Erika Andersen‘s book Growing Great Employees offers valuable lessons on nurturing employees that can be applied to many business relationships. The book is stuffed with actionable strategies on hiring and making the most of your employee relationships. Growing Great Employees is a little dull at times, but offers valuable guidance for anyone who works with real people.
I enjoyed this book because it illustrates many great ideas in a clear manner. Andersen uses a vivid and consistent analogy of nurturing a healthy garden throughout the book (the plants, of course, being your employees). The analogy is an effective device, but it gets extremely old by the end of the book.
For the most part, each chapter moves smoothly through the entire lifecycle of hiring and taking care of your employees. The book discusses preparation and mindframe before hiring, selecting the right candidates and choosing the right employees, getting them off on the right foot and immediately involved with your business, and nurturing the relationship over the long-term. Andersen also delves into dealing with struggling employees and sour relationships, as well as how to understand and improve on your own habits and behavior with employees.
Growing Great Employees is written in a practical and understandable style. The concepts are illustrated effectively with the merciless use of gardening analogies, real-life examples of the concepts at work, and actionable resources, plans, and worksheets.
This book isn’t just a book for staff managers and business owners. Self-employed individuals, independent contractors, freelancers, and online business owners can all reap the benefits of understanding the healthy working relationship. If you manage contractors, hire people for your online business, work with Web designers or anyone on a professional level – this book can help to improve the way you work.
My eyes blurred a few times reading Growing Great Employees, but you don’t need to read every interview example and worksheet. The real meat of the book is in the clear-headed perspective on healthy employee relationships. Growing Great Employees was absolutely worth the time it took to read, and it was easy to skim some of the sections that didn’t apply immediately. This is a book that can be re-visited many times as you learn to nurture every stage of your garden’s life effectively.