Being an HR is not for the faint of heart. When an HR personnel fulfills everyone’s expectations, it’s great; when one fails to do so, it’s a toxic workplace. As an HR manager, you’ve got to have a firm handle on the organization and its culture–while creating something meaningful for employees and stakeholders. Sounds like a tall order? It is.
But it’s never too early to begin preparing for one of the most demanding jobs in an organization. You can start educating yourself now by reading one of these powerful and inspiring HR focused books.
Here are five HR books for beginners and veterans alike.
Blind Spot: Hidden Biases of Good People by Anthony Greenwald and Mahzarin Banaji
Our perception of people around us is filled with blindspots. The book explains the presence of these blindspots, i.e., the presence of implicit biases that our brain creates without our conscious awareness. Such unconscious bias can and often leads to discriminatory behavior, such as when hiring an employee of a specific race or gender, or when choosing to help an individual from a specific backgrounds thereby increasing their privileges, and so on.
The book is timely given the current debates in the country over race relations. It also describes other biases that relate to gender, sexual orientation, age and overall appearance.
The authors have also included Implicit Association Tests (ITAs), designed to reveal such blindspots, within the book.
The Art of Woo by G. Richard Shell and Mario Moussa
Richard Shell and Mario Moussa distill a complex topic into concrete ideas that you may apply in your career. The Art of Woo is full of helpful self-assessments and illustrations. Overall, the book is about persuading others through the use of relationships. This is a fun read about how to get people’s attention, pitch your ideas, secure commitments, and get approvals.
HR from Now to Next by Jason Averbook
Jason Averbook shows why HR cannot delegate responsibility for technology to others, and why technology must be an ongoing component of our work. The book also pushes us to think about procedures, technology, and other issues from the eyes of the end user, rather than through the eyes of HR. This is a wonderful read on how to use technology to advance the HR profession.
HR on Purpose by Steve Browne
Steve Browne is an astute observer of professional personas and how an HR can influence the organization’s success. HR on Purpose doesn’t include patronizing charts, graphs, politics, etc. It delves into the most crucial and fundamental part of the HR profession–The People. Everyone in HR or who cares about people must read this book!
Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility by Patty McCord
Patty McCord’s book reveals a culture of thriving high-speed, fast-changing organizations and can assist in identifying some non-working approaches used in HR and business in general by most corporations. This is one of those rare books that will help you reconsider how to manage teams and get people to work together towards a common goal.