Employee Experience

Top 5 Employee Engagement Books for your Reading List

4 Mins read

Getting more out of your team members is the ultimate goal as a manager/supervisor or even somebody who runs their own business. If you, however, work in the HR or employee experience departments, you want to learn how to improve employee engagement, that’s where our selection of employee engagement books comes to save the day.

Developing a “Happy Team”

If you truly want your team to be happy and ready to work their hardest, you have to understand where they are coming from. You cannot offer up measly rewards for their hard work and efforts, and that’s why these books are bound to have some sort of useful information for you.

After reading one or two (or even all!) of these employee engagement books, it’s almost certain that you’ll come out on the other side as a better manager. Not only that but a leader in general. 

Top 5 Employee Engagement Books

employee engagement books

#1. Grounded: How Leaders Stay Rooted in an Uncertain World

Author: Bob Rosen

Uncertainty is hard to deal with in life, and it’s why a lot of people stop themselves from pursuing their dreams or taking any leaps of faith. Whether you feel personally burnt out, or cynical employees are getting to you, there are techniques you can use to stay rooted while going through the thick of it. 

There are six “personal dimensions” looked at in this book, all of which offer a unique benefit to anybody who has to lead the pack. Becoming self-aware and tapping into your true potential starts here. 

Many managers crumble under pressure from their responsibilities, especially when they fail to properly manage amazing talent and force them out the door. If you want to maintain the best employees possible to maximize the efficiency of your company, “Grounded” is a great book to check out. 

#2. Engaging the Hearts and Minds of All Your Employees

Author: Lee J. Colan

Considered a “classic” when it comes to employee empowerment books, this is another option that will help you focus on the human aspect of things. You aren’t just trying to successfully run a team, you’re trying to manage a group of people who all have different feelings and opinions. This is tough enough as it is, but to maintain a consistent output on top of that? Well, let’s just say there’s a reason why books like these exist.

If you want to approach your management style with a more “humane” side, this is a book you don’t want to miss out on. 

#3. The Effective Manager

Author: Mark Horstman

Effective management can mean different things, it all depends on where you come from and your work experience. Are you running a company that’s maintaining some of the top talents out there? If so, “The Effective Manager” is a book that I feel you’d be incredibly interested in.

It doesn’t just cover some of the most prominent techniques used by successful managers all over the world, but it goes as far as helping to master them too. This book uncovers four main traits/behaviours behind all successful leaders, and how you can obtain these traits for yourself.

At that point, it’s merely a matter of taking what you’ve learned from the book and honing in on your goals. Understand your team, talk about performance, and do more than just push them down with excess work. 

books on employee engagement

#4. The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Act More, & Change the Way You Lead Forever

Author: Michael Bungay Stanier

This book preaches consistency but also using your brain for more than just traditional means. It’s all about working smarter, as opposed to harder – at least that’s what it seems author Michael Bungay Stanier was trying to express in this book. 

“The Coaching Habit” is one of my favourites, and it’s a stellar read for anybody who has team members constantly asking for advice.

Constantly coaching people can put you under a lot of stress, but this book helps you figure out how to appropriately express yourself and manage these situations. Instead of giving direct orders when coaching, you can try and “ask the right questions”.

There’s a lot of information to consider with this book and I would say it’s worth the read regardless of which industry you manage in. 

#5. Carrots and Sticks Don’t Work: Build a Culture of Employee Engagement with the Principles of RESPECT

Author: Paul L. Marciano

Much like horses, many employees are treated like one when it comes to the “stick method”. You dangle a small reward in front of your employees with promises of future riches, only to push out another carrot (slightly further this time!) afterward. As opposed to forcing your team members to feel like they’re stacking goals, make the progression feel natural!

“Carrots and Sticks Don’t Work” is crucial for anyone who is trying to keep their team busy with meaningless tasks. Having an end goal in mind is going to help ease their minds because they know that there is an end to the project at hand. That’s just one of the things I took away from reading this book, and I’m sure you’ll find even deeper meaning once you’ve done it yourself. 

My Favourite of These 5 Employee Engagement Books?

It’s tough to say, but after reading through all of them, I prefer “The Effective Manager”. All of them are packed with useful information, but I had a great time while reading that book in particular – I still apply some of the techniques I learned from it to this day. 

You CAN Be a Better Leader

Being a leader comes with plenty of responsibility, but that doesn’t mean you can let the pressure get to you. By remaining true to yourself and always striving to learn more, progress is bound to happen eventually.

If you feel stuck or are looking for a way to become a better leader, reading through any of the books on this list are a way to get started.

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Editor-in-Chief at Employee Experience Magazine.
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