5 Best Books that HR Professionals Should Read in 2019

bookshelf separated into four quarters with old books

If you’ve come in search of some of the best books for HR professionals – you’ve come to the right place. In today’s political and cultural climate, Human Resource professionals need to know how to navigate any unforeseen obstacles in the workplace. Staying on top of evolving organizational practices and updating workplace knowledge on an ongoing basis is the key to successful Human Resources.

Top HR Challenges

Before we get to the books, let’s discuss some of the top challenges HR professionals face today.

The top challenges HR professionals face include amendments to laws and regulations, especially in government-related Human Resource positions, where adjustments are made on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis. Another common challenge is change management. Often, changes in management can lead to the shuffling of team members and their responsibilities which then leads to changes in the hiring and on-boarding side of things. As change management occurs, so do shifts in culture, leadership and workforce development and training. Ongoing testing and training manuals require updating and sometimes complete rewrites to adapt to a new leadership management style, or requirements in laws and regulations, and hiring practices.
One overlooked challenge is technology. When new technology is integrated into an organization, laws and regulations need to be in place for use of such technology. For example, financial institutions securely track client information that can be easily hacked if not properly protected. Each employee requires additional training and testing in order to stay up-to-date on the latest scams to protect their client’s interests. There are many obstacles for today’s Human Resource professionals. So, what can be done to keep up to speed? Upgrading and evolving knowledge is one key to success for Human Resource professionals.

The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace by: Gary Chapman & Paul White

Based on the #1 New York Times bestseller, “The 5 Love Languages,” “The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace,” helps readers improve workplace relationships by learning coworkers’ languages of appreciation. Have you ever asked your employees if they generally feel appreciated? Stock up on your knowledge tool set to improve staff morale, workplace culture, and increase employee engagement. A must-read for any leader, manager, human resource professional, employee, and more. This best seller has already sold over 300,000 copies and is an Amazon Human Resource Books Top New Release.

You can check out more about the book here!

The Critical Few: Energize Your Company’s Culture by Choosing What Really Matters by: Jon Katzenbach, James Thomas, Gretchen Anderson

Has culture become a focal point for your 2019 organizational initiatives? If so, “The Critical Few” may include the knowledge you need to help overcome cultural problems within an organization. Jon Katzenbach’s recent study showed that 80% of respondents thought their organization must evolve to be successful. The book covers Katzenbach Center’s proven methodology for identifying the four critical elements of an organization’s culture: traits, keystone behaviors, authentic informal leaders, and metrics. The book helps leverage those elements and taps into catalytic change within an organization. One important trait all successful businesses, organizations, and individuals have is the ability to evolve to their changing environment in one way or another.

You can purchase the book here!

The Essential HR Handbook, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Quick and Handy Resource for Any Manager or HR Professional by: Sharon Armstrong, Barbara Mitchell

This book helps handle any personnel problem, from on-boarding to outplacement with ease. No matter if you’re an HR specialist, small business owner without an HR specialist, manager or leader, this guide will help you through some of today’s common personnel hurdles. Topics in this guide include: talent acquisition through social media recruiting, identification of legal pitfalls to avoid lawsuits or regulatory interference, training a diverse and multi-generational workforce, becoming the employer-of-choice by providing the right benefits and compensation packages, and establishing orientation and on-boarding practices for new employee success.

If you’d like to purchase the book, click here!

The Millennial Whisperer: The Practical, Profit-Focused Playbook for Working With and Motivating the World’s Largest Generation by: Chris Tuff

You may already know this, but the millennial generation makes up the largest and most diverse generation in the history of the United States, and by 2030 will become 75% of the workforce. Navigating all things millennial can be a tough task. “The Millennial Whisperer” is your guide to better understanding this generation and can help boost their productivity without an office full of ping pong tables, and participation trophies. Start building a corporate culture where millennials can blossom, implement a reward system at a lower cost, and address effective disciplinary actions.

You can buy a physical or electronic copy of the book here!

Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go: Career Conversations Organizations Need and Employees Want – Written by: Beverly Kaye, Julie Winkle Giulioni

Looking to grow your organization through the development of human resource management? “Help Them Grow or Watch them Go” may be a valuable asset to add to your knowledge arsenal. Studies have shown career development is the most powerful tool managers have for driving retention, engagement, productivity, and results. Many managers feel that they don’t have the time for it. There’s an easier way: constant, and brief conversations with employees about themselves, their goals, and the business that can be integrated into the standard course of business. The authors help uncover three types of conversations that will increase employees’ awareness of their strengths, weaknesses, and interests. Improve employee abilities and boost production by empowering management with the tools to properly engage with their teams.

Interested in reading the full book? Check it out here!

HR Books FAQ

How Can I be a Good HR Professional?

Lots of ways, but first it’s important to educate yourself. Learning how to be better at an occupation is a part of life that never really stops—especially if you’re passionate about what you do. Audit your company and write down five things that are going well and five things that need to be worked on. From there, research reading material, conferences, TED talks, and journal articles that will help you tackle these issues. The key is to stay determined and to keep striving toward your HR goals.

What is HR Analytics and Why is it so Important?

The age old adage “numbers never lie,” is also true in human resources. New HR technology tools have upped the ante, especially as people are moving from job to job more frequently as opposed to staying with one company until retirement. Such tools as applicant tracking systems and recruitment management systems are helpful to keep track of the talent your company attracts and how your HR messaging as a whole is working. These tools can help analyze your attrition rate and can predict the in-demand skills that your company is looking for. We recommend checking out GustoTrelloBamboo HR, and Slack.

Which Book is my Best Option for General HR Knowledge?

Good question, we suggest starting with “The Essential HR Handbook, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Quick and Handy Resource for Any Manager or HR Professional,” and “The Millennial Whisperer: The Practical, Profit-Focused Playbook for Working With and Motivating the World’s Largest Generation.” Chances are high that you’ll hire a millennial at some point, so this helpful guide to HR will guide you through any personnel issues that may arise.

What is a Good Book to Read for HR Organizational Management?

Try “Introduction to Human Resource Management,” written by Kogan Page. This book applies theory for practical uses by following the logical sequence of the employment cycle and shows how Human Resource management plays out in practice. The author’s experience working in the private and public sector provides readers with practical application for HR management initiatives.

Is your HR department looking for a way to energize the team? Try Team Building Kits!