Book Review: “Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em: Getting Good People to Stay” By Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans

LoveEmOrLoseEm_6-300x300Yeah … another book about engaging and retaining good employees. 

You’d think we would be past needing this information by now, but anyone who works in or with organizations to help them create employee engagement will tell you we are not there yet.

However, Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em by Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans may just move us over that goal line, IF you read it and use it as the authors have designed it to be used.

Here’s what I liked most about this book:

1)      Neatly organized to help us hone in on our greatest development needs …

After brief introductory remarks, you self-assess your employee interaction behaviors with numerical values in twenty-six areas related to an alphabetical list of chapters.  Then you receive a general overview of what your aggregate scores means.  Nothing really new here, but good information.

The real value is when you are directed to go to the page which corresponds with your lowest scores.  Mine was “E ~ think employees should tell you if they are not feeling challenged in their work?”   I rated this one as a “1” which means “Always/Definitely Yes”.

In my own defense, I was thinking about encouraging employees to speak up for themselves by creating a safe space.

I then visited chapter five ~ “Enrich:  Energize the Job” and received a short, but intensively well-organized and useful discussion of “job enrichment”, which I vaguely remembered from my human resources days.   I wish my master’s textbooks had been written in such clear and helpful language, with down-to-earth advice on how to make jobs more interesting and engaging.

2)      Based on solid, deep, and broad research …

I am one of those people who usually turn to the index before I read anything in a book, looking for familiar terms and names.  I expect to see certain citations and topics in the organization of the book.  You get some sense of the sources from chapter headings in many books, although not this one.

I was pleasantly surprised to see a large amount of research cited from leadership, management, human behavior, and popular culture.  The background materials upon which the authors base this book are broad and they go deep.  This is solid stuff, rather than the “flavor of the month” type of books which too often predominate leadership and management titles.

3)      I like the authors …

The authors are long-time and well-equipped contributors to our knowledge about how to lead and manage more effectively.  

True Confession time … I did not read any of the four previous versions of this book.  However, I have read, enjoyed, and shared other books co-authored by each of these folks.  So I cannot compare this fifth edition to those earlier ones … I don’t need to, because it stands quite nicely on its own feet.

Some Minor Quibbles  …

1)       Not a big fan of alphabetical lists, which can feel contrived.  This one does not … the points are consistently valid and the non-linear organization is refreshing.

2)      The book size is 9 x 8 inches, which is not my favorite size, since it is rather large for a briefcase and does not fit well at all in my jacket pocket.  E-Version avoids this issue.

… told you they were minor quibbles.

Bottom Line …

Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em by Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans is clear, easy to read, and attractively designed.  You don’t even notice how well-constructed it is or the richness of the underlying research.

Relaxing and enjoying reading my new favorite book on employee retention in the Heartland ….


BevKayeAmazon SharonJordanEvans-200x300Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em by Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans is the bestselling guide that provides twenty-six strategies to keep talented employees happy and productive. In addition to updating and revising all information for the fifth edition, the authors have included more international stories and statistics. Available January 2014 on Amazon and in bookstores everywhere!

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book for review in conjunction with their launch.  As I regularly note, I am notoriously fickle regarding free stuff.  In this case, I don’t have to be, because this book is well worth purchasing and sharing with others who want to up their employee retention game.