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Judith Hesford

iForce Ltd

HR Director

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Book Review: Purple your People by Jane Sunley


‘Purple your People’ was written with the aim of helping businesses to attract, engage, retain and develop their talent, while at the same time “seriously enhancing” their reputation and growing their profits.

But it isn’t your typical business book because it incorporates lots of purple imagery, white space and bullet points, ensuring that it stands out from the current crowd of works that all aspire to support organisations in creating the ‘holy trinity’ of motivated, engaged and profitable people.
Aimed at HR professionals, business owners and anyone with ‘people responsibilities’, Purple your People provides simple tips as well as exciting and powerful solutions that






talent management consultancy, learnpurple, of which author Jane Sunley is chief executive, has employed on behalf of globally successful brands over the 10 years that it has been in business.

The book’s 24 chapters cover the key elements of the employee lifecycle and follow a ‘Purple Plan’, which is apparently used by a quarter of a million people. It starts at the beginning and explains in plain English why it is vital to “get the people stuff right”.
Each chapter is then dedicated to a single theme ranging from employer reputation and brand to attraction, selection and induction, before moving onto areas such as employee engagement, learning and development, talent management, succession and performance. If all of the advice in the book were followed, you would be well on your way to becoming a great place to work.
Easy yet enjoyable read
The lack of academic tone lends itself well to the book’s style, however. Rather than being weighted down with theories and statistics; each chapter breaks down the subject matter into clear and easy-to-understand points, before illustrating them with case studies and best practice examples from some great organisations.
These include the Orient-Express, Malmaison and Hotel Du Vin hotels, Kwik Fit and Lexington Catering, which took this year’s number 11slot in the Sunday Times Top 100 Best Places to Work guide.
At only 182 pages, Purple Your People was an easy yet enjoyable read and I finished it in only a few hours. The author’s tone is warm and friendly yet straight to the point, giving the sense that she ‘just wants to help’. Cleverly written, you can read it from cover to cover or skip to the chapters that you are interested in, depending on the needs of your business. And if you don’t know what an EVP is, then this book is an absolute must…
The work is also supported by a web site where you can register your book code and gain access to a number of other extra tools, including a downloadable PDF area where you will find lots of templates to help improve HR practice.
Examples include recruitment, performance management, interviews (both joining and exit), the all-important wheel (which is referred to throughout the book) as well as short videos from Jane Sunley summarising each chapter individually.
Overall, I found it to be a useful book and one that I will dip into time and time again.

  • The reviewer this time was Judith Hesford, HR director at logistics software provider, iForce Ltd.
  • If you’d like to read a book and pen a review for, please go to the Book club page and email [email protected] with your choice to get started.
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Judith Hesford

HR Director

Read more from Judith Hesford

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