Today's Reading


Readers of our book (this is our sixth edition) have loved the title Love 'Em or Lose 'Em: Getting Good People to Stay. But it's not just a catchy title. The words drive to the heart of our message. Here's what we mean:

LOVE. Some said the word love would not be accepted in the business world, but we couldn't find an alternative that stood for so much. Love 'em leaders genuinely care about their people. They appreciate, nurture, grow, recognize, challenge, understand, and respect them. And they believe this is the job of being a leader.

LOSE. You can lose people physically or psychologically. Loss is just as serious when talented people retire on the job as when they leave to join a competitor.

GOOD. Consider your solid citizens, not just your high-potentials. Stars are people at any level who bring value to the organization.

STAY. Encourage talented employees to stay with the enterprise (if not your own department)—for at least a little while longer. Talent will be the key differentiating factor in the competitive battle ahead.

You have more power and influence in the employee engagement and retention equation than anyone else. For your employees, you are the face of the organization. Engaged, highly productive employees help you, your team, and your organization excel.


We delivered the love 'em message to managers worldwide, and we learned—directly from them and from their employees—what works and what doesn't. Over the past 20 years, we've asked over 18,000 people the question "What kept you—or what keeps you—in an organization for a while?" Our analysis of that data helped us form the original 26 practices and chapters A-Z.

We've built on that original research, meeting with managers from large and small companies around the world. With our team of facilitators, we've listened, consulted, provided training, and learned. We've also used data from exit interviews, focus groups, articles, journals, and books to update and ensure that every new edition includes the latest thinking about employee engagement.

Love 'Em or Lose 'Em Is...

TIMELY. Things change and every new edition reflects that change. We've updated stories, which came from colleagues, good friends, and leaders who read the book or attended one of the learning opportunities we offered. We also bring you the latest statistics and workplace views. In every previous edition of Love 'Em, we've highlighted tips for recognizing unconscious bias and becoming a more inclusive manager. This time we've expanded on that important topic. We look through an inclusion lens in some way in every chapter, and we offer countless practices, insights, and tips to help you better manage a diverse workforce.

TIMELESS. This book is evergreen. The love 'em practice will work as well in 2030 (we plan to be around!) as it did in 1999 (first edition). Through 20 years of workplace changes, Love 'Em's engagement strategies hold true. Why? Because despite booms and busts, technology advances, increasing diversity, terrorist attacks, talent wars, layoffs, and a global pandemic, people want what they've always wanted. Employees want—and now expect—meaningful work, good bosses, recognition, and a chance to learn and grow. And managers want their amazing people to stay—for at least a little while longer.

UNIVERSAL. The suggestions throughout the book should work equally well for large and small businesses, in India or in Idaho, with appropriate customization for cultural, language, generational, ethnic, or individual differences.

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