Achieving True Employee Engagement through Process-Based Leadership and Open-Book Management

This article appeared in 2024 MMA Operations Conference event program. Learn more about MMA events.

Many aspects of a company impact employee engagement. It starts with having a business philosophy and set of company values with which the employees can identify. Combine this with an excellent work environment, great pay and benefits, and you are on your way to creating an environment where engagement can flourish.

While we, at Glastender, would never claim to be experts on the topic, we have discovered two great tools for increasing employee engagement and improving company performance.

The first tool is called Process-Based Leadership (PBL), which we learned about by reading the book Buried Alive! Digging Out of a Management Dumpster written by Shane Yount et al. If you have a desire to pursue continuous improvement and get your employees involved in the process, then you should give PBL a try.

PBL is not revolutionary. Much of its elements have been done before but PBL ties it all together in a complete, yet simple, system that is easy to understand and produces results.

It establishes business focus through team scorecards, which set a clear direction for what needs to be accomplished. Good communication is established through twice monthly team meetings revolving around the scorecard to identify actions to help improve performance. Accountability is established through the use of an action register, which documents action items to ensure they are completed.

Together, the various elements of PBL create focus, urgency and accountability around your strategic targets, while turning your entire company, not just the management team, into agents working to accomplish your strategic goals.

The second tool we use is called Open Book Management (OBM). We received our inspiration to pursue OBM after reading The Great Game of Business by Jack Stack. Jack referred to business as a game, because it has a set of rules that govern play, just like any other game. He identified three main principles of OBM, where every employee:

  1. Is given the rules and is taught to understand them.
  2. Is expected to use the rules to improve their performance.
  3. Has a direct stake in the company’s success.

To implement OBM, we started by educating ourselves and all our employees on financial literacy. We developed a bonus program document to explain all the particulars associated with the program so our employees knew exactly what to expect. Then, we developed a financial plan, as well as reporting mechanisms, so everyone in the company could gauge their performance.

While employee engagement is possible without OBM, we find that using OBM takes employee understanding and engagement to a new level by directly linking them to the success of the company.

In our experience, coupling PBL and OBM has helped us accomplish our strategic targets, improve operational performance, increase employee job satisfaction, lower turnover, and enrich the lives of our employees. We believe so strongly in these tools that we think the world would be a better place if more companies used them.

About the Author

Todd HallTodd Hall is the President of Glastender Inc. He may be reached at

Todd Hall was a speaker at the 2024 MMA Operations Conference. Learn more about MMA events.

MMA LogoGlastender is an MMA Industry Member and has been an MMA member company since May 1987. Visit online: