The Art of Employee Engagement (Book Review)

Employee engagement is a topic close to my heart. In the past two decades I have designed, managed and implemented the findings of engagement surveys multiple times, and also managed to write an article with my point of view on how to make them ‘work’.

Given my interest in this topic, I was very pleased to receive a copy of ‘The Art of Employee Engagement’ by Marijn Faassen. I read it in one go, because I found it a fascinating read, for a number of reasons:

  • Passion – The author is clearly passionate about the topic. A quote from the book: ‘What I personally consider profound and meaningful is to improve the quality of people’s lives at work within organizations across the world’. This passion is amplified by the personal experiences of the author which are referenced throughout the book.
  • Thought-provoking – The book raises a number of thought-provoking questions. For instance: does your organization employ employees who ‘have to’, or employees that ‘want to’?
  • Practical – Perhaps the biggest value of the book is that it is very practical. It translates employee engagement from an abstract concept on a company level to concrete actions every line manager can take to increase the engagement of his or her direct reports. 

In this book, the author introduces a simple model with five principles, to drive employee engagement:

  1. Purpose – Articulate and communicate the purpose of the organization (or, as Simon Sinek would say:‘The Why’)
  2. Connection – The way people relate to each other in the organization should bring the purpose of the organization closer
  3. Contribution – The day to day activities in the organization need to be linked to the purpose of the organization
  4. Recognition – The contribution of the employees to reach this higher purpose, should be recognized
  5. Growth – Growing the company requires investing in the development of employees

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Employee Engagement. Personally, I am looking forward to delivering a training course with the author early next month, to bring some of his findings to life!

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