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"The Workplace Battlefield: Where Great Talent Goes to Die"

Nick ShepherdThis new book from ESM contributor Nick Shepherd focuses on “how organizational culture can make or break your investment in people.” Organizations cannot move the needle simply by adding another recognition or diversity program, he advises; engagement requires “leadership and people-focused governance.”
“People drive innovation and creativity. Organizations know this and focus on employee engagement as a core measure of the passion and commitment to corporate purpose and goals. Yet engagement is consistently low at about 30%. Why is this? What can be done about it?" asks Nick. A. Shepherd, President of EduVision Inc., in his new book, “The Workplace Battlefield: Where Great Talent Goes to Die.”
Shepherd is a former chief financial officer and an advisor on integrated reporting, management, and culture.  The book is available on and most online bookstores.
Shepherd’s new book explains how a “culture screen” can act as an obstacle to the realization of human performance. “Culture is the enabler of workplace effectiveness. If it is not planned and implemented strategically it will create a barrier to performance,” he writes.
“For many going to work every day is like being on a battlefield. People’s desire to do a good job and contribute seems to be blocked by all manner of barriers and problems. This is what I call the culture screen.”
Organizations suffer because their investment in talent “produces a much lower return-on-investment than planned. Costs are higher because time is wasted through poor communications, low cooperation, and reluctant collaboration. Financial surprises occur when people take actions that are unexpected; sometimes illegal, sometimes unethical.”
Employees suffer through stress, frustration and a lack of personal purpose and achievement, he observes. “The whole system fails to meet its potential. While organizations spend large sums of money to attract and retain talent, with incentives and recognition to drive growth, innovation and creativity; yet, the investment in people is wasted if they have problems in execution.”
Many organizations are trying to track and manage employee engagement; yet, it remains stubbornly low, he reminds readers. The culture screen explains the problems and offers solutions. At the heart of building a great workplace is governance and the role of leadership, Shepherd advises.
The book looks at six major areas of potential performance and engagement blockages and suggests actions to minimize or remove them. People-centered governance and effective leadership are core foundations, the author concludes.
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