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the book & the blog by Rodd Wagner

The 12 New Rules for Managing Your Employees As If
They're Real People

Best Friends At Work? With Or Without Benefits, It’s None Of The Company’s Business


It should not be surprising that people find many of their friends, their best friends, their girlfriends, their boyfriends, and even their spouses at work. Take such social creatures and put them in the same building for most of their waking hours and it’s bound to happen.

What’s surprising is how much employee engagement initiatives have presumed to ask about these very personal relationships in order to leverage them for profit. It’s intrusive, if not flat-out creepy.

My latest column for Forbes shares the latest stats and studies on a practice that needs to end.

Index to Articles by Rodd Wagner


The response since Widgets was published has been overwhelming, with coverage or guest columns in many of the major business media. The stories, columns, radio interviews, and podcasts have multiplied to the point that we decided it’s time for an index, which will be kept here in the second position on the blog and updated as new items appear.

Behavioral Economics

Want A Great Meeting? First, Get ‘More Bananas’ – Forbes; October 31, 2016

“Best friend at work” questions

Best Friends At Work? With Or Without Benefits, It’s None Of The Company’s Business – Forbes; February 14, 2017.


Stop Using Employee Friendships to Measure EngagementHarvard Business Review; August 7, 2015.

CEO effect on employee motivation

What To Do If Your Company Has A Chief Predatory Officer – Forbes; October 14, 2016.

The 10 Warped Lessons From Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory – Forbes; September 8, 2016.

The Seven Lessons Of Marissa Mayer’s Loss of Command at Yahoo – Forbes; March 8, 2016.

Finally, Evidence That CEO Character Hits The Bottom LineForbes; September 23, 2015.

It’s Not Just the Manager Who’s Responsible for Employee Motivation; It’s Also the CEOChief Executive; July 10, 2015.


Your Pay Is No One’s Business – Or Perhaps It’s Everyone’s – Forbes; August 24, 2016.

Why Meaningful Work Trumps MoneyFast Company; November 12, 2015.

The Science Behind How Pay Affects ProductivityFast Company; November 10, 2015. … Read More

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Rodd Wagner, New York Times bestselling author
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Widgets the Book

Widgets the Book

A leader’s blueprint. A manager’s guide. An employee’s benchmark.