James Dodkins wrote this book by accident. It’s not the longest book in the world, nor would it feature in the Guinness Book of Records for the highest word count but it doesn’t need to be. It’s a short and sweet collection of 136 ideas to encourage employee engagement or as I see it, a no brainer ‘to do’ list that every company should be working through if they want that company to be the very best of the best.

In fact you could also call this book “The little book of common sense” because that’s fundamentally what it is if you want to ensure that your employees, otherwise known as your ‘Rockstars’ are well looked after and happy in their work. Some ideas may already have been adopted, some will be new to you and some will be instantly disregarded. The most worrying thing for me when reading this is that the majority of larger companies I have come across over the years will have considered very few of these and will have little interest in implementing any others.



Why ‘Rockstars’?

Because that is what your employees are. Essentially they have the potential to excel in their field, produce excellent results and do everything they can for their customers. This brilliant analogy is born out of James’s open personal experience playing in a heavy metal rock band before he embarked on his customer service mission and it’s one which forms the fascinating core strategy for the training and consultancy services he now offers.


So are the ideas any good?

This can be very subjective depending on the type and ethos of the company in question as some will work and others just won’t but for me, there were a number of ideas which will really stood out as an absolutely ‘must do’.


  1. Work with employees to define company mission, vision or purpose.

Make them feel like part of the team and valued as such within it. This links beautifully with another idea, which is to ensure that employees know what role they play in the ‘gig’ and how being a ‘Rockstar’ can enable them to achieve success.


  1. Encourage autonomy and show trust by empowering employees to make ‘Rockstar’ decisions.

Don’t allow customers to be passed from pillar to post when dealing with issues or enquiries. Give the correct training and resources so that employees are able to confidently, quickly and efficiently make decisions, which they would otherwise have to seek permission for.


  1. Pay over the average pay

Everyone likes to feel valued. If you pay average then you’ll get average as there’s little incentive to do anything more than you need to especially if working condition are an equal level of mediocrity. This idea also links in to a further suggestion of having bonus and reward programmes and initiatives for employees who have demonstrated ‘Rockstar’ values in the service they have provided.


  1. Promote a healthy work and life balance

Be flexible. Whether this is allowing time for illness, holidays, working from home or even a bit of time off when the sun is shining and it’s too hot in the office. Happy ‘Rockstars’ mean happy customers.


  1. Have a member of the top team visit the front line of work every day


For me this is the most important point and the biggest bug bear for me with large companies in particular where it’s clear that those at the top and making the most influential of decisions do not have the slightest clue what is happening on the shop floor. Walk a day in the shoes of your ‘Rockstars’ to see what’s really happening in your company.



Why choose this book?

This is James’s third book. Others include ‘A Customer Carol’, a clever adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic, which was a Number 1 New Release on Amazon. You can purchase it by clicking here and in doing so; support the charity SIFA Fireside, which works to combat homelessness in and around Birmingham. A further book ‘Foundations for Customer Centricity’ is also available from Amazon using this link and you can even download for FREE the first three chapters of the book he is currently working on ‘Put your Customers Second’ by clicking here.

When I first started out on my customer service mission, James was the first UK customer service expert to catch my eye. He has the ability to delve swiftly into the heart of any organisation and encourage the development of internal cultures, which allow that organisation to deliver outstanding customer service. The concept of putting your customers second by putting employees first instead in order to create a working culture that best allows for customer success is genius in a bottle.

James’s book is an absolute must for any company that wants or needs to re-connect with both its customers and employees and can be purchased here from Amazon. Even if you implement just some of these 136 Ideas for Rockstar Employee Engagement, you will bring a smile to the faces of the ‘Rockstars’ you employ and in turn, the customers you want to please. It’s certainly put a smile on mine, and I’m a tough nut to crack!


Thank you to James for the opportunity to review his book. Please note this post does contain some affiliate links.

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