APWA Book Reviews

Here Today, Here Tomorrow: Transforming Your Workforce from High-Turnover to High-Retention, by Gregory P. Smith, Dearborn Trade Publishing, 2001, ISBN 0-7931-4553-8

According to author and management consultant Gregory P. Smith, there are two key themes that dominate this new book. One is that retention in the workplace matters. And two, business productivity is directly tied to retention.

Emphasis on short-term profits and shareholder return has shattered the concept of the "lifetime job." Not surprisingly, workers realize that their employers view them as expendable, so they hesitate to give their best to companies that may lay them off when profits go south.

A recent Gallup survey confirms that employees who have above-average attitudes toward their work will generate 38 percent higher customer satisfaction scores for their employers, 22 percent higher productivity, and 27 percent higher profits. And despite recent layoffs, the tight job market of the late '90s was just a taste of what's ahead for businesses, according to Smith. A continual effort to replace departing workers is bleeding U.S. businesses dry, he believes, since the cost of attracting, recruiting, hiring, training and getting new people up to speed is more costly and wasteful than most realize.

At a time when the workplace environment is critical to keeping workers, Here Today, Here Tomorrow offers practical solutions that can transform high-turnover industries into high-retention businesses.

Here Today, Here Tomorrow is a business-transformation guide for managers and human resource experts who want to create an environment where people can work productively and effectively, making them feel good enough to stay on the job. Readers will learn proven ideas for:

  • Creating attitudes for making workers more reliable.
  • Increasing motivation and creativity to keep top people from jumping ship.
  • Developing a flexible environment to boost productivity and satisfaction.
  • Responding to changes while making continual improvements.
  • Generating profits through increased customer satisfaction.
  • Saving money by not having to replace workers.
Smith's book is an extremely accessible guide to the subject of retention and turnover. He makes a strong case that keeping the best employees in a company's workforce is not only achievable, but also a key component of success.

APWA also offers these books by Gregory P. Smith:

Tips 'N Techniques — Dynamic Ways to Reward, Energize & Motivate Your Teams, Dearborn Trade Publishing, 2001, ISBN 9676843-0-7

This book provides tried and true tips, ideas, and suggestions on how to reward employees and improve customer service. It also includes practical ideas to stimulate a work environment that attracts, keeps, and motivates its workforce.

The New Leader: Bringing Creativity and Innovation to the Workplace, Dearborn Trade Publishing, ISBN 15744403-4-9

This book shows people innovative ways to overcome bureaucracy and improve workforce productivity. Business leaders need to wake up to the fact that the traditional way of managing no longer works in today's rapidly changing economy. No longer can we continue to do the same things the same way and expect success. The New Leader provides what you're looking for to redesign and energize your business. It talks about the "zest factor" that has taken man to the moon, created the best hotel in the world, transformed a plumbing company into a million-dollar business, and is the secret behind the magic of Walt Disney World.

For more information on purchasing these and any other American Public Works Association books, go on-line to www.apwa.net or call 816-472-6100.