For those leaders who still question the critical connection between employee performance and increased market share, this book will disabuse you of any such foul notions. I am reminded of a quotation from an executive who for some reason still works for a formerly successful professional sports franchise in an unnamed major city of the American heartland. After he lost his coach and two star players in one fell swoop, he had the temerity to say, "organizations win championships." Since his team is at the very bottom of the league's standings as we speak, my guess is that his fellow league execs are still howling about that one.
The findings in this book come from survey research entitled WorkUSA 2000, a survey conducted by consultant Watson Wyatt's Human Capital Index. Since taking the time to make human capital an organization's most valuable competitive advantage is still a challenge inside and outside professional sports, the practices listed herein are of great importance, even if the sheer number of ideas (21) is going to be daunting to most of us. I would settle for two or three good ones.
The list is broken down into four parts: recruiting and retention; reward and accountability; the flexible workplace; and open communication between management and employees. Though the topics are going to be familiar to many HR managers, they don't always appear so well-researched and presented in one volume. Of special note is the chapter on managing change, which contains some interesting survey data, including a finding that 56 percent of U.S. employees view change initiatives as having been implemented in either poor or mediocre fashion. My guess is that the figure is higher than that, because nowadays so many employees feel change is something that is done "to" them rather than "with" them.
Fret not, because the chapter on change is about how to do it right and, like the rest of the book, is a treasure trove of sound advice.