Managing for Happiness Reveals a New Approach to Employee Engagement


"Managing for Happiness: Games, Tools, and Practices to Motivate Any Team" is a fun and visually appealing guide for managers who realize that the "old way of managing" isn't working. Through the power of games and creative illustration, an expert on innovation and leadership creatively shows how leaders can embrace a new style, that of "Management 3.0", a management style that balances delegation, control, and motivation in a radically new and empowering way.

Managing for Happiness is Your Advanced Management Guidebook to Engaging Employees

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What motivates your employees to come to work?

What makes them happy when they get there?

These two questions have plagued managers and owners for centuries. In an attempt to answer these questions, managers have invested in employee engagement departments, newsletters, Christmas bonuses, Foosball tables and the birthday party for that coworker who sits two desks down from you but you haven’t seen for a long time.

Managing for Happiness is a visually appealing guide that challenges the very simple assumptions that most of us have about what drives employees to clock in.

What is Managing for Happiness About?

It has been shown in study after study that happy workers are more productive workers. What hasn’t been shown is how to make workers happy.

Managing for Happiness argues that management has a big part to play when it comes to employee happiness. To foster that happiness, the book states, managers need to adopt the practices of the next stage of management suggested by the book, “Management 3,0”.

The “Management 3.0″ approach discussed in the book attempts to balance the problems of early management styles (which overemphasized control) with more modern approaches to management (which overemphasized vague goals).”Management 3.0” combines insights from complexity theory psychology, management science, and the author’s own personal experience to guide readers through the thorniest of employee engagement issues: compensation, intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation, performance appraisals and reward systems.

By re-evaluating their own assumptions through a preview of life in the world of “Management 3.0”, the book hopes to help managers implement simple but effective techniques for transforming a group of strangers into a cohesive and engaged team, no matter what goals the team has set.

The book is the creation of author Jurgen Appelo, a speaker, illustrator, writer, blogger, trainer, owner of Happy Melly and JoJo Ventures BV.

What Was Best About Managing for Happiness?

The best part of Managing for Happiness is the presentation. Jurgen Appelo uses his many creative talents to break down management into a truly visually stunning masterpiece. This makes it easier to digest the material he is covering from so many angles. This ability to remix psychology, complexity theory, illustration, games and management science has the touch of an expert curator.

What Could Have Been Done Differently

Managing for Happiness has a lot of information that can apply to just about any business environment, but it is biased slightly toward creative workers. This might give an impression to managers or worker outside of the “creative field” (a supervisor or worker at a steel mill, for example) that the book isn’t for them. Examples of businesses outside of the creative fields might help with this issue.

Why Read Managing for Happiness?

Managing for Happiness is a clever and visually engaging book. And it is a great resource for managers or business owners who feel that the traditional approaches to employee engagement or motivation aren’t sufficient. This book provides that “something else”, especially if you are in the creative fields or deal with remote workers.

Overall, the book is fun and engaging discussion on how to motivate and retain workers that isn’t filled with boring “business speech”.

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Charles Franklin Charles Franklin is a Book Reviewer for Small Business Trends. He has a background as a professional reviewer, and is also a content provider and customer relations professional.