Performance Management Blog

Flying by the seat of your pants – NOT the way to Engaging Employees

In the process of writing a new newsletter on the criticality of supervisors in organizations, I was looking for some statistical anchors. And while doing that, I got invited to be on the board of the IAPPD, the International Association for People and Performance Development. So, I recommended a couple of other people for them to consider for a similar slot and that got me using Bing to search for those stats — who pops up but David Zinger, one of the two people I recommended. Yeah, a small world…

And that link took me to an article that I really liked from July of 2007, one that I repost in here with a link back to his blog.

An Employee Engagement Six Pack

Are you flying with a six pack of employee engagement?

In this case, I don’t mean half a dozen beers.

The essential instruments in a light aircraft are often referred to as the 6- pack:

  • airspeed indicator flight-instruments
  • attitude indicator
  • altimeter
  • turn coordinator  
  • heading indicator
  • vertical speed indicator

Do you monitor 6 strong “indications” of your employee engagement to get you successfully to your destination?

  1. Airspeed indicator – how fast can you move towards your goal?
  2. Attitude indicator – is everyone maintaining a strong and positive attitude and avoiding too much wobble?
  3. Altimeter – how high can you climb with fully engaged employees?
  4. Turn coordinator – are you responsive to change to turn back to employee engagement if you begin to drift off course? Can you feel exhilarated while making a steep turn?
  5. Heading indicator – do you stay vigilant about where you are headed?
  6. Vertical speed indicator – how quickly can you climb to new levels of employee engagement?

Grab a coffee, jump into the workplace cockpit, and prepare to take off with these indicators of employee engagement. Of course, you could also grab a six pack of beer or root beer and have a down-to-earth discussion about employee engagement with the team of people you work with.

Simple and clean. Having the right instruments and measuring the right kinds of things is important for managing people and performance. Knowing where you are and where you are going allows you to align the right resources and provide the right levels of support and training to accomplish your goals.
My thinking increasingly leans toward the criticality of the supervisor in generating workplace improvement and overall performance. I sense that we can do a much better job of this, and that we need to focus more attention on the initiatives to dis-un-engage and actively involve so many more people in our workplaces.
 Scott small picDr. Scott Simmerman is a designer of team building games and organization improvement tools. Managing Partner of Performance Management Company since 1984, he is an experienced presenter and consultant. 
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Dr. Scott Simmerman

Dr. Scott Simmerman is a designer of the amazing Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine team building game and the Square Wheels facilitation and engagement tools. Managing Partner of Performance Management Company since 1984, he is an experienced global presenter. -- You can reach Scott at and a detailed profile is here: -- Scott is the original designer of The Search for The Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine teambuilding game and the Square Wheels® images for organizational development.

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1 Comment

  1. Tigran

    GREAT indicators! I loved it. These indicators allow you understand if your team can go through the storm. It made me think about this story.

    “In 1998, a tiny 35-foot boat called the AFR Midnight Rambler accomplished an amazing feat — winning one of the toughest ocean races in the world. The Sydney to Hobart is demanding every year, but in ’98, an unexpected “weather bomb” hit the fleet, creating 80-foot waves and 100-mile-per-hour winds.

    While bigger, better-equipped boats tried to maneuver around the storm, the crew of the AFR Midnight Rambler chose to head directly into its path, and ultimately won the coveted Tattersall’s Cup — the smallest boat in ten years.

    Here the rest of story about how they did it. You need your indicators to understand if you can do the same.


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