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The Carrot Principle

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The Carrot Principle

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

Free Press,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

Reward your employees with a few tasty carrots and watch how your business changes.

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable
  • Eye Opening


Judging by the results of two recent polls, business owners, executives and managers have plenty of worries. Roughly three-quarters of the U.S. workforce is actively seeking other employment and 85% of the world's employees are not motivated enough to put in extra effort at work. Loyalty and job satisfaction are clearly problems. But Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton strongly believe they have the solution. In analyzing the results of a groundbreaking 10-year study, the authors conclude that employee recognition is the key to boosting staff morale and involvement. Their book explains why managers who are strong in four basic categories – "goal setting, communication, trust and accountability" – invariably have happier employees and get better business results. The authors support their theory with first-hand accounts from a variety of workers and organizations. The book even includes a chapter with 125 really cool recognition ideas. getAbstract believes this book should vault to the top of any manager's must-read list, especially if you find it hard to give praise where praise is due. Highly recommended.


Kick It Up a Notch

The business world has plenty of terrific leaders and managers. They respect their employees, strive for fairness, and attempt to create meaningful and trusting relationships. They attend every seminar, and read all the latest books on management theory and practice. They are very good at their jobs. But unless they add the special missing ingredient – "purpose-based recognition," like a juicy carrot on a stick – they won't be great leaders.

A pivotal 10-year study by The Jackson Organization, based in Laurel, Maryland, plus 200,000 interviews with managers and employees worldwide, revealed that:

  • An indisputable correlation exists between companies that acknowledge excellence and bottom-line financial results.
  • Workplaces where employees are recognized for their contributions also rank high for "customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction and retention."
  • Nearly 95% of employees who report being happiest say that their managers excel at giving recognition.

Recognition, in fact, is so vital that nearly 80% of employees who quit their jobs do so mainly because of a lack of appreciation. In many instances, ...

About the Authors

Consultants Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton are co-authors of The 24-Carrot Manager and A Carrot a Day. Gostick leads a corporate recognition training and publishing practice. Elton is a frequent lecturer who works with Fortune 100 clients.

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