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The Carrot Principle: How the Best Managers Use Recognition to Engage Their Employees, Retain Talent, and Drive Performance Hardcover – January 2, 2007

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; 1 edition (January 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743290097
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743290098
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #653,805 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Book Description
Got carrotphobia? Do you think that recognizing your employees will distract you and your team from more serious business, create jealousy, or make you look soft? Think again.The Carrot Principle reveals the groundbreaking results of one of the most in-depth management studies ever undertaken, showing definitively that the central characteristic of the most successful managers is that they provide their employees with frequent and effective recognition. With independent research from The Jackson Organization and analysis by bestselling leadership experts Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton, this breakthrough study of 200,000 people over ten years found dramatically greater business results when managers offered constructive praise and meaningful rewards in ways that powerfully motivated employees to excel.

Drawing on case studies from leading companies including Disney, DHL, KPMG, and Pepsi Bottling Group, bestselling authors Gostick and Elton show how the transformative power of purpose-based recognition produces astonishing increases in operating results--whether measured by return on equity, return on assets, or operating margin. And they show how great managers lead with carrots, not sticks, and in doing so achieve higher

* Productivity
* Engagement
* Retention
* Customer satisfaction

The Carrot Principle illustrates that the relationship between recognition and improved business results is highly predictable--it's proven to work. But it's not the employee recognition some of us have been using for years. It is recognition done right, recognition combined with four other core traits of effective leadership.

Gostick and Elton explain the remarkably simple but powerful methods great managers use to provide their employees with effective recognition, which all managers can easily learn and begin practicing for immediate results. Great recognition doesn't take time--it can be done in a matter of moments--and it doesn't take budget-busting amounts of money. This exceptional book presents the simple steps to becoming a Carrot Principle manager and to building a recognition culture in your organization; it offers a wealth of specific examples, culled from real-life cases, of the ways to do recognition right. Following these simple steps will make you a high-performance leader and take your team to a new level of achievement.

"The Carrot Principle: How Great Managers Use Employee Recognition"
An Essay by Adam Gostick and Chester Elton
For organizations that do it right, it's a bit like discovering gold in your backyard. Employee recognition, long considered a benefit that costs money, can actually be a management tool that makes money. At first blush, the idea is counter-intuitive. As leaders, we've become accustomed to viewing recognition programs as a cost of doing business. But employee recognition is evolving. A groundbreaking research study of 200,000 employees, unveiled in our new book The Carrot Principle, presents a new paradigm: Applying employee recognition techniques within a context of goal-setting, open communication, trust and accountability, (what we have come to call the Basic Four) accelerates the impact of all of these critical management skills.

Continue reading "The Carrot Principle: How Great Managers Use Employee Recognition"

More to Explore

The 24-Carrot Manager

Managing with Carrots

From Publishers Weekly

Gostick and Elton, consultants with the O.C. Tanner Recognition Company, have made a career out of promoting the idea of employee recognition as a corporate cure-all. (Their previous books include Managing with Carrots, The 24-Carrot Manager and A Carrot a Day). Here, they cover familiar ground, showing how many managers fail to acknowledge the special achievements of their employees and risk alienating their best workers or losing them to competing firms. They advocate creating a "carrot culture" in which successes are continually celebrated and reinforced. Dozens of recognition techniques include the obvious ("When a top performer is going on a particularly long business trip, upgrade her ticket to business class") to the offbeat ("Hire a celebrity impersonator to leave a congratulatory voice-mail message on an employee's phone"). But the authors pad the pages with unsurprising survey results, the umpteenth recapitulation of Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs and long anecdotes of questionable relevance (e.g., three pages about Charles Goodyear's rubber-vulcanizing technique in order to introduce the notion that a transforming force—like employee recognition!—can produce surprising results). Gostick and Elton's philosophy is appealing, but could have been explained in a long magazine article. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Customer Reviews

I would recommend this book highly to any manager or entrepreneur.
This is an exceptional book on how managers and executives can use recognition to retain top talent, improve teamwork, and improve performance.
Gary Perman
When I started the book I was not expecting a lot, but what I found, is that more I read the more excited I became.
Marcy S.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Walter H. Bock on August 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Here are the big ideas from this book.

Positive consequences, such as praise and recognition, are great tools for encouraging people to try new things and to continue desired behaviors. They send a message about what managers value.

