Growing Great Employees Book Summary By Erika Andersen

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"Growing Great Employees" (2006) by Erika Andersen offers a unique and creative take on managing, coaching and leading employees.

By using gardening metaphors as the main theme of her book, Andersen provides important concepts for team building, motivating employees and creating an effective workplace environment.

It's a must-read for managers who want to not only help their employees succeed but grow into skilled and passionate professionals.

The book also tackles topics such as how to coach employees through difficult transitions, how to make sure they are effectively collaborating with each other, how to foster motivation in the workplace and how to develop relationships between managers and their team members.

Most importantly, "Growing Great Employees" provides powerful insights that will enable you to maximize your organization's potential by fostering growth in both your people and your business.

Growing Great Employees Book

Book Name: Growing Great Employees (Turning Ordinary People into Extraordinary Performers)

Author(s): Erika Andersen

Rating: 4.2/5

Reading Time: 15 Minutes

Categories: Management & Leadership

Author Bio

Erika Andersen is the acclaimed author of the widely-praised book, Growing Great Employees.

Anderson is a highly respected founding partner and CEO of Proteus International, a coaching consultancy that works with some of the world’s top executives to help them become even better managers and leaders.

Through her expertise, she has also become an international speaker and has shared her unparalleled knowledge on how to build successful teams in New York Times and Fortune magazines.

Her hard-earned wisdom has been applauded across both corporate and academic settings.

Grow Your Employees Like A Garden:The Basics Of Cultivating High-Performing Teams


If you want your business to thrive, then you need to learn how to cultivate a great team of employees.

Fortunately, the same principles used in gardening can be applied in the workplace with just as much success.

With the right know-how, you can take a small and fragile employee sapling and nurture it into a strong and productive worker – like growing a tree!

So what methods should be employed? According to Growing Great Employees, there are three key steps.

Firstly, understand how to screen applicants effectively; that way you can stop potential liars from entering your organization.

Secondly, create an environment where motivation is constantly nurtured and celebrated – and thirdly, have a keen sense for pruning away those who simply don’t do the job well enough.

By following these steps, anyone can cultivate a great team of motivated employees.

Cultivating Your Employees – How To Grow An Effective Workforce

Employees may not always be perfect, but they all have potential for greatness.

It’s up to you as their manager to cultivate that potential by giving them the tools and environment they need to thrive.

Just like a garden needs soil, sunlight and water, employees need the right resources in order to grow and develop into successful and productive contributors.

Providing this kind of atmosphere is no longer optional: these days, employees are looking for opportunities to learn new skills, progress their careers, and prove themselves in their roles—all things that a good manager should provide in order for their staff to truly grow.

By creating an environment of mutual trust and respect, you’ll give employees a chance to effectively contribute to your company; without it, your business could lose out on great talent if those same employees move elsewhere.

Ultimately, this is why it’s so important to ensure that you’re growing your employees successfully: they are imperfect yet hopeful human beings who rely on your managerial skill at growing them towards success.

With the proper guidance and support from you as their leader, each employee can blossom into the best version of themselves—and that’s something everyone should strive for!

Create The Right Fertile Environment To Grow And Select Your Best Employees

Growing great employees starts with a listening environment.

By being open-minded and actively listening to your employees, you can create a trusting and enriching work atmosphere that boosts productivity and encourages collaboration.

This way, you’ll be able to discover useful information from them; like what they think could improve their job performance, where they feel pressure regarding their tasks and how to best manage their growth.

Additionally, finding the core competencies of each role is also key for growing great employees.

You need to take into account which skills are necessary for the position and pick out individuals who fit those requirements the best.

As an example, if you have an HR manager who is wonderful at her job due mainly because of her openness and capacity to listen – then making sure those same features are highlighted in the role’s job description will help you find future qualified candidates.

These two steps form a strong foundation upon which you can start building up your organization’s staff effectively!

The Key To Making The Most Of Your Employees: Scenario-Based Interviews


Hiring the right people can be one of the most difficult decisions a business owner will ever make.

After all, it’s not as easy as choosing which plants to put in a garden.

That’s why it’s so important to make sure you have the best hiring process possible when looking for ideal employees.

One of the best ways to get the most accurate information from potential applicants is to use scenario-based interviewing.

This involves putting future employees in situations where they have to demonstrate their skills, knowledge, and characteristics rather than just listening to them talk about them.

This way it’s much harder for a person to fabricate information or exaggerate their abilities or qualifications as with regular interviews.

For instance, if you were looking for someone who can effectively manage others, you could ask: “imagine one of your most loyal employees is not performing at their best – how would you deal with this? What techniques will you use to overcome the problem?”

