Employee engagement and now, employee experience continue to be important topics for authors. Today, we mark the yearly release of our Top 10 Employee Engagement Book List.
If you believe, like me, that an engaged workforce is the foundation of organizational success, you’ll find these “intelligence manuals” valuable as you work to create more a meaningful, productive, and engaging workplace experience.
The books listed below are not in rank order. They are presented in the order in which they were originally read with the last book being the most recent book completed. You can reference our previous lists here:
2016 – Top 10: Agent In Engagement Top 10 Employee Engagement Books – 2016
2015 – Top 10: 2015 Agent In Engagement Top 10 Books on Employee Engagement
“These assets should be viewed as vital tools for every
Agent In Engagement.”
Top 10 Employee Engagement Book List -2017 Edition
We: How to Increase Performance and Profits Through Full Engagement – Rudy Karsan & Kevin Kruse
This was the first book I read that was devoted to employee engagement. Employee success is linked to company success based on millions of global surveys. An employee’s level of engagement is driven by opportunities for growth, recognition of ideas and contributions, and trust in leadership and the direction they are taking the company.
“There are leaders and there are those who lead. Leaders hold a position of power or influence. Those who lead inspire us.” This book is written for those who want to truly lead. Using his “Golden Circle” concept, Sinek helps readers learn to think, act, and communicate in ways that inspire others. Instead of focusing on “What” or “How,” those who inspire us start with a sense of purpose. Starting with “Why” provides the opportunity to connect with and inspire others to support you or your company.
Related blog post: Start with Why – Book Review
I was introduced to this book by Rick Auman of Healthy Companies International. I attended the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering – Department of Technology Management and Innovation’s third annual conference on Human Capital Innovation in Technology & Analytics in April. This year’s conference theme was “Predicting Engagement & Performance Using Human Capital Data Analytics.” After an interesting presentation by his colleague, Dr. Dominick Volini, I decided to visit their booth. Mr. Auman and I talked for a bit and then he gave me a complimentary copy of this book (written by the Company’s CEO, Bon Rosen).
While the book focuses on the individual leader, I found the book to be more broadly applicable to employee engagement. Individuals and leaders can benefit if they explore each of the 6 roots of the Healthy Leader Model: Physical Health, Emotional Health, Intellectual Health, Social Health, Vocational Health, and Spiritual Health.
The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age – Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha, & Chris Yeh
Three prominent Silicon Valley entrepreneurs propose “a new employment framework that facilitates mutual trust, mutual investment, and mutual benefit. An ideal framework encourages employees to develop their personal networks and act entrepreneurially without becoming mercenary job-hoppers. It allows companies to be dynamic and demanding but discourages them from treating employees like disposable assets.”
The Alliance is based on ‘tours of duty’ that have specific timeframes and cover how the employer and employee will benefit from working together. It offers a way for companies to engage and retain employees while simultaneously achieving their business objectives.
Related blog post: Key Learnings from The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age
The Day the Crayons Quit – Drew Daywalt & Oliver Jeffers
Yes, a children’s book made the list. While this book targets children ages 3 – 7, you might be surprised by how familiar the story sounds in relation to disengagement on your team. How many of these colors sound like the people you manage or that you know within your organization?
Related blog Post: What Crayons Can Teach Us About Employee Engagement
Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family – Bob Chapman and Raj Sisodia
This book is the newest edition to make the 2016 List of Top 10 Employee Engagement Books. Bob Chapman and Barry-Wehmiller focus on people, purpose, and performance. Rather than viewing employees as cogs or people to be “managed,” the authors relate why everybody matters. They argue for all companies, leaders, and managers to “truly care, to feel a deep sense of responsibility for the lives we touch through our leadership.” “Once you stop treating people like functions or costs, disengaged workers begin to share their gifts and talents toward a shared future.”
New Books Added to the List This Year
Re-Engage: How America’s Best Places to Work Inspire Extra Effort in Extraordinary Times – Leigh Branham and Mark Hirschfeld
After surveying thousands of employees in Best Places to Work companies, the authors want you to re-engage your people. Why? Not only are engaged employees more efficient and productive, their companies are more successful, even in tough economy. The book identifies the six “universal drivers” of employee engagement and provides information on how these drivers can be addressed.
The Future Workplace Experience: 10 Rules For Mastering Disruption in Recruiting and Engaging Employees – Jeanne C Meister and Kevin Mulcahy
The workplace is changing. Ms. Meister and Mr. Mulcahy “provide 10 rules for rethinking, reimagining, and reinventing your organization.” This book will guide you through each rule with individual, team, and organizational action plans.
I did disagree with their approach to Rule #9 – Plan for More Gig Economy Workers. They seem to admit defeat in being able to engage and retain employees. I would have liked them to have approached this chapter by focusing on how companies can reduce the need for gig economy workers by offering their employees more and better opportunities to learn and grow within an organization.
The Employee Experience Advantage: How to Win the War for Talent by Giving Employees the Workspaces they Want, the Tools they Need, and a Culture They Can Celebrate – Jacob Morgan
Experience drives engagement and engagement drive results. This book argues that companies have been focusing on employee engagement, an effect, when they should be focusing on the root cause of engagement which is the employee experience in a company’s physical, technological, and cultural environments. Mr. Morgan makes a research-backed case for investing in employee experience regardless of your company’s size, industry, or location.
The Employee Experience: How to Attract Talent, Retain Top Performers, and Drive Results – Tracy Maylett, EdD. and Matthew Wride, JD
The CEO and COO of DecisionWise offer research-based insight into building an engaged workforce. This is achieved through establishing and upholding “the Contract,” a clear set of expectations and promises between the company and its employees. This contract is actually composed of three separate contracts: Brand, Transactional, and Psychological. In the end, it’s all about trust and these contracts help foster that trust.
Books That Fell of This Year’s Top 10 List
- Employee Engagement 2.0 – Kevin Kruse
- Employee Engagement for Everyone – Kevin Kruse
- Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When the Stakes Are High – Patterson, Grenny, McMillan, Switzler
- Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts – Becoming the Person You Want To Be – Marshall Goldsmith and Mark Reiter
What are your thoughts on these selections? Which employee engagement books, i.e., “instruction manuals” would you recommend to fellow Agents?
I’m Agent in Engagement Simpson…Gregory F Simpson.
P.S. First contact? Welcome to the Agent In Engagement community. Explore and join fellow employee engagement operatives in targeting a known thief – alias: Disengagement. Together we can bring this thief to justice and make the world a better place for all companies and their employees.
Other recent Agent in Engagement data/reports by Agent Gregory F Simpson:
- Employee Engagement Intelligence Briefing: 2017.08.14 – 2017.08.18
- Veteran Operative Employee Engagement Insights: 2017.08.14 – 2017.08.18
- Employee Engagement-Related Spotlight Articles of July 2017
- Employee Engagement-Related Spotlight Articles of June 2017
- 15 Go-To Sources of Employee Experience/ Employee Engagement Articles
- Employee Engagement-Related Spotlight Articles of May 2017
- Career Path Analytics Conference Recap
Disclosure of Material Connection: The links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only reference products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”