Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

How people work: and how you can help them to give their best.

April 2, 2007

From the book jacket:

People want to do many things. We want to feel that the work we do is worthwhile and that we make a difference. We want to feel valued, forge meaningful relationships and encounter energizing challenges. For managers, the key to unlocking motivation and performance is somehow to match the things you want to get done with things your people want to do.

If roles are interesting, stimulating and satisfying then people are likely to want to do them; maybe not all the time, but consistently enough to be able to say “I enjoy your work.” If on the other hand managers allow jobs to become boring, stultifying and disappointing they close the door on excellence before it has the chance to develop because no-one can put their talents and energy for very long into something they really don’t want to do.

Excellent individual performance has to be facilitated. Facilitated by the right organizational setting, and facilitated by the right management to ensure that their people are allowed to give their best.

The way work is organized and the way people are encouraged to carry it out can make or break excellent performance, and certain characteristics of the work environment are consistently associated with successful outcomes. This book explores the dynamics that influence a great working environment, and sets out the management tools to nurture deeper commitment and better performance.

It will be your field-guide to understanding how people work and how you can help them to achieve more.

For holding information, click here.

Nickel and Dimed

January 23, 2007

Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich

From the book jacket: Our sharpest and most original social critic goes “undercover” as an unskilled worker to reveal the dark side of American prosperity.

Millions of Americans work full time, year round, for poverty-level wages. In 1998, Barbara Ehrenreich decided to join them. She was inspired in part by the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform, which promised that a job — any job — can be the ticket to a better life. But how does anyone survive, let alone prosper, on $6 an hour? To find out, Ehrenreich left her home, took the cheapest lodgings she could find, and accepted whatever jobs she was offered. Moving from Florida to Maine to Minnesota, she worked as a waitress, a hotel maid, a cleaning woman, a nursing-home aide, and a Wal-Mart sales clerk. She lived in trailer parks and crumbling residential motels. Very quickly, she discovered that no job is truly “unskilled,” that even the lowliest occupations require exhausting mental and muscular effort. She also learned that one job is not enough you need at least two if you want to live indoors.

Nickel and Dimed reveals low-rent America in all its tenacity, anxiety, and surprising generosity — a land of Big Boxes, fast food, and a thousand desperate stratagems for survival. Read it for the smoldering clarity of Ehrenreich’s perspective and for a rare view of how “prosperity” looks from the bottom. You will never see anything — from a motel bathroom to a restaurant meal — in quite the same way again.

View the library’s holdings information for this book here.