The Enthusiastic Employee - How Companies Profit by Giving Workers What They Want

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Book DescriptionPublication Date: July 24, 2013This book is about employee enthusiasm: that special, invigorating, purposeful and emotional state that’s always present in the most successful organizations. Most people are enthusiastic w...
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Book Description

Publication Date: July 24, 2013

This book is about employee enthusiasm: that special, invigorating, purposeful and emotional state that’s always present in the most successful organizations. Most people are enthusiastic when they’re hired: hopeful, ready to work hard, eager to contribute. What happens? Management, that’s what.  The Enthusiastic Employee  is an action-oriented book that helps companies obtain more from workers - the basic premise is that under the right kind of leadership, the more one side wins in a collaborative relationship, the more for the other side.   The book is heavily evidence-based (using extensive employee survey data) and lays out two basic ideas:  the “Three-Factor Theory” of human motivation at work and the “Partnership” company culture that is based on the Three-Factor Theory and that, by far, brings out the best in people as they respond with enthusiasm about what they do and the company they do it for.   Drawing on research with 13,000,000+ employees in 840+  companies,  The Enthusiastic Employee, Second Edition  tells you what managers (from first-line supervisor to senior leadership) do wrong. Then it tells you something much more important: what to do instead.   David Sirota and Douglas Klein detail exactly how to create an environment where enthusiasm flourishes and businesses excel. Extensively updated with new research, case studies, and techniques (they have added over 8.6 million employees and over 400 companies to their analyses ), it now contains a detailed  study of Mayo Clinic, one of the world’s most effective healthcare organizations and a true representation of the principle of partnership, as well as more in-depth descriptions of private sector exemplars of partnership, such as Costco.  Other new chapters include: how the Great Recession really impacted workers’ morale (bottom-line, it didn’t) and how to build a true Partnership Culture that starts with senior leadership.   They now debunk fashionable theories of worker “generations” (Baby Boomers, Gen X, Y, etc.) as mostly nonsense… clarify what they’ve learned about making business ethics and corporate social responsibility actionable… share what research on merit pay (pay for individual performance) tells us about its likely impact on school teachers and performance  (not good)…discuss the utility of teleworking (and the dust-up at Yahoo)…offer compelling, data-informed insights about women and minorities in the workplace, and much more. You can have enthusiastic employees, and it does matter – more than it ever has. Whether you’re a business leader, HR/talent management professional, or strategist, that’s the workforce you need – and this is the book that will help you get it.


Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

“This second, updated edition of The Enthusiastic Employee takes the art and science of enterprise management to the next stage. I recommend it enthusiastically to all business leaders seeking to build the morale, loyalty, and performance of employees at all levels.”

–Richard Parsons, former Chairman and CEO of Time Warner


“All CEOs should consider the common sense, data-driven, time-tested suggestions contained in The Enthusiastic Employee. This is a book for any industry and applies to all generations of employees. The authors’ emphasis on an open and collaborative culture that focuses on customer needs is spot on and their data and case studies of the business impact of that culture cannot be ignored. If you want one comprehensive book this year on leading and managing people, this should be your choice.”

–Steve Bennett, President and CEO–Symantec


“Stop demotivating your employees! How true. The Enthusiastic Employee shows precisely how to do that through policies that unleash, rather than dampen, employee motivation and enthusiasm. Based on their extensive research, the authors offer clear insights into what makes people tick and how those insights can be put into practice. This book is a must read for all HR and line leaders unhappy with mediocre–or even “pretty good”–performance.”

–Victoria Berger-Gross, Senior Vice President, Global Human Resources–Tiffany & Co.


“David Sirota was in many ways one of the best advisers I ever had. He was made wise in management by years of listening to (and learning from) workers. There are lots of books of business advice; I recommend this one, and its author and able new co-author, Douglas Klein.”

–Donald E. Graham, Chairman and CEO–The Washington Post Co.