Asking such questions will give you an insight into how well they understand and can solve problems as compared to just asking whether they’re a good manager or not and getting similar answers from everyone you interview.

By using scenario-based interviewing, businesses can make better hiring decisions while ensuring that we are getting what we are promised from the day we start searching for our perfect employee fit!

Don’T React Quickly When Dealing With Employees – Adopt A Coach’S Mindset Instead

If you want to be successful in developing and coaching great employees, you need to adopt a coach’s mind-set.

This means believing in your people and wanting them to succeed despite any challenges they may face.

It requires patience and trust that the employee will make progress and become better with guidance from their manager.

Unlike instant gratification solutions, the coach’s mind-set encourages the exploration of underlying reasons for mistakes and focuses on drawing lessons for growth rather than quick development penalties.

Sitting down with each employee to listen and understand can lead to helpful adjustments that prevent similar missteps in the future.

The attitude of your leadership team is also key when it comes to successful coaching of your staff, as it models the expectations that you have for yourself throughout this process.

Keep a positive perspective by keeping self-talk such as “I think Charles can do this, I just need to help him get clear” or “Alexis is having trouble succeeding – let’s work together on creating some solutions” in order to foster trust between yourself and those whom you are supporting in their development.

To reap the best outcomes, remember that adopting a coach’s mind-set is incredibly important when growing great employees – one must believe in their employees, take an active role in developing their skills, and focus on creating success stories instead of penalizing mistakes!

Nurture Your Employees With Performance Agreements And Constructive Feedback

In order to successfully grow and retain great employees, it is important to make clear performance agreements and give ongoing feedback.

Establishing such performance agreements ensures that both you and your employee know why they are there and what is expected of them.

Agreements like this can be especially helpful for designers who pledge to create three new sketches a month – focusing their efforts on the most important tasks instead of assisting colleagues or procrastinating.

To ensure employees are improving, it is necessary to give frequent feedback.

While positive reinforcement always feels nice, corrective feedback can be more effective in pushing employees forward.

When giving feedback, provide specifics based on recent observations rather than general statements, such as “Yesterday I noticed that you…” Make sure the employee understands why these changes are important and how important they are – for example, if a salesperson doesn’t reach her quota, the company’s profit will suffer which could put a dent in salaries across the board.

By following through with these steps, you’ll have greater success in growing great employees!

How To Deal With Difficult Employees: A Step-By-Step Guide

Difficult Employees

Delegating is a key part of growing great employees and setting them up for success in management roles.

Giving staff members the freedom to make their own decisions and learn from their mistakes while offering guidance and feedback is the best way to help them develop the skills they need in order to succeed.

It’s important to strike a balance between providing too much direction, where employees never learn any new skills, and stepping back entirely so that you don’t have any oversight – creating an atmosphere of disorder and chaos.

By striking the right balance, you can ensure your team has the space to make better-informed decisions but also have some structure and guidance provided.

By giving employees additional responsibilities which will push them to learn new skills and become more proficient with their current role can create a domino effect: as they improve their skill set it may be time for them to be promoted and given even more complex tasks which require new expertise – this is when they can begin on their journey towards becoming managers.

Weeding Out Unproductive Employees: How To Manage Problem Personnel

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to develop and grow your employees, they just won’t progress.

Despite your best efforts – providing constructive feedback, giving advice, setting quotas – it simply isn’t possible for everyone within a team to contribute positively and meaningfully.

In these cases, there may come a time where you must face the facts and prune away those employees who are having a negative impact on their coworkers or bottom line performance.

The decision will be difficult and unpleasant, but it will ultimately improve morale and productivity throughout the remaining team members.

It is important to remind yourself why the decision is necessary before taking any action – if pressure persists then you can feel secure in knowing that with proper timing and respect, you have done all you can do to try help them grow.

Additionally, once the procedure has been completed it is integral that proper follow up occurs so both HR requirements and legal necessities are met.

Most importantly, never forget when administering such decisions that this is still someone else’s livelihood so maintaining respect will go a long way with ensuring peace of mind on both sides throughout the process.

Wrap Up

Growing Great Employees, by Barry Heermann, provides an insightful and powerful look at how to cultivate successful team dynamics within any organization.

The book’s main message is that, just like plants in a garden, employees must be provided with the right care and guidance from their managers if they are to reach their full potential.

Through skillful management and nurturing, you will not only inspire positive growth and productivity amongst your staff but also help to create a more resilient and balanced working environment.

This book is essential reading for anyone in an executive or managerial role who wants to become a better leader and foster employee success.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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