Resource Review

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Review of The Best Place To Work (2014) by Ron Friedman, PhD
Reviewed by: Jaci Kilgore-Mattocks, Accounts Payable Manager, Office of the Comptroller


Do office perks improve the workplace? Will improving the workplace make an exceptional company? In his book, The Best Place To Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace, Ron Friedman, PhD, addresses these questions and more. The book consists of three parts:

  • Designing an Extraordinary Workplace Experience. Allows one to create an environment that builds inclusiveness and fosters creative thinking. In turn, introducing your team to new experiences that begin to inspire them. 
  • Motivating Excellence. Empower people to find their best way of working. Grow your influence by recognizing others. Distance yourself from colleagues with a negative influence. Look for projects that involve leaders you wish to emulate.
  • Attracting and Retaining Top Performers. Publicize ownership by acknowledging an individual’s role as a contributor. Plant the seed for pride-boosting narratives in the minds of your coworkers. Instead of giving a compliment, ask individuals what made them effective. Praise is sometimes received better when posed as a question.

How can The Best Place To Work be used to make the University of Maryland an extraordinary place to work? If you are a leader or emerging leader:

  • Encourage employee engagement. Get employees engaged by providing opportunities for them to experience autonomy, relatedness, and competence on a daily basis. Offer non-work activities that allow collaboration and build communal spaces where employees can bond with coworkers even when they are not discussing work.
  • Address the limits of the mind and body. Offer employees an opportunity to restock their energy supply when running low. This could be an exercise or play break, access to natural sunlight, a healthy snack or any restorative experience.
  • Integrate work and family life. Help employees blend their personal and professional lives in ways that allow them to produce their best work.

To make the work environment great, do more than just make employees comfortable; be a creative leader and develop experiences that make the workplace recognizably different.

Jaci Kilgore-Mattocks

Jaci is the Manager of Accounts Payable and the Alternate Departmental Emergency Operations Plan (DEOP) Coordinator for the Comptroller’s Office. Outside of her role at UMD, Jaci has a passion for outreach. She serves as Phone Tree for the Army National Guard Family Readiness Group (FRG) and serves with the Online and Group Serve ministries at Zion Church. She also serves with the Widow’s Pantry; a non-profit organization that feeds, clothes and provides spiritual encouragement to the homeless every second Saturday. When Jaci isn’t working or serving she loves to spend time with her family, watch NASCAR racing, Maryland Women’s Basketball, and the Dallas Cowboys.

For more information on previous resource reviews, click below:

The Progress Principle