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The Carrot Principle: How the Best Managers Use Recognition to Engage Their Employees, Retain Talent, and Drive Performance

3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  674 Ratings  ·  75 Reviews
The Carrot Principle: How the Best Managers Use Recognition to Engage Their Employees, Retain Talent, and Drive Performance
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published January 2nd 2007 by Free Press (first published March 20th 2001)
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May 26, 2011 Lucas rated it it was amazing
See downloadable forms at

When recognition is considered effective, managers:
1) Have lower turnover rates
2) Achieve enhanced business results
3) Are seen as much stronger in the Basic Four areas of leadership:
a) goal setting
b) communication
c) trust
d) accountability

Goal setting:
- My manager gives me measurable goals to achieve

- I can rely on my manager to answer my questions
- My manager listens to employees in our department
- My manager keeps me informed of the progres
Kevin Hanks
May 01, 2013 Kevin Hanks rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Kevin by: Brian
I gave this book 5 stars because of the first several chapters. There it describes the underlying principle of the entire book: that setting well thought-out goals and then rewarding behavior that supports those goals leads to achieving those goals. It was brilliantly written, and I think if more people lived those principles, the world (especially the professional world) would be a much better place. The authors started to lose me towards the end of the book, when they went into the application ...more
John Graham
Dec 10, 2011 John Graham rated it liked it
This book provided some great points and thought provoking ideas. While I'd recommend it to anyone looking to up their engagement level through recognition, I can't say I enjoyed every chapter.
With any business related book now, it seems that the first few chapters are spent explaining the data and why you need what the book is talking about. I've never enjoyed those chapters because if I'm reading the book, I obviously already want the information so I don't need to be "sold" on it. So skip the
Michelle Barringer
Oct 11, 2016 Michelle Barringer rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book if you want to learn how to recognize employees. Gostick and Elton provide a lot of valid research on the important of recognition for employee engagement and satisfaction with their jobs. They also provide a framework for doing this and many, many ideas how to recognize. I highly recommend this book.
Gene Babon
Dec 28, 2012 Gene Babon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: leadership
Nearly four out of five employees who quit their jobs cite a lack of recognition as a key reason for leaving. If you are a business leader, or aspire to become one, this book offers practical guidance on how to effectively lead your workforce.

Here are the two things your workers want most:

~ career/learning development opportunities
~ recognition

Failing to acknowledge and support your workers leads to low morale and turnover. In a competitive business environment this leads to an underperforming b
Barry Davis
Subtitled “How the Best Managers Use Recognition to Engage Their People, Retain Talent, and Accelerate Performance,” this book begins by telling the story of the accelerator (heat) that Charles Goodyear discovered to turn rubber into a worldwide phenomenon. They tout recognition as the accelerator for business, basing their Carrot Principle on a 10 year study of 200,000 managers and employees.

I was prepared to discount this book to some degree, as I saw recognition as the Type X (extrinsic) mot
Eric Nelson
Mar 18, 2010 Eric Nelson rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-but-unowned
The problem with The Carrot Principle is its assumptions. The authors look at the current vocational landscape, filled with dissatisfaction, lack of motivation, and pining for other jobs and conclude that these are problems management can solve. Sure, management can make them better by with goal setting and better communication�and then the glorious carrot. But the authors are mistaken to pin our workforce problems on a lack of goals, talk, and carrots. What if your company�s goals have no intri ...more
Jul 19, 2012 David rated it it was ok
First, let me clarify that most people will probably like this book because it it likely true for most people. Also, the production of this audiobook was great. The authors read it themselves and took turns reading passages. It was very easy to follow and nice to listen to hear their passion for their topic.