In work teams where people say they have been praised recently, productivity, morale, and measures of engagement are more likely to be high and people are more likely to stay with the organization.

In teams where people say they have not been praised recently, productivity, morale, and measures of engagement are more likely to be lower and people are more likely to want to leave.

Companies with high productivity, morale and engagement and low turnover are more profitable.

Managers rate themselves higher on giving praise and recognition than their subordinates rate them.

There are no breakthrough, thought-leader ideas here. There is nothing really new.

The jacket blurb implies that this is based on exciting new research. It's not. It's based on research by the authors' firm that reinforces other research, including Gallup, Blanchard, a boatload of academic researchers and my own study of top performing supervisors. So if you're looking for new or breakthrough stuff, you don't have to buy the book and you don't need to read any further.

That doesn't mean that you won't get value from the book. The points the authors make are worth making again and again. Praise in all its forms is the most powerful and most underused tool for growing great, engaged teams.

Because the book is devoted, essentially, to a single idea, you get lots of depth on that idea. Some of those are just small insights.
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Format: Hardcover
More than 10 years ago, an organization that I headed, Leading Division Presidents 100, looked at the question of how to improve employee motivation and effectiveness. From that research, it was clear that improving employee recognition could be an important element among many. Since that time, I've looked in vain for a book that described how to implement such a recognition program. I'm pleased to say that The Carrot Principle fills that void. Congratulations to the authors.

The authors begin by making the case for why recognition works in making organizations more successful:

1. Where employees feel more recognized, return on equity is higher (2.4 percent in the lowest quartile compared to 8.7 percent in the highest quartile. (This finding did raise a question in my mind -- why are the companies in this research study all so unprofitable in ROE?)

2. Where employees rate managers highly for recognizing employee contributions, customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, and retention are usually higher.

3. People with high work motivation almost all (94.4 percent) say that their managers are effective at recognition.

4. 79 percent of those who quit jobs cite lack of appreciation as one reason for leaving.

How much are companies spending that provide good employee recognition? Basically, it's about $1,000 a year per employee. Many of the employers cited in the book report feeling that they enjoy economic payoffs that are more than 20 times that cost.

The authors offer a Recognition Effectiveness Model on page 178 that captures the essence of how they see the cause and effect working:

1. Where employee recognition is higher, goal setting, communications, trust, and accountability are higher.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By K. Kauai on February 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The Carrot Principle contains some common sense TRUE principles that can help any organization at any level. Just by trying to individualize recognition as outlined in the book we are already seeing payoff in engagement within our organization. I'm looking forward to reading some of the other books by Gostick
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Dextra L. Suggs on July 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover
As global market competition increases, the art of retaining effective and productive employees intensifies. The premise of this book is employee empowerment. Though, The Carrot Principle, by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton, is well researched and offered concrete evidence for often overlooked aspect of work, it was a bit long and dry. I recommend buying the book because it has some useful information, just read it near bedtime.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Wiersdorf on February 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The best of the carrot series. Great case studies and wonderful new data showing the power of employee recognition done well - highly recommended!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lynette R. Fleming on August 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Amazing ... 79% of employees who quit their jobs indicate their key reason for leaving as a lack of appreciation. More money? No. Less benefits? No. Nasty coworkers? No. They leave because they feel unappreciated.

Enter my department ... Human Resources. We conduct exit interviews and try to figure out why the eager applicant we hired a few months (or years) ago is now sitting on the other side of the desk, happy to be "getting out." We begin recruiting again, hopeful the next person will stay longer than this one did.

In the meantime, we are reminded of the cost of turnover, and are charged with the responsibility of finding a better hire. And so the cycle begins again. While many companies, like mine, believe turnover to be mostly caused by poor selection, a 200,000-person study by HealthStream Research found that managers who do a better job with employee recognition have lower turnover, as well as better business results.

Most of you who are reading this review are well aware that turnover eats up a chunk of a company's resources, but perhaps you don't know turnover is estimated to be a $5 trillion annual drain on the U.S. economy. The only way to break this cycle is to keep our outstanding performers engaged.

Let the drums roll ... enter The Carrot Principle, a book which can save the day for businesses all over the world. Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton teach us how to create a carrot culture, how to determine whether employees are engaged and satisfied, and how to calculate the level of reward to give. And their 125 recognition ideas will give your managers the tools they need to spread the carrot culture faster than the spread of the flu.
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