Okay, a confession. Our books of the month are few and far between. When we heard about the pre-release copies of Build it : The Rebel Playbook for Employee Engagement by Debra Corey and Glenn Elliott, we had to sheepishly admit to Glenn that we were currently only managing a few pages an evening of Alan Patridge’s seminal follow up novel, Nomad but that we were very, very keen to read the book and we absolutely, definitely would.

We were lucky enough to be couriered out a copy to review, along with some Haribo – and we were engaged as heck, to stick to Partridge lingo.

But then time ticked by and we didn’t get started with the book. Posts went up on I&M. Meetings happened. The office dog got an ear infection. But the Rebel playbook went nowhere, and online, it haunted us. We saw when the reviews came in thick and fast. Every time we logged into LinkedIn or Twitter, we saw the new ranking of the book, the 5* ratings, the glowing feedback. The book looked at us, and we looked back, ashamed that we had demolished the Haribo but only flicked through a few pages of the press copy.


Finally, we pulled our fingers out and read the book. And yes, we can say wholeheartedly after a full read and 4 cups of decaf coffee,  that this is a wonderful book. Jam-packed with real case studies, all killer, no filler advice and no platitudes, it’s more of a workbook without the annoying exercises. Self-help for HR, management guidance and advice for people that hate the guff of a consultant firing off buzzwords and standing back, looking smug.

Just buy it – you’ll gorge on it in one sitting, because we did, and when it comes to reviewing books, we are clearly rubbish.

So, anyway – on to some key facts and bits we really liked and why it’s our favourite.

1. No guff advice

The book makes the acknowledgement early on what employee engagement isn’t about how we phrase it as businesses – but that we are missing the chance to do anything about it.

Call it happiness, employee experience, engagement, perks – it’s all in the same melting pot. The book kicks off with some stunning stats, including the corker that 71% of leaders think engagement is ‘critical’ – and only 24% have an engaged workforce. Mind the gap! In the same vein, the advice isn’t a whistle-stop look at the same old advice. It’s a practical 10-part model which highlights the areas which leaders need to examine in order to build a highly engaged company culture, so you’ll be putting in some work!

2. A 3 part definition of engagement that’s refreshingly simple

The fact that they have an understanding how an employees role matters, they are believing in the company direction and having a genuine urge for the business to thrive. Sometimes it’s the simplest ideas that are the clearest. The book is packed full of great ‘bite size’ chunks of wisdom on communication, trust, values, brand mission- you’ll be highlighting like a madman.

3. A full deep dive into the Engagement Bridge™ model

Described as a way to get people across a running stream, the bridge is visually shown and will be something you absolutely want to reproduce in your office. The Engagement Bridge™ model is well known, and has been developed from working with thousands of leading companies worldwide on their own employee engagement journeys.

4. The case studies

From the ‘get to know me guides’ implemented by BetterCloud to G Adventure, GE, Brewdog and Adobe and our favourite- with Vocus and their company values which include ‘don’t be a d*ckhead’ – you’re learning from the very best in the business.

In short – get it today. It’s easy to digest information that steps away from buzzwords and gives actionable, progressive and exciting steps you can take to help make improving employee engagement an attainable outcome. You can buy a copy here