So, why a two star rating? I disagreed with their approach on motivating people. They mentioned their research said a majority of people like motivation and the best way to do this is by usi
Michael Loveless
Mar 01, 2016 Michael Loveless rated it really liked it
The Carrot Principle is an excellent book for managers and a helpful book for anyone who is a leader in any sense (teacher, coach, parent, etc.) Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton argue that competent managers can use recognition as an accelerator that helps spur people on to a greater quality and quantity of work. They makes a strong case, using various studies to prove their point. The best thing about the book is how specific it is about the use of recognition. The authors tell the qualities of ...more
Aug 04, 2011 Merrick rated it it was amazing
The first addition of Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton’s The Carrot Principle convincingly demonstrated the relationship between rewards/recognition and results. This second addition, through additional data provided by Towers Watson, provides even more proof that feedback and recognition are powerful tools for engaging employees and achieving higher levels of productivity.

From my work as a management consultant, it is clear that managers do not recognize and reward people as much as they should
Aug 20, 2009 Patrick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great premise, proof and application.

1. Recognition is the 'relationship bridge' between management and talent that seeks to achieve (pg 68)
2. 4-Quads of Engagement/Satisfaction (drives turnover): Hi/Lo 14%; Hi/Hi 40%; Lo/Hi 20%, Lo/Lo 26%.
3. Building Blocks of Recognition: Day-to-day, Above-and-beyond, careeer and celebration recognition. (pg 100)
4. Predictors of Engagement:
a. Recognition > Opp & Wellbeing > Engagement
b. Communication > Trust > Engagement
c. Alignment > Org
Oct 19, 2015 Budd rated it liked it
Pretty interesting book. I recognized some of the feelings that I have as an employee that come with low recognition. The author states that very few managers actually get this right and from all the places I have worked I would say this is true. It always seems that people that deserve recognition never seem to get it, but people that self advocate generally due get public recognition even when they don't deserve it.

Maybe Gostick needs to write a book called "The Carrot Coop: An employee's gui
First of all, I would not recommend the audio book. One of the authors/narrators pronounces "process" and "project" with the long "o" sound, which is really annoying. For example: "PROH-ject", "PROH-cess". There were some other mispronounced words throughout. I tried to finish the CDs, but with about 1 1/2 CDs left to go, they gave the excellent advice of bringing in fortune tellers to somehow boost employee morale/show recognition for hard work. That was when I realized, once and for all, I'd h ...more
Matthews M.
Mar 26, 2011 Matthews M. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buy-new
Tentu saja yang aku beli adalah buku versi Indonesia yang diterbitkan oleh Gramedia Pustaka Utama dan seperti biasa entah kenapa kalau buku non-fiksi terbitan mereka, lumrah kalau tak ada versinya di kepustakaan Goodreads. Sepertinya kelompok pembaca non-fiksi di GPU kurang diapresiasi.

Kondisi bukunya juga ya begitulah karena namanya juga diskon 50%.

UPDATE 2011-06-08
Menarik juga meski baru di bagian awal soal manajer yang memberikan penghargaan kepada karyawan yang justru menguntungkan buat peru
Jun 21, 2011 Taracuda rated it liked it
Shelves: library
I can see why this book is very much a hit at my work- it takes something nebulous like recognition and boils it down to charts, numbers and formulas. We like charts, numbers and formulas.

I thought some of the motivation advice was a bit dated compared to the advice in Drive by Daniel Pink. Solid, but it felt more like going through motions without necessarily understanding why they worked.
Rick Austin
Helped me see where I may be lacking and what my team needs from me. Not a lot of new techniques but they are nicely packaged. What is most interesting to me are the results of their surveys and the impact valuable recognition techniques have upon a companies ability to execute and excel at what they do.

If you are a manager, especially a new manager, you need to read this book.
Aug 05, 2011 Shaun rated it really liked it
This was an interesting book regarding recognition in the work place. I was an interesting take on the little expense it is to recognize your employees and how far that recognition goes to help improve a business. An insightful, interesting read. Recognition isn't hard, but it's not a normal human habit either. I recommend anyone read this book who manages employees or is in charge of a team or class.
The Levity Effect by the same author(Gostick)is better, I thought.

