Book Review – The Incredible Value of Employee Power Unleashed

The Incredible Value of Employee Power Unleashed: How to Gain Competitive Advantage by Treating Your Employees Well. By Robertson Hunter Stewart 

Treating your employees well? Sounds like a novel concept but as many of us have experienced in the various organizations we work in this is not always the case. Fortunately, Robertson Hunter Stewart wrote this book to help employers, managers and leaders to take a more person-centered approach to dealing with our most precious commodity… people! 

Stewart is all about power to the people! He defines employee power as, “The power produced by employees with an organization which allows it to obtain and keep competitive advantage within the marketplace overtime.” 

In the book, Stewart discusses some of his past occupations (he worked for Euro Disney at one point) and is able to convey what it felt like to be valued and to be not valued. What he found from his experience and his research is a four point understanding for what employees want:

  1. To be treated well
  2. To work in a good atmosphere 
  3. To have the right tools to do one’s job
  4. To be paid well (p.23)

Stewart urges companies to put employee satisfaction as the top priority. He suggests that surveys, focus groups and brainstorming sessions are imperative for management to listen. Unlike a lot of management philosophies that put the customer first, Stewart challenges that notion by articulating how employees must be first. According to Stewart, “Employees are the internal customers.” (p. 49)

One of the  most critical chapters in this book is on training. Stewart presents a very easy to follow training protocol that will help any organization get the most out of professional development. He leaves nothing up to guesswork when it comes to training and it is clear that there is no guesswork. Employees must be trained in an on-going process that values constant feedback and recognition. 

The book concludes with a detailed overview on meetings. He starts out this section by asking one of the most important questions regarding meetings… why do we need a meeting? In order to hold an efficient meeting, Stewart suggests developing a clearly defined purpose. He then outlines a basic protocol that every meeting should have so that everyone knows the expectations. He also points out that management should take time during meetings to listen to the employees concerns, ideas and feedback. 

No matter what type of company you are in or what role you play, The Incredible Value of Employee Power Unleashed will be a great resource. I found the book easy to read and implement. I am quite sure you will too! 

 About the Author

Spike Cook, Ed.D., Principal, Lakeside Middle School, Millville, NJ. In addition to being a Principal, Dr. Cook published two books through Corwin Press (Connected Leadership: It’s Just a Click Away; Breaking Out of Isolation: Becoming a Connected School Leader). He is the co-host of the popular PrincipaPLN podcast and his blog, Insights Into Learning, was recognized as a finalist for Best Administrator Blog by the EduBlog Awards. Spike earned his Doctorate from Rowan University and is featured in their Alumni Spotlight. He is featured in Twinkl’s 30 Education Influencers You Need to Follow and Klear’s Top Ten Middle School Influencers. Dr. Cook is also on the Education Advisory Board for Whole Health Ed. Connect with @drspikecook via Twitter, YouTubeLinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram.

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