The Carrot Principle

By Clifford Greene,2014-12-03 15:30
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The Carrot Principle

Resources for Managers

    Business columnist Dale Dauten noticed something odd: Some terrific managers also had high turnover. They weren’t “brutally demanding bosses,” nor did they ax people just to meet budget numbers, he notes in Great Employees Only (John Wiley & Sons, 2006).

    Why the paradox of effective and well-liked managers with high turnover? Because these managers were devoted to “helping every employee travel along his or her path” to the best job, Dauten saysand that path sometimes led right out the office door.

    In Great Employees Only, Dauten urges managers to move away from firing and toward “de-hiring,” in which employees “aren’t told to leave, but told how to stay.” With anecdotes from managers, Dauten demonstrates how de-hiring benefits both the business, by keeping only great employees on board, and departing employees themselves, by helping them leave on a positive note and move on to jobs that are better fits.

In Workplace Safety (John Wiley & Sons, 2006), authors Dan Hopwood and Steve

    Thompson speak to anyone tasked with being an organization’s point person on health

    and safety issuesfrom executives to HR professionals to operations managers or anyone else.

    Covered are day-to-day needs like identifying and controlling hazards, getting health and safety training for employees, and tying health and safety to management measures such as employee assistance programs and discipline.

    The book looks at roles and responsibilities of managers, supervisors and employees in reporting hazards, initiating investigations and inspecting the worksite. Tips on getting employees involved include using recognition programs, ensuring assignments are clear and providing sufficient resources to those responsible for safety.

    Hopwood and Thompson emphasize that anyone in charge of health and safety must understand the potential hazards in his or her specific workplace. Only by understanding hazards can anyone control them, design training to prepare for them or comply with regulations that cover them.

    For health and safety managers ready for more advanced topics, the book discusses how to prepare for business continuity if an emergency shuts down your location.

    Seventy-nine percent of employees who quit their jobs say a lack of appreciation is a key reason they left. So if employees value recognition so highly, why aren’t companies doing a better job of creating great recognition programs?

    Excuses like the fear of jealousy among workers or a belief that “raises are recognition enough” prevent employers from creating workplace cultures that recognize employees

    effectively, say Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton in The Carrot Principle (Free Press,


    Gostick and Elton list 125 ideas that recognition managers can start using today. They include a “carrot calculator” for determining which forms of recognition and levels of

    award spending appropriately fit employees’ actions.

    The book identifies goal-setting, communication, trust and accountability as four areas vital to leadership. The authors detail how adding employee recognition in each area accelerates employee performance.

    Employees trust managers more when the managers recognize their unique contributions at work and are willing to give employees credit. And recognition improves accountability if managers recognize good work throughout a project, not just at its end.

In hosts of books and seminars, managers hear today’s common business advice:

    Communicate more. Emphasize teamwork. Be accessible. Build community and shared values in the workplace.

    In Speed Lead (Nicholas Breeley Publishing, 2007), Kevan Hall has a different take: Communication is a problem today, not a solution. So-called teams often aren’t teams at

    all. Too much accessibility undermines initiative. Hall says increasing complexity in larger companies slows work down as people are expected to collaborate across teams, functions and countries.

    He advocates faster, simpler management of communication, cooperation, control and community. Each chapter ends with an exercise to put the ideas to work immediately. Readers also get advice on:

    ; Giving up control and getting employees to be more autonomous.

    ; Analyzing why employees come to managers with problems they might have

    solved themselves.

    ; Building corporate community when people are pulled by conflicting loyalties. has launched a new electronic training calendar that allows users to create personalized training schedules of upcoming seminars, workshops and conferences. Instead of waiting for a brochure to arrive for a specific event or from a particular training provider, users now have a do-it-yourself option to choose which seminars they wish to attend. The new tool allows employees to quickly search through the thousands of seminars and training programs listed on Powerful sorting filters allow users to create personalized training calendars by using keywords, date, location and type of training.

Terms of Use: ? 2007 Society for Human Resource Management. Members of SHRM are

    authorized to distribute copies, excerpts or e-mails of this information for educational purposes internally within their organizations. No other republication or external use is allowed without permission of SHRM. The information is not intended to serve as a substitute for legal advice.

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