Author Interview: Kevin Sheridan, Building a Magnetic Culture

Kevin Sheridan is the New York Times Best-Selling Author of Building a Magnetic Culture, the Author of The Virtual Manager, a frequent Keynote Speaker, and the Chief Engagement Officer of KevinSheridan LLC.

Tell us a bit about your most recent book, Building a Magnetic Culture. What inspired you to write it?

The inspiration came from one of my rock star millennial employees, Amelia Forczak, who came to me one day and said “I know you have at least one book in your head. If I land you a book deal with a publisher, will you write it?” I agreed and within a month, she landed me a book deal with one of the larger publishers in the world.

To become the best in the business, it is essential to employ the best people. But how do employers build a staff that is ready and able to take an organization to its next level? Building a Magnetic Culture focuses on how to attract talented employees in the workplace, empower them, and sustain an environment in which they are more likely to stay.

Topics covered include:

  • The bottom line benefits of employee engagement
  • Creating an environment of shared ownership for engagement
  • The Top 10 Engagement Drivers
  • Recruiting: the foundation for a magnetic culture
  • Overcoming demagnetizers: compensation and other challenges for managers
  • The importance of embracing diversity & inclusion
  • Engagement trends & best practices

How did you come to define the concept of a ‘magnetic culture’?

It was actually quite easy. Employee engagement and fantastic corporate cultures act as magnets, drawing top talent into organizations and make it really difficult for employees to consider leaving. We actually trademarked the term worldwide about 15 years ago. Our publisher loved the term and strongly encouraged us to use it in the title of the book.

 Who is ultimately responsible for creating a culture of ‘shared ownership’? The CEO, middle management or everyone within the company? Why?

Chapter 2 of the book addresses this directly, pointing out that any healthy relationship is a two-way street. Whether it is family, friends, clubs, church, temple, or community, people must give and take to maintain healthy relationships. If a person is always taking and never giving back, others will likely feel the relationship is unbalanced and unfair.

A large part of one’s Engagement stems from personal choice. I believe that each of us wakes up in the morning empowered with the choice of approaching the day and our job with either optimism and engagement, or toxic negativity and disengagement, or with the attitude of lack of passion or vigor in the middle of these engagement bookends.

So, ultimately, ownership should be shared equally by all of the stakeholders in the organization.

 On an everyday basis, what can employers do to help improve employee engagement? (Other than starting a book club of course!)

The book offers some really sage advice regarding the steps employers can take, even listing the top ten drivers of engagement, in addition to best practices on each.

The top three are:

1. Recognition

2. Career Development

3. The Relationship one has with their Manager.

The top two are especially vital to building engagement with the younger workers, as in Gen Y Millennials and Gen Z.

 What success stories have you seen where companies have turned their levels of engagement around? What was the key to their success?

The first company that always comes to mind, is Radio Flyer, who makes that iconic little red wagon, amongst other things. Their key is being amazingly proactive about instilling more fun in the workplace, which is so badly lacking and needed in most workplaces. In fact, Fun is featured in the book as the “missing driver” or “secret sauce” of building engagement and a magnetic culture.

If you had to choose just one, which book would you say has had the greatest impact on you as a business person?

No doubt, Jim Collin’s Good to Great. It became a workplace bible to me and many others who are passionate about employee engagement and workplace excellence.

* * * *

Kevin has kindly offered members of My Business Book Club the chance to purchase a personalised signed copy of Building a Magnetic Culture at a special discounted rate.

To sign up to the book club and purchase a copy of Building a Magnetic Culture, please email

Web page:

Web page for books:

Twitter: @ kevinsheridan12



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *