The Employee Advantage

How Putting Workers First Helps Business Thrive

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By Stephan Meier

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A strategic roadmap that will transform your company into an employee-first powerhouse, unlocking a competitive edge for enduring success.
In an ever-shifting work landscape, leaders can no longer ignore their most overlooked stakeholders—their employees.
In The Employee Advantage, behavioral economist Stephan Meier explains why organizations must value their employees as much as—if not more than—their customers: those that pivot toward an employee-centric model will be more profitable, innovative, and appealing to top talent.
The good news? You don’t need to start from scratch. The customer-centric tools that give you a competitive advantage can be repurposed to focus on employees.
Through case studies of Fortune 500 companies like Costco, DHL, and Best Buy as well as smaller organizations, you will learn:
  • Why employees care about more than just money when it comes to their jobs—the same way customers care about more than just price
  • What two mindset shifts are essential to becoming an employee-centric workplace
  • How improving your employee experience will benefit your business and your bottom line
The future of work is human-centric. The companies that win in the marketplace will be those with the best employees. To get and stay ahead, businesses must embrace the employee advantage.


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  • “Meier is one of the world’s greatest applied behavioral economists. No one is better positioned to share insights about how we can better design organizations that put employees first. A tremendous thinker and excellent communicator, Meier is sure to write a book that we’ll all benefit from reading.”
    Dr. Katy Milkman, James G. Dinan Professor at The Wharton School and bestselling author of How to Change
  • "“There has not been a new perspective on business strategy since Michael Porter’s work. Meier brings his background in behavioral economics to add a unique perspective to corporate strategy because he considers the value of the employee as critical to corporate success.”
    Sheena S. Iyengar, S. T. Lee Professor of Business at Columbia Business School and bestselling author of The Art of Choosing
  • "Meier is one of the most talented researchers studying the role of behavioral economics in motivation. He possesses a keen sense of observation and understanding of how this field informs business strategy and the future of work. His work has a real impact on how businesses operate and a book written by him, sharing this knowledge, will be an invaluable resource.”
    Dan Ariely, James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University and bestselling author of Predictably Irrational
  • “Move over, customer centricity. This book highlights that no company can afford to put employees second. With robust evidence and rich cases, Meier explains why leaders who fail to care about people do so at their own peril.”
    Adam Grant, #1 New York Times–bestselling author of Think Again
  • “Meier has provided insightful thinking and compelling evidence for the win-win value of putting employees first in business rather than behind customers and shareholders. Even more importantly, he’s offered a roadmap for doing so effectively and efficiently. Serious leaders of all kinds should read this book and internalize its lessons.”
    Robert Cialdini, author of Influence
  • “An engaging look at the complex relationships that connect pay, respect, culture, autonomy, purpose, and more to employee experience and company value. TheEmployee Advantage shows that employee experience remains a worthy bellwether for company success.”
    Amy C. Edmondson, Novartis Professor of Leadership, Harvard Business School, and author of The Right Kind of Wrong
  • “From one of the biggest researchers in behavioral economics and motivation, this book will keep your organization on top of its game through the ever-shifting landscape of work.”
    Erin Meyer, author of The Culture Map
  • “This brilliant book is a clarion call for leaders to embrace an employee-centric mindset as a strategic imperative. With insights drawn from behavioral science, Meier makes it crystal clear: the future belongs to companies that go all-in on their employees.”
    Hubert Joly, former CEO, Best Buy; senior lecturer, Harvard Business School; and author of The Heart of Business
  • “Meier seamlessly and intentionally tackles a conversation at the heart of every organization. His terrific work rooted in real-world examples emphasizes an employee-centric mindset, encouraging leaders across levels to do the same.”
    James P. Gorman, executive chairman, Morgan Stanley

On Sale
Oct 15, 2024
Page Count
288 pages

Stephan Meier

About the Author

Stephan Meier is the James P. Gorman Professor of Business Strategy and the Chair of the Management Division at Columbia Business School. He is an award-winning teacher at Columbia, and every year hundreds of students learn from him about the “human side” of strategy in Columbia’s MBA and executive education programs. Previously, Meier worked as the first senior economist at the Center for Behavioral Economics and Decision-Making at the Federal Reserve Bank. He lives in New York City.

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