However, this one is still great at emphasizing the need for recognition and appreciation in clear and tangible ways. Since we're a non-profit and cannot use our funding for staff incentives, there were a lot of ideas that simply weren't applicable to us ($1,000 per employee per year????? Who has that?). However, the theory seems sound and there's never a bad time to say thank you for a job well-done!
Rick Mcclatchey
Apr 23, 2008 Rick Mcclatchey rated it liked it
This is something that many managers certainly don't do enough of, seemingly motivated out of a lack of creativity and a bit of laziness. This book is a great tool for helping break out of the lack of creativity, and a good motivator to leave laziness behind. Help your people be more engaged in their daily work, and help them enjoy it all more by simply giving them recognition for a job well done.
Jan 12, 2011 Brian rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
I gave this book five stars because it provides the data to back up everything heard on Manager Tools related to one-on-ones, feedback, delegation and coaching. Someday after I have a year of blow out results I plan to pull out this book and use the numbers in here to put together my 'how I killed it' presentation.
Apr 16, 2015 Charmin rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
1. Clear goal-setting-align w/ bigger purpose small daily actions, meaningful job, values hard-wired into decisions and policies, optimistic future. Career dev of Individual in connection to company goals. 2. Noble purpose.
3. Accountability
4. Trust
5. VIP – employee appreciation, value impact personalization
Aug 16, 2009 Bogdan rated it it was ok
Shelves: business
This is another classic example of the famous american books on every topic, usually published in the collection "For Dummies". Writing has been commercilized as much as possible by americans in this type of books. The writter has only to find a valid idea, then the trick is to repeat it over and over again. For me this is not close to ideal book.
My copy of this book is in romanian.
Jul 23, 2007 Angel rated it really liked it
Another one I picked up at the public library. It was in the New Books area, and the title sounded catchy, so I picked it up. Definitely a book more managers should be reading and acting upon.

Here is the note I made about it on my personal blog:

Jan 21, 2012 Nick rated it it was amazing
This genial book tells us that we should recognize our employees to bring out the best in them, and increase the productivity of our companies. That's not surprising, but what is important about this book is that it proves what we instinctively know to be true. Lots of research and examples reinforce the basic idea that people should be nice to each other to succeed.
Dec 27, 2009 Caryn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-it, business
This was a hard one for me. I believe nearly everything that they said from the first chapter. The hard thing was that they had all of the description for those who didn't yet know/believe what they were saying and it just wore on for me. Almost finished it, but just flat-out got tired of listening to it.
Bob Schatz
Maybe I've just read too many of these, but this just didn't hit me...I was a big fan of the Fish! series and it helped us at Primavera. Maybe this is just the new kid on the block. Their other book the Orange Revolution was much better.
Henry Comfort
Aug 22, 2016 Henry Comfort rated it it was ok
Whilst the core principles make sense, the books a bit bloated with classic new wave management rubbish, & portrays some sort of statistical integrity that is more than likely questionable. However, the core principles could probably be summarised into a page or 2 and that would be worth reading.
Apr 21, 2009 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book very thought provoking and it rang true. I'm trying to follow the main principle of giving specific sincere appreciation to those who I work with. I have received a significant amount of positive response and a return in gratitude. I'm happy I found the book.
May 07, 2008 Leah rated it it was ok
Shelves: leadership
This book was recommended to me by the HR rep at my workplace. I like the ideas about ways to motivate and appreciate employees. But I didn't finish the book...I find these types of books tough to read start to finish.
David Zerangue
Nov 09, 2010 David Zerangue rated it it was ok
Shelves: business
A decent summary of various recognition techniques and summary of touch points to make with employees. Not the best flowing book, but it does get its point across. Most everyone can take something away from it.
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“The fact is that 79 percent of employees who quit their jobs cite a lack of appreciation as a key reason for leaving. Sixty-five percent of North Americans report that they weren’t recognized in the least bit the previous year.” 0 likes
“The simple but transformative act of a leader expressing appreciation to a person in a meaningful and memorable way is the missing accelerator that can do so much and yet is used so sparingly.” 0 likes
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