High Five : A Sure fire way for better Engaged Teams and more successful companies

Book Review by Smitha Vaidya remarks ‘High Five is ‘A Must – Read for Leaders and Teams’.

Success can be elusive, especially when it comes to achieving it as a group while also ensuring individual interests are considered.

That’s where dynamic and complex concepts like employee engagement come into play. Unfortunately, it’s an area largely ignored by many corporations, resulting in both reduced productivity and profitability.

 A Must-Read for Leaders and Teams

The book “High Five: A Proven Recipe for a Highly Successful and Engaged Team” is a must-read not only for corporate HR leaders but for anyone who aims to build and sustain a highly empowered team.

This is a subject for which a comprehensive guide is often difficult to find. Tips and tricks might be scattered across various sources, offering different mechanisms to enhance employee engagement. This book, however, effectively fills that gap.

Importance and Practical Solutions

The book compels readers to understand the importance and complexity of the subject. With a statistic stating that 85% of global employees are disengaged or actively disengaged, this crucial issue cannot be ignored. The book goes beyond the idea that money and promotions are the only motivators, proposing 10 “super tips” as practical recipes for engaging employees.

The authors’ experience and knowledge in this area are evident throughout the book. Take, for instance, the five key questions that form part of a handshake process – from understanding what truly motivates employees to finally aligning their goals with organizational objectives. While I won’t reveal the other three questions, reading the book will provide those insights.

 Adaptable and Eye-Opening

This book is adaptable across various industries, referencing examples from companies like DHL, Hilton, Cisco, and Salesforce. It provides a unique spectrum of methodologies that can be adopted by any organization regardless of its sector.

The book also dismantles misconceptions about employee engagement. For example, it clarifies that coaching is not simply about delegating tasks, but rather about strengthening the bond between mentor and mentee, making the mentee feel valued and acknowledged for their contributions to the company’s goals.

Similarly, it explains that fun is not just about superficial additions like a dartboard or pool table, but more about fostering shared interests and openness to ideas that drive enjoyment, engagement, and ultimately, productivity.

 Bridging the Gap

The book also serves as a bridge between understanding the needs of millennials and the work styles of previous generations. It serves as a reminder that the work environment plays a significant role for the current generation in determining the value of a team or workplace.

 Engaging and Easy to Read

Written in a clear and engaging style, the book uses a “corporate cookbook” analogy that will resonate with readers. The author emphasizes the power of empathy and uses metaphorical language (“listening latte,” “compassionate cake,” “stories that stew your brain”) to create a memorable reading experience.

Overall, this book is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to build a successful and engaged team.


A CA by profession, an avid reader by passion and a public speaker by hobby.  When not hunting for stories in numbers, you will find her surfing the book world for new stories in words.