Book review: The Great Workplace

Emma de Vita reviews the new book by Michael Burchell and Jennifer Robin

Off the shelf
Off the shelf

What's at the heart of a great place to work? According to Michael Burchell and Jennifer Robin of the research and management consultancy the Great Place to Work Institute, it's the values of trust, pride and camaraderie demonstrated "with every communication, decision and interaction".

The Great WorkplaceTheir examples of some of the best workplaces include Google, Microsoft, FedEx and Deloitte. So what can you learn from these corporate tigers?

One serious lesson, believe it or not, is to build a fun community. As a manager, this might involve hiring the right people, planning celebrations and creating a good welcoming process. But the authors warn that "people won't spontaneously build strong relationships with one another unless they trust their leaders".

And without trust there cannot be fun. Why? Because people are less likely to be authentic if they don't trust their managers. "More energy directed at figuring out the leader's position and expectations means less energy focused upon developing close ties with co-workers," the authors write. Want to create a fun environment? Then don't waste time cracking jokes - think instead about whether your employees trust you.

Emma De Vita is books editor of Management Today

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