The 24-Carrot Manager

Title: The 24-Carrot Manager
Authors: Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton
Price: £9.79 (paperback)
Publisher: J Wiley & Sons
Pages: 370
ISBN: 0470821787

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Subtitled ‘a daily dose of recognition for your employees’, this book is laid out like a diary, containing for every day, January to December, one tip on recognising your staff. The rationale behind this is that employees who are fed a steady diet of ‘carrots’ focus better on company goals, stay longer with the company, and give their best efforts.

This premise is a sound one: research shows that managers who tap the power of recogni-tion are more likely to build a committed workforce.

Most importantly, it contains a lot of common sense advice on reward and recognition. Good examples are: offering additional development opportunities to employees who have ‘gone the extra mile’, or being specific when praising an individual on what they did well. It also addresses the discomfort that a manager may feel about adopt-ing recognition behaviours for the first time.

On the negative side, it could be seen as superficial, contrived, even manipulative, and undoubtedly some of its suggestions verge on the surreal. For example, one entry is billed as ‘a reward guaranteed to make a big splash’, with the advice to ‘send a wonderful employee two fresh lobsters or a couple of live crabs’. This could be an alarming experience for the average UK employee.

You will either like the format or it will be an immediate turn-off. There is the danger that an insensitive or naive manager might adopt the book’s suggestions without recognising the key truth behind reward – that each employee is unique, with their own motiva-tion triggers, and the real skill of a manager is to find out what these are and tap into them.

Useful? 3 stars
Well-written? 3 stars
Practical? 2 stars
Inspirational? 3 stars
Value for money? 3 stars
Overall 3 stars

All ratins out of five stars

Reviewed by Alyson Burn, organisation and people manager, GlaxoSmithKline

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