BOOK REVIEW: “The Rebel Playbook for World-Class Employee Engagement”, by Glenn Elliott and Debra Corey

Some CEOs and managers don’t really comprehend how to authentically connect with and engage their employees. To help them, authors Glenn Elliott and Debra Corey, in their new book, Build it: The Rebel Playbook for World-Class Employee Engagement, provide practical tips and highlight innovative ways that companies are successfully improving employee-employer relationships. They’ve highlighted the most enlightened — even rebellious — practices for empowering employees that, in turn, enhance the bottom  line.

Drawing from years of providing employee engagement consulting services to thousands of companies worldwide, Elliott and Corey, CEO and HR director, respectively, of UK-based Reward Gateway, have extracted critical components for galvanizing staff into a 10-part framework, which they call The Engagement Bridge. Each component of their Engagement Bridge — from open and honest communication practices to pay and benefits to leadership — provides a foundation upon which to build. Then, they offer the playbook for how to adopt these key elements in the form of examples by which companies of all sizes and sectors have operationalized  them.

In Build it, Elliott and Corey argue that traditional HR and legal departments focus on protecting the company at the expense of the employees. The rebel CEO and manager recognize that it’s the employees that make up the company — and that honoring their interests and promoting their well-being is the best way to advance company interests. Trusted and valued employees are unlikely to cheat the company, and, in fact, they tend to enable their companies to outperform their peers.

The authors share 60-some accounts of how companies have established new approaches to change the employer-employee dynamic. Calling these “The Plays,”  they comprise fascinating case studies: From the online shoe company, Zappos, offering to pay new hires a month’s salary to leave if the company isn’t a good fit, to GE fashioning new office space in Sydney, Australia, without designated offices to foster better collaboration, readers glean a sense of the many ways in which to challenge the status quo and vastly improve the culture of their  company.

Build it provides inspiration and ideas that help company leaders to assess their organizations, assemble their rebel armies and write their ownplaybooks for taking rebellious action that will beneficially impact both the staff and the organization as a  whole.

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