The Essential Guide to Employee Engagement: Better Business Performance through Staff Satisfaction


Engaged employees are more productive, engender greater customer satisfaction and loyalty, and help promote a company's brand.  The Essential Guide to Employee Engagement provides the tools necessary to make this happen.

This book explores the concept and practice behind creating an engaged workforce and how this can contribute to organizational success.  Cook draws on case studies and examples from globally recognized companies to demonstrate how actively engaged...

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Engaged employees are more productive, engender greater customer satisfaction and loyalty, and help promote a company's brand.  The Essential Guide to Employee Engagement provides the tools necessary to make this happen.

This book explores the concept and practice behind creating an engaged workforce and how this can contribute to organizational success.  Cook draws on case studies and examples from globally recognized companies to demonstrate how actively engaged employees assist the progress of their organization. She shows managers how to measure the level of their employees' engagement and provides them with strategies to help increase staff participation.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"An outstanding, practical guide based on real-world experience." — The Midwest Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780749449445
  • Publisher: Kogan Page, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 8/1/2008
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,201,588
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Sarah Cook is a management development consultant who specializes in helping organizations develop their leadership and employee capability. She previously worked as a marketing manager for Unilever and as Head of Customer Care for a retail management consulting firm. She is the author of three other books published by Kogan Page.

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Table of Contents



1. What is employee engagement?    

What is employee engagement?

A definition of employee engagement  

The power of the customer  

Customer experience

The power of the employee   

Is employee engagement a Western phenomenon? 

Customer engagement                                       

So how can you identify an actively engaged employee?  

Employee commitment and satisfaction does not equate to engagement 

Engagement versus satisfaction and loyalty 

The benefits of employee engagement  

Employee engagement and human capital management    

How focusing on employee engagement will help change the perception of the HR function  

Is employee engagement worth the investment, will it be a trend to last?

Checklist: What are the benefits of employee engagement for your business? 


2 Beginning an employee engagement programme  

Gaining buy-in  

The starting point for developing an employee engagement strategy 

Measuring employee engagement    

Employee engagement surveys 

Proprietary surveys  

Be prepared to expect differing levels of engagement across your organization

Assess your current levels of employee engagement 

Example engagement survey questions 

Positioning the survey 

Checklist: What measurements of engagement are right for your business? 


3 Identifying the key drivers of engagement in your business

Using the results of employee engagement surveys     

Facilitating a focus group discussion about the key drivers of engagement  

Feeding back the results 

Summarising the findings of a survey in order to help develop a strategy 

Importance and impact 

What are the key drivers of employee engagement in your business?   


4. Developing an employee engagement strategy

The process of developing a strategy 

The WIFI model 

Assess your organization’s greatest areas of development using WIFI

How to interpret your score     

Transformational change 

Creating an employee engagement programme      

Work breakdown structure   

Four stages of an employee engagement programme

Defining roles and responsibilities     

The project scoping process 

Planning resources 

Working well as a project team 

Checklist: Which of the four elements of WIFI need to be improved in your organization? 


5. Well-being   

What is well-being?   


Affiliation and meaning       

Corporate social responsibility (CSR)

The employer brand   

Brand and organizational values   

A process for defining organizational values   

Translating values into behaviours 

A reminder 

Increased workload and stress levels 

Work—life balance   

The long-hours culture

Different types of flexible working  

Employee welfare 

Job design and resources    

Feeling valued  

Checklist: What is your organization doing in terms of CSR, employer brand, organizational values, the welfare of staff?


6. Information

Where are we going?

Communicating a clear sense of direction    

Being clear on terminology   

Developing a vision of the future

Creating a compelling organizational vision

Communicating the vision in an engaging manner 

Strategic goals  

Keeping people informed       

Using different media 

Internal communications department   

Making information interactive and continuous 

Best practice in internal communications

Personal presence and impact 

Helping senior leaders to improve their communication style  

Checklist: How does your organization inform employees in a motivating way about the business’s vision and strategic objectives? 


7. Fairness  

Respecting the individual 

Recruitment and selection


Performance management

Reviewing the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ 

Learning and development 

Career development and succession planning

Talent management

Reward and recognition  

Checklist: Are the stages in your employees’ journey fair? 


8. Involvement  

Three levels of involvement   

The role of direct line managers in involving their team

Coaching and facilitation skills 

Involvement with other teams 

Involvement with senior managers

Senior managers as role models

Internal communications departments  

Checklist: What does your organization do in terms of involvement? 


9. Agents for change  

Employee champions 

Ability to read the political landscape  

Influencing skills  

Coaching skills 

Marketing skills 

The key role of leaders  

Leadership practices 

Critical actions senior leaders can take to build employee engagement

Providing ongoing development for leaders             

Helping leaders identify their development needs

Engendering trust  

Communicate, communicate, communicate

Developing listening skills   

Personal reflection  

Use 18- or 36-degree feedback to identify strengths and development needs 

People join organizations and leave bosses 

The influence of line managers  

Support and challenge       

The link to feedback 

Beliefs about feedback 

Effective management development 

What type of environment do you create?

Checklist: What specific skills and abilities will you need to help you encourage employee engagement?  


10. Sustaining a focus on employee engagement

Engagement scores beginning to rise   

Continue measuring and benchmarking   

Do the organization’s strategic goals encompass employee engagement?  

Embedding engagement as a key strategic objective and performance indicator  

Integrate engagement into the balanced scorecard 




Further reading   


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  • Posted December 2, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Optimistic text on promoting employee engagement

    Businesses have long recognized the importance of cultivating proud, motivated and loyal employees. In fact, organizations that still operate with the mentality that workers should do their jobs and keep their mouths shut are likely to flounder. These days, the old style of management has largely disappeared ¿ but so has the trust that once existed between employer and employee. Job seekers no longer expect to find lifetime positions within one company. Layoffs and cutbacks in a difficult economic environment have generated fear and suspicion among employees. Companies recognize that their long-term viability depends on finding, retaining and motivating good employees. Although she doesn¿t break any new ground here, British author Sarah Cook competently explains why every organization should make employee engagement a priority. Cook provides numerous examples of British and American companies that embrace and benefit from employee engagement. getAbstract agrees with her that it¿s not too late for companies to change their approach. But the clock is ticking for sure.

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