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How Do I Keep My Employees Motivated? Paperback – May 13, 2014

190 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"How Do I Keep My Employees Motivated? is an imperative book for leaders in all fields. In order to motivate, you must be able to comprehend and connect on a personal level."
--Tom Daschle, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader

"George Langelett brings clarity to elements of management that we cherish at Markel. He explores the 'soft' topic of empathy-based management in ways that are highly accessible to managers who are compelled by 'hard' logic. He describes the scientific underpinnings of why empathetic management is successful, and he gives clear steps for how managers can develop such a style."
--Alan I. Kirshner Chairman, CEO Markel Corporation

"I think this is an excellent book. Most books on motivation are either so heavy on theory and research that practicing managers may not know how to apply what's in the book or else rely so heavily on anecdotes and personal experiences to the point where validity suffers. This book, though, gets it just right: it is based on sound theory and research but offers truly usable applications and advice."
--Dr. Ricky Griffin, Department Head and Distinguished Professor of Management, Blocker Chair in Business, Mays Business School, Texas A&M University

"This outstanding book about managing with empathy is destined to become a business classic." Clarion Review

"An intriguing, surprisingly practical management theory that's a good fit for the modern workplace." Kirkus Review

"Dr. Langelett lays out the core goals of empathy-based management; establishes a practical and scientific foundation; and offers specific practices for work situations. To care about the work we do, it helps to care about the people with whom we work."
--Bob Rowe, President & CEO, NorthWestern Energy

About the Author

George Langelett is a professor of management and economics at South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD. He teaches classes in management, small business management, human resources management, marketing research, and macroeconomics. He grew up in Thief River Falls, MN, and attended the University of Northwestern in St. Paul, MN, where he earned his BS in marketing. In 2000 he graduated from the University of Nebraska with a PhD in economic. His dissertation focused on human capital formation and economic growth. While in Lincoln, he met his wife, Lara, and has been happily married for twelve years.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 230 pages
  • Publisher: River Grove Books (May 13, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1938416732
  • ISBN-13: 978-1938416736
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (190 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #557,327 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

George Langelett is a professor of management and economics at South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD. He teaches classes in management, small business management, human resources management, marketing research, and macroeconomics. He grew up in Thief River Falls, MN, and attended the University of Northwestern in St. Paul, MN, where he earned his BS in marketing. In 2000 he graduated from the University of Nebraska with a PhD in economic. His dissertation focused on human capital formation and economic growth. While in Lincoln, he met his wife, Lara, and has been happily married for twelve years.

While initially interested in the economic benefits of human capital formation, over time Dr. Langelett became more interested in researching the causes and impediments of human motivation. In his words: "As an economist, as well as professor of management, an enduring issue that needs to be better understood is: why are some people significantly more productive than other people? Ultimately, what can a manager do to motivate each employee and help them reach their potential?" Being dissatisfied with orthodox textbook prescriptions, Dr. Langelett has devoted his research to finding answers that are compatible with findings from other fields, particularly neuroscience, and also the simple reality of "what actually works? And why?" Knowing that research is an ongoing endeavor, Dr. Langelett enjoys discussing human motivation with supervisors and managers from all types of organizations as well as research from a variety of academic disciplines.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By James Beswick VINE VOICE on August 7, 2014
Format: Paperback
I've read plenty of books and attended numerous courses on how to best manage people and have experienced and tried many of the 'standard' methods of getting the most from your team, from incentive/punishment-based approaches to standardized scorecard systems. One of the primary reasons I was excited to read this book is that I've never found any one thing actually works in a one-size-fits-all model, since teams of people vary enormously from workplace to workplace.

What Langelett is advocating in his book seeks to discover the basic failure of many of the traditional methods and why it is that in even highly paid and well trained teams people can lose interest and not perform consistently at their best. It is helps identify why some managers (and I'll use this term loosely since it really applies to anyone trying to direct a group of people) are so effective and why others are so woefully ineffective at participating and producing in a group.

In some respects, the ideas are familiar since we all want to work with managers who are empathetic to our individual situations and generally work more effectively with people we understand. In other ways though it's also a leap since approaching team management emphathetically isn't particularly natural if you've been using traditional methods. The author explains convincingly the reasoning behind this approach with plenty of examples and data but most importantly provides steps any manager can take in adapting to this methodology.

The book is relatively short but also comprehensive - you will almost certainly spend more time understanding and implementing the concepts than completing the chapters but with extensive appendixes it becomes an important reference book as you start to put its ideas in motion. The author has a clean, concise style of writing that's clear for any reading level and is capable of conveying complex concepts with relative ease.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Doug Erlandson TOP 50 REVIEWER on August 5, 2014
Format: Paperback
Although written primarily for managers of businesses and corporations, George Langelett's "How Do I Keep My Employees Motivated?" has application far beyond the business world. Anyone who is in any way involved with having to motivate a team of people of any sort (e.g., a sports team, a staff of a church or other charitable organization, a musical ensemble, etc.) should read this. I'll go further. This book is must reading for anyone who wishes to have continual positive interactions with other people (which means that we all can benefit from reading it).

In this book, Professor (of management and economics) Langelett presents what he calls "the practice of empathy-based management." He contrasts this with various other models of management, such as those that seek to motivate through fear, through reward and punishment, and so forth. Drawing on recent findings in neuroscience, Langelett notes the importance of the limbic region of the brain and how, when it is activated by outward stimuli, it creates an emotional response to the situation. When this takes place, the individual is not likely to act rationally, which often creates a negative rather than a positive outcome. This is typically the long-term effect of motivating by fear.

On the other hand, practicing empathy (which is different from sympathy, in that the latter is often little more than feeling sorry for another person) seeks to understand the person, why, for instance, that person is upset at a situation, or why, for that matter, a person feels positive about something. When we practice empathy we are able to calm the emotional response in a way that is mutually beneficial.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John Chancellor TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 2, 2014
Format: Paperback
Even a casual observer of management theory and philosophy would be quick to acknowledge that there has been a revolution in the approach to employee management practices. It was not too long ago that "my way or the highway" was the generally accepted practice. Fortunately, most managers now realize that approach might produce short-term results but long term is detrimental to worker productivity and retention.

George Langelett, author of How Do I Keep My Employees Motivated? has provided a different approach that really works. He calls this empathy-based management. According to Mr. Langelett, "Until workers feel unconditionally accepted for their own worth and human dignity, they will never by fully engaged in their work. The underlying theory of empathy-based management is connection, not correction."

In the book, Mr. Langelett explores the reasons empathy should be the foundation for the way managers deal with employees. He walks the reader through the goals of empathy-based management and then provides a framework for using empathy-based management in actual work situations. Finally he provides a set of tools that a leader can use to implement the ideas into daily action. The final chapter of the book deals with the practice of empathy-based management.

While the book is relatively short - just 5 chapters and a little over 130 pages, there are extended appendixes, worksheets, notes and a bibliography that all provide extensive additional resources.

Mr. Langelett explores how the human brain works and why empathy is so important. He does this in an easy to understand way. He also provides a lot of insight into why the "telling method" we so often use does not work.
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