David H. Maister, a specialist in the management of professional service firms, surveyed 29 firms in 15 countries to determine whether positive employee attitudes really correlate to corporate success. In his consultancy and previous books, he has suggested they do, and in Practice hat You Preach he is able to show that in many companies it truly is ‘attitudes that drive financial results, and not (predominantly) the other way round.’ On a pragmatic level, this allows him to demonstrate how a energized workforce will provide top-quality client service–the key component in any service-oriented business. Overall, Maister recommends managers instill trust and respect, develop a high morale, and serve as ‘coaches’ rather than ‘most valuable players.’ He offers detailed case studies of survey respondents, and amalgamates their replies into an explicit Path to Performance as well as four chapters with specific lessons that should be transferable to other enterprises (i.e., effective managers allow others to get deserved credit, ensure workers believe management is not only out to make a lot of money for itself, and understand employees are looking for help in growing their careers). Practical and accessible, it also includes survey specifics for those who care to analyze them on their own. —Howard Rothman
From Publishers Weekly
Maister, a professional service consultant, surveyed 6,500 employees at 50 worldwide companies to evaluate the relationship between company financial performance and employee satisfaction and loyalty. He found a direct and dramatic correlation. Here, he offers detailed commentary from CEOs, managers and staffers, and analysis of the survey results. Bosses in all kinds of companies will benefit from his solid advice, which should be required reading for executives and upper level managers.
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