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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.

The Most Important Question About Your Employer Goes To Its Heart


Your company does certain things for you. Have you ever wondered why?

It pays you well or poorly or somewhere between. Why not higher? Why not lower?

The medical insurance probably could be better or could be worse. Why is it at that level?

You’re given a certain amount of paid time off. Why not more or less?

Perhaps your company throws the occasional party. Why go to the trouble?

The answer to each of these hints at the answer to the ultimate question: How does your company feel about you and the other people who work there?

It’s a crucial issue, one that goes to the heart of the unwritten social contract. The answer determines your best strategy for how much commitment you should give in return. Organizations often deliver similar perks and benefits for different reasons. A mismatch between your company’s intentions and yours can hurt your career.

In my latest column for Forbes, I share three quick questions that allow you to compare your perception of your employer’s motivations against the answers of the rest of the United States, plus some advice on what it means for your strategy on the job.


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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.