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The Great Workplace: How to Build It, How to Keep It, and Why It Matters Hardcover – January 4, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

Review

a truly inspirational business book accessible, easy on the jargon and full of creativity packed full of great case studies. (Talent Engagement Review, March 2011). 'Written in an informative, straightforward way puts engagement and the culture of camaraderie into context for large and small organizations. (HR Magazine, June 2011).

From the Inside Flap

What Separates a Great Company from a Merely Good One?

The Great Place to Work Institute produces the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For Annual List, which, year after year, features some of the most respected companies in the world—SAS, Starbucks, Cisco, Mattel, General Mills, American Express, and Four Seasons Hotel, to name a few.

In this highly-anticipated book, Institute insiders Jennifer Robin and Michael Burchell explore the concept of a great workplace and answer the fundamental question, "What is the business value of creating a great workplace?" The Great Workplace shows that, more than offering great pay and quirky perks, a great workplace is one where employees trust the people they work for, take pride in what they do, and enjoy the people they work with.

Drawing on decades of research, the authors explain how leaders and managers can create and reinforce the core values of trust, pride, and camaraderie with every communication, every decision, and every interaction. And they bring the definition of a great workplace alive with anecdotes, best practices, and quotes from employees working at some of the best workplaces, such as Google, Microsoft, Marriott International, FedEx, NetApp, Deloitte, and more.

If your company is struggling with the challenges of leveraging human capital, discover why some organizations have what it takes to be great—and what your company can learn from them.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (January 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470596260
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470596265
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #311,115 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Stephen W. Kaiser on March 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are many books out there on the issue of employee engagement and some are better than others- consider this one in the "better" category. Using their years of research through the 100 Best Places to Work contest each year, they have determined the formula that pervades the best companies for which to work. The use of many examples helps to illustrate their points. This is a good book for those working at making their work places great places to work.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jim Estill on February 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The book speaks of several factors that contribute to a great workplace:

Credibility - Belief in the Leader

Respect - People want to feel they are valued members of their organization.

Fairness - People are motivated by the feeling that things are fair.

Pride - People want to feel pride for their work and their company.

Comradeship - People need to feel a part of a group and are happiest in their work if it gives them that sense.

It goes on to elaborate on each of these factors including how they can be fostered.

My view is different people will be inspired by different things. And inspiration is relative - does it mean someone is willing to stay 5 minutes late or give up their weekend to the job.

I always ascribe to a "treat people right" philosophy. Or "be nice", "treat people as people" etc. In most cases this works. The challenge is if people do not view it as "being nice" and "being nice" means different things for different people.

The final chapter was on taking action. Critical in the success of any plan. It speaks of the Balances -

Responsibility and Humility
Passion and Patience
People and Results

I liked them all, although I am not sure they are opposites, exclusive or that they need balance. For example, inspired people are happy AND get great result.

Good book - every leader should read it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Alexander B. on January 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed and recommend the book. It is a quick read and easy to understand and follow. For someone who has read quite a few of the management consulting themed books, what I liked about this one is that it lays out a relatively straightforward map to follow in changing the atmosphere of a business in ways that most people could follow pretty easily. There is no shortage of books describing the attributes that make one business great, or why a specific firm performed a specific task so well, but what I tend to find lacking is a simplistic roadmap that the average businessowner could follow to implement the desired changes. Basically, theory versus practice. It's easy to say company A is great because of a degree of internal pride or credibility, but far more difficult to lay out how someone else running company B can get there, and that is what this book does very well. Not that the tasks would be easy and quick per se, but having a useful, actionable outline is an invaluable resource. Cudos to the authors.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Marco on January 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The term "must-read" is overused for business books, but it really applies here.

It would prove invaluable to any manager/leader.

Jennifer and Michael take the evidence-based, proven concepts of the Great Place to Work Institue and package them in a concise, readable format - with supporting examples/case studies.

With the ingredients of a good product and good people, this book provides the "recipe" for a successful culture at any company!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Year after year, Fortune posts its annual list of the "100 Best Companies to Work For." I have never questioned the selections nor the rankings but I have been very curious to know (a) the criteria by which they were selected and ranked, (b) how information about them was obtained and evaluated, and then c) what lessons can be learned from both their similarities and differences. Finally, Michael Burchell and Jennifer Robin have co-authored a book in which they explain what I have been so eager to learn. They had direct access to all of the resources of The Great Place to Work® Institute which has conducted an annual survey of more than two million people who are asked to evaluate the cultures of more than 6,000 companies worldwide. The resources also include those available at 40 Institute offices.

"In these evaluations," Burchell and Robin explain, "we assess two aspects two aspects of workplaces. The first aspect, weighted more heavily, is the employee experience...The second aspect we evaluate for our best companies lists are the programs, policies, and practices leaders put in place for their employees." The book's subtitle suggests four separate but related questions that helped to frame the material:

1. What are the defining characteristics of a great workplace?
2. How to build it?
3. How to sustain its greatness?
4. Why does building and then sustaining it matter?

Over time, based on the abundance of research data that it has obtained and analyzed, the Institute has devised the Great Place to Work (GPTW) Model, one that remains a work in progress within a dynamic process but a model, nevertheless, that remains fundamentally stable.
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