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Saturday, August 16, 2008


Growing Great Employees by Erika Andersen - Book review

Growing Great Employees

Turning Ordinary People into Extraordinary Performers

By: Erika Andersen

Published: Dec 28, 2006
ISBN: 9781591841517
Format: Hardcover, 288pp
Publisher: Portfolio

If life were fair, employees would be perfect. Your employees are, like you and I, flawed and hopeful human beings whose success is at least partly dependent on your skill as a manager, writes Erika Andersen in her landmark book Growing Great Employees: Turning Ordinary People into Extraordinary Performers. In this destined to be classic work, in the employee relations field, the author uses a gardening metaphor to demonstrate how careful selection, nurturing, and care will produce great employees and future leaders for an organization.

Erika Andersen demonstrates the importance of taking a long term, career based approach to employee management and development. The author shows how the policy short term thinking, and the rapid employee turnover found in many companies, is the wrong approach for a business seeking to strengthen its competitive position. Instead of thinking of employees as a burden and cost, Erika Andersen suggests that growing great employees is the secret to long term organizational success.

Erika Andersen (photo left) teaches the manager the many steps, and long term employee management techniques necessary for developing employee potential. From listening to your employees and discovering their real concerns and goals to selecting and interviewing the best candidates, the author helps plant the seeds of a powerful management team. Through proper coaching, guidance, and mentoring from the first day on the job through the employee's entire career, the person's value to the company and personal career satisfaction can be enhanced.

The author recognizes that problems will arise in any organization, and not all people are suited to working at every company. Along with applying different management techniques to many widely different personalities, the book also includes a section on terminating an employee the right way for everyone involved. People work best and most productively in an environment that values their contribution to the organization, and values them as people. The author stresses the value of long term career planning within a training and career development based company.

For me, the power of the book is its practical approach to the development of great employees. Great people are the competitive advantage of great companies, and Erika Andersen teaches managers how to become great and to develop greatness in their staff. Not only does she teach the importance of mentoring current employees, but also demonstrates how to select and coach future leaders for the company. Great people in your company will give you that crucial competitive edge in any industry.

I highly recommend Growing Great Employees: Turning Ordinary People into Extraordinary Performers by Erika Andersen, for anyone serious about developing a superior organization based on skilled employees. The book is without a doubt destined to be a classic in the personnel development field. It's a must read for anyone who manages people within and organization.

Read Growing Great Employees: Turning Ordinary People into Extraordinary Performers by Erika Andersen, and select and develop great employees for your company. By nurturing their careers and by enhancing their leadership skills, your company will blossom into a formidable force in your industry.

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Hey certainly looks like a fantastic book. One of the main challenges I have faced over the last year or so is staff and making sure you choose the correct applicant. I am sure I am not alone there.


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