“I would strongly recommend this book to any senior Human Resources leader or line executive interested in effective approaches to the management of people. David and Doug have woven a compelling storyline, backed by voluminous research evidence, that is easy to understand and absolutely impossible to ignore. They demolish various myths about people at work and replace fads with evidence-based recommendations. This is a must read for any leader seeking to bring their organization to peak performance.”

–Sherry A. Whiteley, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer–Intuit


Enthusiastic employees outperform. They step up. They rally each other in tough times. They do the “impossible.”


These days, you need enthusiastic employees more than ever. You work hard to hire them. This book shows how to keep them as enthusiastic as they were when they came on board.


Based on research with 8.6 million employees in 412 companies, The Enthusiastic Employee is relentlessly evidence-driven. Extensively updated for the Great Recession, the so-called Millennial generation, and the newest research about workforce diversity, its findings will surprise (maybe even shock) you.


David Sirota and Douglas A. Klein show why the dollars-and-cents business case for greater employee satisfaction has grown even stronger in recent years. They present powerfully convincing data on the deepening linkages between employee attitudes and shareholder value.


Next, they guide you through delivering all three research-proven components of lasting employee enthusiasm: true workplace fairness, pride in one’s work and organization, and the experience of camaraderie. You won’t find handwaving or generalities here. You will find specific management practices that drive greater enthusiasm–and powerful improvements in performance.


  • What employees want, feel, and believe today–after the Great Recession

The impact of the recession on views of pay, benefits, job security, and bosses–and why it matters


  • Build a partnership culture where loyalty actually thrives

How to create the collaboration and trust that is at the heart of every great, enduring business


  • Sustain employee enthusiasm for the long-term

Lessons from those who’ve done it (Mayo Clinic, Costco)…and those who haven’t


  • Use today’s most powerful motivator: achievement

Integrate purpose, principles, enablement, challenge, feedback, recognition, and reward



About the Author

David Sirota has two abiding professional interests: organization behavior and survey research. Both of these interests took hold at the University of Michigan, where he received his doctorate, and where he worked at that university’s Institute for Social Research, a leading center for applying survey methods to the study of organizations. Upon receiving his doctorate, David was recruited by International Business Machines (IBM) to help initiate behavioral science research there. He stayed at IBM for 12 years in a variety of research and executive positions, leaving in 1972 to set up his own firm, Sirota Consulting, now simply Sirota. The firm specializes in the diagnosis and improvement of the relationships of organizations with all of their key constituencies: employees, customers, suppliers, investors, and communities. In 1996, David became chairman emeritus of the firm, after completing his own succession plan with key employees. He continues to consult with selected clients, primarily on matters of leadership, and collaboration and conflict within and between organizations.


Parallel to his career as a consultant, David has had an academic career, having taught at the School of Industrial and Labor Relations of Cornell University, the School of Industrial Administration of Yale University, the Sloan School of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.


David is married with two children and lives in New York City.


Douglas Klein is, likewise, steeped in survey research, with 25 years of experience in the field. Prior to joining Sirota, he worked for AT&T, building leadership assessment centers and conducting employee research, and then at Time Warner, where he conducted employee and customer satisfaction research. Doug brought his insights into employee and customer research to Sirota and helped launch its “linkage” efforts, statistically relating employee attitudes, customer attitudes, and “hard” business metrics. He managed the normative database for the firm for more than a decade (on which so much in the book’s first and second editions is based) and is seen by many as a real historian of employee attitudes. His current role as the firm’s chief leadership advisor allows him to apply his strong analytical skills and decades of client experience to issues of organizational values and culture and to the day-to-day problems faced by senior executives in the management of their companies.


Doug is an active advisor, speaker, and writer. (See his blog on and search for the many articles he has authored or to which he has contributed.) He holds a master’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology from New York University.


Doug lives in Merrick, New York, with his wife Ilene and their two children.


Product Details

File Size: 1343 KB

  • Print Length: 513 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0133249026
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Pearson FT Press; 2 edition (July 24, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled 
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #715,898 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)


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