused intently on employee engagement. We are delighted to have him share his “10 Principles of Employee Engagement” on the Impact People Practices blog. 

Engagement is specific. 

We cannot sustain engagement all the time and everywhere. When we talk about engagement we need to ask: Who is engaged, with what,  for how long, and for what purpose?


Employee engagement is connection. 

Connection is the key.  When we disconnect we disengage. Employee engagement is the art and science of engaging people in authentic and recognized connections to strategy, roles, performance, organization, community, relationship, customers, development, energy, and happiness to leverage, sustain, and transform work into results


Employee engagement must create results that matter. 

This means results that are important to the employee, manager, leaders, organization, and customers. There is little point in having engaged employees if they are not contributing and creating significant results. Also, if the results only matter to the organization and not the employee – or the employee and not the organization – employee engagement will not sustain over time.


Employee engagement is always a human endeavor. 

Engagement is depersonalized when we refer to employees as human capital or human resources. I manage capital or resources, I work with people! Engagement will involved thinking, behaviour, emotions, and relationships.

Employee engagement is fueled by energy. 

We must pay close attention to mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual energy at work. In addition we need to enhance organizational energy through meaningful connections and high quality interactions.

Employee engagement is more encompassing than motivation. 

Employee engagement embraces our emotions about work, how hard we work, how much we care about the organization, etc. It is a richer and more complex concept than  motivation and includes bidirectional engagement from managers, leaders, and organizational communities.

Employees are responsible for their own engagement, we are all accountable for everyone’s engagement. 

No one has a bigger role in engagement than the individual themselves – if engagement it to be it is up to me. We are accountable for other people’s engagement and we can influence their engagement – if engagement is to be it is up to we.

Employee engagement makes a difference. 

Employee engagement can improve organizational performance while also contributing to individual performance. Engagement is much more than an attitude, a feeling, or employee satisfaction.

Employee engagement is vital in recruitment, retention, and satisfaction. 

The majority of workers want to be engaged and look for work that will engage them. People will often leave organizations when they feel disengaged. It may even be worse for all if they remain when they are disengaged.

Employee engagement is here and now.

Don’t wait for survey results or diagnosis from a management consultant. Look at the work you are doing right now and determine how you can engage with it more fully. Look at who you are working with and determine how you can help them to be more engaged.


About David Zinger, guest blogger for Impact People Practices

David is the author of  Zengage: How to Get More Into Your Work to Get More Out of Your Work. He also created, in conjunction with members of his employee engagement network, 7 inspirational and informative e-books on employee engagement ranging from Engaging Questions to the ABC’s of Employee Engagement.

David is completing the book Eclectic Approaches to Engagement and drafting The Manager’s Pyramid of Engagement. David is devoted to employee engagement and his work ranges from presentations and workshops to writing over 1300 blog post on the topic. David developed the results-focused, colourful, and connected 14-element model: Employee Engagement for Results. David is enthralled by community and he founded and hosts the 4500 member Employee Engagement Network

Oh, and on the innovation side, David is working with Aganetha Dyck, a Canadian Governor General Award Winner in Visual and Media Arts, making connections between engagement, honey bees, work, and community. He is planning to conduct a social media and hive project in 2012 on thinking differently inside the hive – a fusion of honeybee and social media engagement that will involve making connections inside the hive between networked computers and b