10 Books Every HR Professional Needs To Read

September 25, 2017 / By

There are many sources of information for human resource and people operations professionals to improve their HR skills. Here are the books to help any professional overseeing a company’s culture — from wrangling with a policy to bringing the best out of the organization’s culture, and driving effective top-down communication.

Here’s a list of the 10 books every HR professional should get their hands:

1. First, Break All The Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently Marcus Buckingham, Curt Coffman

An in-depth study of exceptional managers across industries shows one common denominator: great managers buck conventional wisdom and apply innovative methods to shape productive teams. These smart lessons can be applied to people operations and its role in cultivating productive organizations.

2. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t — Jim Collins

An analyst of corporate performance, Jim Collins confronts the eternal question of ‘what makes a good organization great’ and uncovers some truths about those organizations. A great source for those looking to take their team to the next level.

3. Why Employees Don’t Do What They’re Supposed To Do And What You Can Do About It — Ferdinand Fournies

The book’s author Ferdinand Fournies shows professionals how to handle uncomfortable situations where employees’ focus strays. Offering insight into multiple situations, Fournies also offers applicable solutions in dealing with these negative incidents.

4. The HR Answer Book: An Indispensable Guide for Managers and Human Resources Professionals — Shawn Smith and Rebecca Mazin

All encompassing, the HR Answer Book offers insight and guidance into everything for the modern HR professional — from recruiting, to onboarding, to employee exiting. Up to date, the book’s second edition was published in 2011.

5. Love’em or Lose’em: Getting Good People to Stay — Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans

Retention is key in today’s workplace, where replacing a worker is more expensive than attempting to keep one. Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans offer key insights into how to keep employees engaged, leading them to focus on their job and not the exit door.

6. Smart Staffing: How to Hire, Reward and Keep Top Employees for Your Growing Company — Wayne Outlaw

In the same light as Kaye and Jordan-Evans, Wayne Outlaw presents a streamlined and effective guide to approaching and retaining today’s top talent in a small business or entrepreneurial organization.

7. 1501 Ways To Reward Employees — Bob Nelson, Ph.D.

Revised and reprinted in 2012, Bob Nelson’s book offers up methods to help keep employees happy and nurtured. The best part? The methods explore the simplest and low-cost solutions that many companies don’t consider initially. A vital resource in today’s workplace economy.

8. Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead — Laszlo Bock

An in-depth look into one of the world’s most recognized technology companies, Laszlo Bock’s insights reveal the data-driven and logical nature of how People Operations have evolved at Google. Quantitatively focused, this book exemplifies how technically minded the human resources space has become.

9. 100 Ways to Motivate Others: How Great Leaders Can Produce Insane Results Without Driving People Crazy — Steve Chandler

By the author of Reinventing Yourself, 100 Ways to Motivate Others helps professionals seek a more productive workplace culture by upholding accountability and emphasizing focus on people’s strengths — not their weaknesses. A must-read for those looking to shift the cultural paradigm.

10. Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead — Sheryl Sandberg

Authored by one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, Lean In explores a professional’s path through today’s workplace — from achievements, to failures, to maintaining a healthy and productive balance. An empowering book for any professional looking to reach their (and their team’s) full potential.

Bonus! Why Work Sucks and How To Fix It: The Results Only Revolution — Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson

It’s a new age and Ressler and Thompson are leading the charge with this book that emphasizes the empowerment of employees in creating a more productive and happier workplace. A great compliment to any of our listed books.


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