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Building a Magnetic Culture: How to Attract and Retain Top Talent to Create an Engaged, Productive Workforce Hardcover – January 9, 2012
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About the Author
Kevin Sheridan is Chief Engagement Officer (CEO) and Chief Consultant of HR Solutions, Inc., a Human Capital Management Consulting Firm specializing in Employee Engagement Survey and Exit Survey design, implementation, analysis, and results. Sheridan has extensive experience in the field, having cofounded three successful survey-related organizations.
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In apparently avoiding taking any hard lines on holding either Managers or Employees responsible for creating engagingly productive workplaces, Sheridan presents no innovative solutions. His ample data analyses are not significantly complemented with solution syntheses ... or an increased urgency for making needed changes. While the writing was interesting (for us curious readers), overall, I don't think "Building a Magnetic Culture" will significantly move many managers toward accepting more responsibility for building engaging workplaces or move many employees toward embracing more responsibility for engaging themselves in their (and their organization's) increased success.
Rather, I would encourage considering:
for managers: Abraham Zaleznik's "Motivating People", Aubrey Daniel's "Bringing Out the Best in People", Martin Yate's "Keeping the Best: And Other Thoughts on Building a Super Competitive Workforce", and Victor Vroom's "Manage People, Not Personnel",
for employees: Barbara Kellerman's "Followership: How Followers are Creating Change and Changing Leaders", Frederick Herzberg's "The Motivation to Work", Harvard Business Review's "Managing Yourself for the Career You Want", Ira Chaleff's "The Courageous Follower: Standing Up To and For Our Leaders", and Kenneth Wayne's "Intrinsic Motivation at Work: What Really Drives Employee Engagement"
for both managers and leaders, Peter Block's "Stewardship: Choosing Service over Self-Interest" and Robert Kelley's "The Power of Followership: How to Create Leaders People Want to Follow ... and Followers Who Lead Themselves."
Each of these writings digs deeper into the roots of engagement and performance and includes helpful recommendations for integrating into our everyday performance.
Kevin Sheridan has created a thought provoking, easy reading novel that is straight forward and down to basics. The book offered terrific practical and insightful guidelines. With application, Sheridan's ideas have shown to dramatically change the culture in an organization. There are case studies throughout the book, such as Pepsi, Coors, Waste Management, and Groupon. They demonstrate how to turn the concepts into reality.
In this book, an employee's performance is tied to their level of engagement. There are associates that are very skilled at what they do but overall, their contribution to the business goals is diminished if they are ambivalent or disengaged.
An associate's engagement is a result of their manager and themselves, split evenly. That was an interesting concept. It is not just up to the individual but their manager as well. The most positive associate can be crushed in their engagement if their manager's reaction and treatment towards them is consistently ambivalent or disengaged. Overtime, they will seek another position and your team loses good talent. This prompted some self-reflection to examine my own level of engagement as well as my behavior towards those that I have management responsibility for.
Sheridan reviews the topic of diversity in a variety of aspects. One that I found extremely helpful was generational diversity. He describes the motivations and drivers of four different generations. The factors are based on each generation's collective history and what defined their formative years. With that insight, it outlines details to better engage across generations.
When I first started reading it, I was a little skeptical that anything could really change an organization. What I have learned, is that while it can take some time, it can be done.
For new business owners, the aspect of talent acquisition in the book is huge. Sheridan outlines how to obtain talented workers and keep them motivated, ultimately raising the quality of one's company. Sheridan also pays much attention to diversity, a topic of ever-increasing importance. He explains how diversity can enrich a workplace environment, but also how to overcome certain challenges that come with diversity, such as generational differences.
Without passion and motivation, it is hard to compete in the business world, and Sheridan makes that clear. Throughout, the emphasis on accountability for both the manager and employees is key. Sheridan gives a genuine account of his experiences, allowing the reader to see the effects of engagement. The book motivates the reader to have a more positive and productive work experience, and ultimately to Build a Magnetic Culture. It is an absolute must for anyone looking to take their workforce to the next level.