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The Enemy of Engagement: Put an End to Workplace Frustration--and Get the Most from Your Employees Hardcover – October 28, 2011


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Frequently Bought Together

The Enemy of Engagement: Put an End to Workplace Frustration--and Get the Most from Your Employees + The Engagement Equation: Leadership Strategies for an Inspired Workforce + Employee Engagement 2.0: How to Motivate Your Team for High Performance (A Real-World Guide for Busy Managers)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: AMACOM (October 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814417957
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814417959
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #994,397 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Book Description

There are a lot of frustrated people in most workplaces today. We’re not talking about the incorrigible office grump or the permanent slacker. Instead, we’re referring to dedicated workers who are being prevented from achieving their peak potential by organizational obstacles. Better enabling these employees to succeed represents an untapped avenue for radically improving productivity.

Packed with the latest research findings from the prestigious Hay Group, The Enemy of Engagement uncovers the hidden impediments to performance—excessive procedures, lack of resources, overly narrow roles, and more—and outlines best-practice solutions for eliminating them. This is not an insignificant issue facing businesses today. According to Hay Group’s study, depending on the industry, between one-third and one-half of employees report work conditions that keep them from being as productive as they could be.

The Enemy of Engagement gives managers powerful new insights and research-based tools for ensuring their teams are both willing and able to make maximum contributions.

From the Inside Flap

There are a lot of frustrated people in the workforce today. We’re not talking about the incorrigible office grump or the permanently unmotivated slacker. We’re referring to dedicated and valued workers who are prevented from achieving their potential by organizational obstacles.

Workplace frustration is a silent epidemic creeping through every organization—but one rarely confronted or even recognized. Frustration wears down motivated, dedicated employees who really care about their jobs but can’t get the support they need to work effectively. Focused on making contributions, they are often loath to complain or make waves, leaving managers in the dark about what’s really going on.

The Enemy of Engagement analyzes workplace frustration in detail and pinpoints solutions. Based on original research conducted by the prestigious Hay Group, the book uncovers the fact that the organizational barriers that are the root cause of frustration can’t be fixed with splashier leadership or more engaged employees. What’s needed are informed, targeted management practices that enable employees to do their jobs. Packed with new findings, a lively case study, and self-assessments, The Enemy of Engagement explains how to:

• Provide clear direction about organizational priorities to help people focus on the highest-value tasks

• Encourage superior levels of teamwork both within and across business units to help everyone cope with work demands

• Support training, development, and empowerment opportunities to ensure that employees have the skills and authority to get the job done

• Provide the tools, information, and other resources employees need to work efficiently and effectively

Having highly engaged and enabled employees leads to dramatically better productivity, improved financial results, and more loyal customers. The Enemy of Engagement gives managers powerful new insights and research-based tools for ensuring their teams are both willing and able to make maximum contributions.

MARK ROYAL and TOM AGNEW are leaders in Hay Group’s employee research division. Their client consulting work focuses on helping organizations leverage employee input to increase employee engagement and effectiveness, manage change more successfully, and enhance customer satisfaction and business performance. Mark holds Ph.D. and MA degrees in sociology from Stanford University, and Tom received his Ph.D. in management from Vanderbilt University and MBA from the University of Saskatchewan. Mark is based in Chicago and Tom in New York City.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By John Chancellor TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Unless you have been complete away from the workplace for a number of years you are well aware that the old command and control style of management no longer works. Methods and tactics to get employees fully engaged in their work - as opposed to simply complying - have been the recent buzz of most employee improvement programs. Unfortunately they often fall short of their goal.

Mark Royal and Tom Agnew have written a very engaging book The Enemy of Engagement. Mark and Tom are leaders in the Hay Group's employee research division and have drawn on their vast experience to present a compelling case for what employers must do in addition to getting employees fully engaged.

The most often case is where employees are fully engaged, they like their work and their employer but are frustrated in trying to do their job. They lack adequate training, are held back by inefficient processes, are unclear about the key tasks to accomplish or are uncertain they have the authority to do/change certain things. In short, far too many employees are frustrated in trying to do their job and management is totally unaware of or turning a blind eye to their frustration.

Frustration will eventually lead to employees seeking other employment or disengaging - becoming compliant. Neither will give the company the results it wants or needs.

The book is well written and has a unique approach to getting the message across. The authors alternate with theory and a fictional case study. The case study actually brings the concepts to life. It shows in no uncertain terms what happens when employees are frustrated. They leave, they disengage and the company suffers.

One of the major culprits of frustration is poor communication.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Bashall on November 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is that rare thing, a genuinely useful business book that tells us something new. Namely that all the time, money and effort businesses spend measuring and boosting employee motivation is wasted if we dont follow through and make sure people can actually get their jobs done. The Enemy of Engagement clearly explains the concept of "workplace frustration" and sets out some straightforward ways of dealing with it.

The book illustrates its central idea with a fictional scenario that narrates the story. The authors have clearly gone to a lot of trouble to create the history of Bernette Bank and the very believable characters that work in its online banking division. This storytelling is a powerful, credible way of showing what workplace frustration does to companies and what they can do to prevent it.

The Enemy of Engagement is timely as well. The Bernette story shows that just telling employees to "do more with less" -- which is what were all being asked to do right now -- is not enough. It suggests instead that businesses can get more performance out of their people without the need to spend more money or have people work long hours. Theres plenty of practical advice on how to achieve this -- and for skeptical managers, plenty of statistics from Hay Group studies that show the value of tackling workplace frustration head-on.

At 228 pages its a quick read (four hours max) that gives businesses something that's very welcome in the current climate -- ideas for raising performance when resources are limited.
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Format: Hardcover
Extensive research in recent years by highly reputable firms such as Gallup, TowersWatson, and the Great Place to Work Institute® leaves little (if any) doubt that there is a direct correlation between positive or negative employee engagement and organizational success or failure. Seven years of research conducted by the Hay Group's employee research division revealed what Mark Royal and Tom Agnew characterize in this book as "a significant, but often overlooked, threat to both employee engagement and individual and organizational success": frustration. More specifically, "a highly engaged employee's inability to succeed in a role due to organizational barriers or the bulk of her or his talents, skills, and abilities to the [given] job."

Royal and Agnew have written a business narrative during which fictional characters address real-world issues. The co-authors (1) introduce the concept of workplace frustration, (2) differentiate employee engagement (helping employees to motivate themselves to succeed) from employee enablement (developing their ability to perform effectively), (3) explain the nature and potential impact of "tenure effect," (4) introduce a systematic review of root causes of workplace frustration and identify "key aspects of the work environment that should be focus areas for managers in understanding current enablement levels within their teams," (5) then shift their attention to strategies for minimizing workplace frustration, and in the final chapters, and (6) discuss the role of managers as "organizational change agents.
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