What we are reading on Employee Engagement: Volume 1

We are always looking for great articles, insights, and research on our favourite subject – Employee Engagement. After five years, we have learned a few things about employee engagement and we hope to share these insights with you each month.

First, a little background on how we found ourselves in the unique position of being a leader in social recognition. We created Kudos to address the challenges we faced in a previous company - a rapidly growing digital agency. At the time, we looked for a product that would meet our needs; 

Today, we continue to follow many of these same thought leaders and are finding new inspirations every month. This is a big conversation and an ageless challenge that applies to every business, in every vertical, in every country. Every business in today’s day and age, that wants to create a sustainably successful organization, needs a great culture to get them there. We hope some of the recommended reading helps you build and reinforce a great culture.

  • We wanted to build stronger connections with our team
  • Communicate our vision and values
  • Celebrate our successes
  • Nurture our culture
  • And let our team know we valued them and their contributions

We quickly discovered a few things: all the employee engagement products were far too focused on rewards, very manual, and only top down.  We also noticed that our agency clients were struggling with the same employee engagement challenges and could not find a solution that was simple, effective, affordable, and took a modern approach to recognition.  So, we started doing a little research and came across various powerful books, several inspiring blogs, and a few thought leaders that led us to create our own product – Kudos! Six years later, with hundreds of clients sending millions of Kudos, we think our social recognition system struck a chord with a lot of people just like us - and we have only just begun!

Here is where we think you should start: 

First, Break all the Rules. This is the book that started to make us think about what really mattered. The famous Q12 (12 questions) boiled employee engagement down to what was essential and attainable for all companies. This came down to enhancing communication, building connections and empowering people. It’s worth the read, even 10 years later.

Get the book here

Carrots and Sticks Don’t Work.  This is a book we came across when we were just starting to build Kudos. It was uncanny how it aligned with what we were trying to do. So much so, we were compelled to phone the Author, Dr. Paul Marciano. We chatted about Kudos and showed him our beta product and asked for his feedback. His only response was, “you nailed it.” The feeling was mutual – his book nailed it and is a must read if you want to build a great business and culture. 

Get the book here

Building a Magnetic Culture. We were invited to an HR Conference presentation by Kevin Sheridan a year ago. As we watched the presentation, we kept thinking to ourselves, “man, this guy is describing our product and what we are all about.” We introduced Kudos to Kevin and bought his book – a great read and a little affirmation that our instincts about recognition and employee engagement were bang on!

Get the book here

For day to day ideas and inspiration, we would also recommend you start with some of the Best HR Blogs out there: 

Switch and Shift – The Human Side of Business.  This blog is all about culture and social at work. The basic premise of their ramblings, insights, and provocations are all about the profits that will come when you put your people first. Expand your horizons and challenge your thinking.

Visit the site here

Talent Culture – In a deep sea of the run of the mill HR blogs, one of the best is Talent and Culture. There are a few gems in there, and Meghan Biro always has outstanding insights. Biro is widely published on the net, and we suggest following her at a minimum. 

Visit the site here

HR Zone – Perspectives on employee engagement from the other side of the pond. HR zone is published in the U.K. and there is some excellent insights, articles, and research. Not to mention, the podcasts sound so much better with an English accent. We always feel smarter after listening to them. 

Visit the site here 

There is more where this came from, so stay tuned for our monthly recommendations on employee engagement books that matter, blogs that will captivate you, and the odd article worth bookmarking. 


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