Retraining your Best People

I want to caveat up front that this book was published in 2006 and was sent to me for review as a "fresh book" in 2009. This is not some archaic management book I pulled out of a library to read in 2009. This was offered up as cutting edge advice for keeping your best and brightest.

I have read many management books over the years and went into this offering with an open mind. Different books have different styles, and that's fine. What might not connect with one person may be perfect for another. It's good that different styles exist, because our brains all work differently.

That being said, this Retaining your Best People book is GREATLY in need of an overhaul. The number of absolute wrong statements in this book is staggering. "According to a 2000 Bureau of Labor Statistics report, by 2010 there could be as many as 10 million more jobs available than there are employees in the United States." They are shouting alerts about a job GLUT?? Why would a book published in 2006 be looking all the way back to 2000 for news - and why in the world would any book pushed hard in 2009 include "there are too many jobs out there!" as a key selling point?

They have an entire section about "Managing the Labor Shortage" with statements such as "Nobody can find enough young workers these days. This should be no surprise: labor markets are tight everywhere ..."

The book mentions in many places that too many people are retiring, there aren't enough younger workers to fill the vacuum, and that companies must treat their workers well because workers are just jumping jobs because of boredom or desire for more money. How does any of this make sense in current times?

Yes, I agree we always want to keep our best workers. Heck, we want to always keep ALL our workers we hire (with a few exceptions) and help each worker reach their full potential. Losing an employee often takes twice their salary to replace when you factor in all costs. But this book does little to help shed new light on the situation.

Their tips about when an employee might be thinking about quitting?

* they start complaining
* they talk about being burnt out
* Their performance declines

This is rocket science? This isn't even "retaining employees for dummies" - it requires you to be intelligent about reading around their wrong information to figure out what might at least be "simple and right".

How do you keep those employees? "No jerks allowed?" i.e. the boss should say Thank You? Again, this goes past the realm of "start with the basics" and into the realm of almost insulting.

The book has formatting issues (words stuck together without spaces) and the intro of the book takes up a full tenth of it, merely rehashing (or pre-hashing as the case might be) without offering any new insight.

There are MANY other awesome books on the market that offer great advice, real world insights and are accurate. With all the serious problems in this one, it is almost laughable to read some of their "reports". I would steer clear of this book.

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