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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspiration Works, February 7, 2011
This review is from: The Great Workplace: How to Build It, How to Keep It, and Why It Matters (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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great- for Great Places to Wor, March 10, 2011
By 
Stephen W. Kaiser "SteveK" (Nashville, TN United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Great Workplace: How to Build It, How to Keep It, and Why It Matters (Hardcover)
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical, well written roadmap, January 13, 2011
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This review is from: The Great Workplace: How to Build It, How to Keep It, and Why It Matters (Hardcover)
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "GREAT" Book!, January 28, 2011
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This review is from: The Great Workplace: How to Build It, How to Keep It, and Why It Matters (Hardcover)
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
5.0 out of 5 stars I needed!, September 4, 2013
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Actually a great book, I have not finished , but I'm studying it carefully , as it is important for my work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love the model, April 6, 2013
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I like this model to develop our company, I have the poster, book and electronic book also, I highly recommend it, because it provides examples and good practices that you can apply by daily basis.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a book I have eagerly awaited, September 15, 2011
This review is from: The Great Workplace: How to Build It, How to Keep It, and Why It Matters (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. It facilitates determination of organizational greatness in five dimensions, each of which has core values:

Credibility (communication competence, and integrity)
Exemplars: PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and Google

Respect (support, collaborating, and caring), Fairness, equity, impartiality, and justice)
Exemplars: General Mills and SC Johnson

Fairness (equity, impartiality, and justice)
Exemplars: Scripps Health and CH2M HILL

Pride (personal job, team, an company),
Exemplars: Wegmans Food Markets and W.L. Gore & Associates

Camaraderie (intimacy, hospitality, and community)
Exemplars: Camden Property Trust and Microsoft

Some companies piously affirm these values, have them identified on a laminated plaque displayed prominently in the reception area, and may even have them reproduced on a card everyone is asked to carry in a purse or wallet. The people at a GPTW - at all levels and in all areas -- live those values every day...and thereby bring an acronym to life. For them, three relationships are critically important: with their supervisors, with their work, and between and among associates.

Moreover, throughout their lively and eloquent narrative, Burchell and Robin explain that a very special kind of leadership is needed to create and then sustain a GPTW. They make and then reiterate two key points: first, leadership at all levels and in all areas must be provided in the five dimensions, driven by the values in each; second, a "leader" is defined by character and competence manifested in behavior, not by title. That's why, for example, companies such as W. L. Gore & Associates have a meritocracy rather than a hierarchy.

As many of those who read this book work their way toward the final chapter, they may be asking themselves, "OK, all this is very important. But where to begin?" My own advice is to re-read the book, highlighting key passages, and then re-read them before following what Michael Burchell and Jennifer Robin characterize as a "simple guide to action planning using your best practices, the Great Place to Work Model, and your newly honed leadership point of view" on Pages 217-221. "Building a great place to work is building the relationships people have with their leaders, the relationships people have with their work, and the relationships people have with their co-workers. We wish for you and your employees more trust, pride, and camaraderie. We wish for you to always be a part of a great place to work."
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful tool. Solid, interesting research, January 23, 2011
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This review is from: The Great Workplace: How to Build It, How to Keep It, and Why It Matters (Hardcover)
Takes the proven 'Great Place To Work' model and expands on it with lots of solid examples from companies we all know or want to. Inside stories kept my interest peaked for a quick read.
o For the leader; tools to move your team engagement to another level,
o For the job seeker; things to look for as you investigate the best place to work,
o For the investor; ideas for evaluating solid long term buys.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Good book for a self-examining workplace, October 31, 2013
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If you're in leadership of an organization of any size and you're desiring to build a positive culture that keeps your talent/staff hungry for more and hungry to stay, this book is a great overview of what great workplaces are already doing and a perfect place to start mining ideas for moving your workplace culture in the direction you know it should go.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent leadership tool, October 16, 2011
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This review is from: The Great Workplace: How to Build It, How to Keep It, and Why It Matters (Hardcover)
This book is a treasure trove of proven and practical strategies that can transform good workplaces into great places to work. By applying the tips provided in the book, any leader can create a culture of trust, where employees feel valued and empowered to be their best.

The checklists following each chapter serve as a wonderful baseline assessment and can be used to continually monitor the health of the workteam or organization.

As a long-term leader who is fortunate to have worked in many great places, I strongly recommend The Great Workplace as a must-read. If you are truly committed to making your workplace the best it can be, this is a book that you will return to time and again. I have both the Kindle edition and the hard-copy version and use both on an ongoing basis.
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The Great Workplace: How to Build It, How to Keep It, and Why It Matters
The Great Workplace: How to Build It, How to Keep It, and Why It Matters by Jennifer Robin (Hardcover - January 4, 2011)
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