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Why Employees Don't Do What They're Supposed To Do and What To Do About It 1st Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0071342551
ISBN-10: 0071342559
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The essential management survival tool­­with all new data from more than 5,000 managers.

The sheer common sense in this classic resource is what every generation of managers is thirsting for­­and that's one key reason the book is a New York Times Business Bestseller a full ten years after its original publication. Drawing on new findings from 5,000 managers, Why Employees Don't Do What They're Supposed to Do is abundantly expanded to address such new workplace issues as flex time, retaining good employees, telecommuting, workplace stress, technology, the proliferation of service industries, increased use of temps, and violence in the workplace. The solid, down-to-earth, and easily accessible advice in this book makes it a true desk-side companion.

"Invaluable."­­Success.

"In simple, straightforward language, Fournies offers practical solutions to the problems of employee performance ... [This book] should be on the desk of anyone who manages others."­­Entrepreneur

"A practical, results-oriented guide for every VP, manager, supervisor, foreman, and small-business owner ... The practical advice provided here is applicable to all kinds of jobs at all levels ... It is an essential resource of innovative, practical ways to achieve optimum employee performance."­­Business Opportunities Journal

"Straightforward answers to a question managers have asked themselves time and time again ... Fournies's book delivers what his title promises."­­Shop Talk

"A fresh management approach to getting better results."­­Association Management

"A practical, down-to-earth book that should help managers improve employee performance."­­Communications Briefing

About the Author

Ferdinand F. Fournies, internationally recognized consultant, speaker, and professor at Columbia's Graduate School of Business is now retired.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (April 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071342559
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071342551
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.5 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #494,050 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There's probably some stuff in here that would be useful for a manager who is completely clueless, but I didn't find much that would be useful insight for someone further along than that. I gave it a few chapters, because a friend I respect recommended it, but then gave up. I guess the book is okay for what it is, but it isn't likely to make any lasting improvement in your relationship with your employees. It generally comes from a perspective that has been somewhat popular in recent years, to the detriment of business, one that says:
- Process is more important than substance.
- Management can be detached from leadership.
- Management is more about skill than about character.
Employees follow and build loyalty to leaders who lead, not administrators who manage. When you've proved yourself as a leader, when you've proved (by consistent actions over time) to your employees that you really have their best interests at heart, and when you've shown that you'll work with those who want to improve, but will deal decisively with those who poison the work environment, then amazingly enough, employees tend to start doing what they ARE supposed to do.
I'd recommend skipping this one and picking up a copy of Leadership as a Lifestyle, by Hawkins, instead.
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Format: Paperback
Talk about a super long title that clearly states what a book is about! When you pick up "Why Employees Don't Do What They're Supposed To Do and What To Do About It" by Ferdinand F. Fournies, there's no doubt what you think you are getting. The question is of course if you DO get that and how valuable the information is.

There are apparently 16 different reasons why an employee might not do what they should. These are: They don't know why, they don't know how, they don't know what, they think your way won't work, they think their way is better, they think something else is more important, there are no positive consequences, they think they ARE doing it, they are rewarded for NOT doing it, they are punished for doing it, they anticipate negative consequences, there are no negative consequences for NOT doing it, there are obstacles they can't fix, they have personal limits, they have personal problems, and the task is simply impossible. That's quite a lot of reasons for one "problem"! Just having that list can really be helpful. A manager who thinks "My employee is simply an idiot! I told him what to do!" might take a step back and realize there really IS a problem that can be fixed, once it is identified.

I realize that a lot of these items are common sense - but it's amazing how many times in the workplace that I've seen bad managers completely ignore the real problem and just yell at an employee. That rarely helps!

Now, while the basic list is good, I do have some issues with this book. The first is that the book opens telling you "Now a manager could be assaulted or killed by the employee [for not handling problems effectively]." Good God Almighty. Talk about a nasty way to sell a book - "read me or you could DIE!!!
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Format: Hardcover
Really helpful book! Fournies gives 16 reasons why employees (and maybe peers or others) fail to meet expectations. The book doesn't just give a list, though. It gives succinct insight into how to tell which is the reason in a particular case. Then, once we have the cause identified, it gives good advice on how to correct the root cause. I found it very helpful in handling failed expectations of others -- sort of Sun Tsu's *The Art of War* without the executions. <grin> I recommend this book as a tool for managers at all levels to turn frustration into solutions.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Have you ever been stumped explaining to a fellow worker what they should do? Have you asked how do I approach this individual? Have you ever looked for a book that has probable employer/employee question and answer dialog? Well if this is true, this book is for you. I have purchased 3 of these books. I gave one to a very likable manager that avoided confrontation and rewarded people for the wrong reasons; After he read this book he said thank you I am going to start using these skills in my management techniques. His team increased in a measurable increase of productivity.

Know what to say when dealing with that difficult to manage employee and turn things around.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great Book ! If you need to become a manager or a leader this book is an absolute first step in the right direction.
you can't go wrong with this style of leadership and it relates to almost all aspects of great leadership foundations.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Gives a very logical perspective of handling your team. What I like about this is that it is very logical, author stays away from opinions and looks at everything completely objectively. Can't disagree with anything in the book.

The title is good for showing up in searches, but this is not a book that you should leave on your desk at work lol. I ripped the cover off.

The "what to do about it" part had some decent examples, but I didn't find it super helpful. Worth every penny of the $0.01 I paid for it lol
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Format: Paperback
This is a basic book for all new managers. It tell you about all the things they don't teach you in school and gives you concrete action plans to take away the negative impact of the problem. The key areas are ranked as to their occurrence in the management environment. It is a quick read and an even faster process of applying the essentials. Great Book! I am recommending it to my students.
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