Engaging Employees to Succeed at Integrity? #leadership

Engaging Employees to Succeed at What? Integrity?

As I work with leaders on engaging employees, I’m always interested in how others are defining it and doing it. Today I read David Zinger’s definition: Employee Engagement: Good work, done well, with others, every day.

At the same time I’m reading about Toyota’s and GM’s car safety issues and wonder if the employees thought they were engaged in good work done well. Most likely the answer is yes. Hence the confusion with employee engagement.

When leaders approach me about engaging employees, I ask them, engage employees to do what? Get the job done? Follow the leaders? Engage each other for company-wide success? Each answer leads to different results.

Engaging Employees: Image is the word Ethics held up by hands.

Engaging Employees to Succeed at Integrity? Image licensed from Istock.com.

Image licensed from Istock.com

Engaging Employees: Culture of Accountability & Integrity

As the new CEO of GM fields questions about why the corporation didn’t fix known safety issues, she has focused on the problem of silos that stopped communication. However …

Silos don’t stop communication.

Silos create communication challenges that a culture of accountability and integrity solves.

Supposedly at GM, departments that were aware of the trouble with ignition switches didn’t tell the engineering teams. Why not? Why wouldn’t they feel absolutely compelled to inform others who could solve the problem? Silos don’t explain this. Their cultural definition of employee engagement does.

Clearly, GM’s definition of engaging employees was limited to meeting department goals. The engagement culture was not one of company-wide accountability to protect customers and GM’s good name. What was missing?

The simple question that wasn’t on everyone’s mind …

Engaging Employees: Image is words Wrong & Right

Engaging Employees: Accountability & Integrity Image licensed from Istock.com

Image licensed from Istock.com

Even established core values like the following don’t compel people to engage each other throughout a company.

Engaging Employees: Image is list of core values

Engaging Employees: Core values alone don’t do it. Image fr Istock.com

Image licensed from Istock.com

Employees likely think of core values as applying to their own work not necessarily as calling them to engage each other for company success. Most core values lack this call to action.

Leaders, you can fill this gap by asking the following two questions consistently with your teams:

  1. Who does this issue impact?
  2. Who all needs to know?

If you want employees to do good work, done well, with others, every day, as David Zinger proposes, then live, model, and illustrate the phrase “with others”.

You will effectively develop a culture accountability and integrity that engages employees to engage each other. It will remove the communication challenges that silos create.

What successes have you had engaging employees to break through silos?

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts
Leaders, Engage Employees Through Connection Not Status
Employee Engagement: Breed Accountability Not Blame

©2014 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.



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11 Responses to “Engaging Employees to Succeed at Integrity? #leadership”

  1. David Zinger says:

    I so much appreciate your focus on the “with others” part of the eight words. You helped it stand out even stronger for me and I think the two questions are both cogent and instrumental: “Leaders, you can fill this gap by asking the following two questions consistently with your teams: Who does this issue impact? Who all needs to know?” Thank you.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      You are very welcome David. I found your definition intriguing and thought-provoking. I hope others weigh in on this very important issue!

      Warmest regards,

  2. Lainey says:


    I wish I could send this article as a mass e-mail to, well, everyone! I especially like the two questions to ask: “Who does this impact?” and “Who needs to know?” I think these simple actions could make impacts on breaking silos and all of the little (and big) issues caused by lack of communication.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Hi Lainey,
      So glad this post struck a note with you. Several of my clients started using these two questions and have said the result was remarkable!

      Many thanks for your comment. I invite you to visit often and share your expertise on any post of interest.

      Warmest wishes,

  3. Great article, echoes what we work with our clients to focus on. We help them to define behaviors around their values so that they understand expectations, goals for company success and what they can be doing to go above and beyond and create a culture where they are delivering a consistently great experience for customers. Core Value statements and concepts alone without the behaviors cannot accomplish this.

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