Who’s in need of some HR inspiration as we round out 2021? Whew, we made it. Another year of opportunities, turbulence, and changes– but we’ve come through on the other side in one piece. What’s to come is unknown. Business gurus and leaders alike have offered predictions for the future, but the reality is nobody knows for sure. To help envision and prepare for what’s ahead, here are some of our team’s favorite books to add to your reading list in 2022.
Great HR Read #1: Transformation HR: How Human Resources Can Create Value and Impact Business Strategy
by Perry Timms (2021)
This fully revised second edition of Transformational HR outlines what professionals need to unlock HR’s potential as a powerhouse for organizational success, Perry Timm’s practical guide puts transformational HR in context, explores what has and hasn’t worked until now, and sets out a vision of what HR can be. Alongside critical discussions that examine the latest developments and business models, including agile and humanist ways of working, Transformational HR provides tools and advice for HR professionals aspiring to become more responsive, forward-thinking and impact-led.
Great HR Read #2: Remote Work: Redesign Processes, Practices and Strategies to Engage a Remote Workforce
by Chris Dyer and Kim Shepherd (2021)
How can you develop a team if they’re not in the same place? How can you build a company culture that works for employees in an office, working at home and in co-work spaces? How can you maintain organizational oversight if you can’t see your employees? Remote Work answers all these questions and more. Written by two industry experts who have successfully transitioned their workforces to remote models, this book provides essential guidance on how to implement policies, processes, technologies and strategies to build a successful remote working strategy that engages employees, allows them to perform to their full potential and improves business performance. With insights from leading experts such as Marshall Goldsmith and case studies from Cornerstone OnDemand, Buffer and United States Marine Corps, Remote Work is essential reading now that increased home and flexible working is here to stay. WorkTango’s popular webinar series in 2021 included a sit-down with Chris Dyer.
Great HR Read #3: Reset: A Leader’s Guide to Work in an Age of Upheaval
by Johnny C Taylor Jr (2021)
With the growth of remote work and an increased focus on diversity and inclusion, companies are increasingly finding themselves in “wars for talent” as they source and recruit candidates from all over the world. How do we find new ways to contact people and new sources of talent? How do we create an enduring and tangible culture that helps everyone feel empowered to do their best work? And what do we need to develop inclusive organizations that leverage differences for growth and innovation? Informed by more than 70 years of experience and expertise and propelled by extensive original SHRM research, Reset delivers a candid and forward-thinking vision for leaders to reimagine their company cultures in a time of global upheaval. From the CEO and President of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) comes the ultimate book on transforming the way we select, retain and train our employees in a radically changed business environment.
Great HR Read #4: Redefining HR: Transforming People Teams to Drive Business Performance
by Lars Schmidt and Katelin Holloway (2021)
In these times of change and disruption, HR must adapt, fast. But how can HR professionals critically assess their current processes and activities to identify what areas they need to think differently about in order to drive business results? This book provides the answers to enable all aspects of the people function to perform to their full potential. Featuring insights from people professionals at Hubspot, Reddit, Stripe, Mastercard, Eventbrite, VaynerMedia, and Asana, Redefining HR is a refreshing take on the evolution of the field of Human Resources and People Operations. It’s an in-depth guide to the fundamental components of modern HR, and provides a tangible framework of progressive ideas and practices for HR practitioners, people leaders, and business executives.
Great HR Read #5: Lead. Care. Win.: How to Become a Leader Who Matters
by Dan Pontefract (2020)
Another 2021 WorkTango webinar guest, Dan Pontefract is on a mission to change the world of work. Lead. Care. Win. is his fourth book, and like the previous three is the product of relentless focus, observations and research that have led him to define nine insightful yet super-practical leadership lessons. His latest thinking will help you become a more caring and engaging leader, one that will fully (and completely) understand the critical importance of crafting meaningful, respectful relationships among all your stakeholders. Be relatable and empathetic. Act not out of ego but out of purpose. Embrace change and the opportunity for growth it offers. Stay curious and adopt lifelong learning. Pontefract’s bottom line is that when you care enough to champion others, the workplace becomes happily infectious and the organization benefits in more ways than one.
Great HR Read #6: Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century
by Alice Wong (2020)
One in five people in the United States lives with a disability. Some disabilities are visible, others less apparent—but all are underrepresented in media and popular culture. Activist Alice Wong brings together this urgent, galvanizing collection of contemporary essays by disabled people.
From blog posts, manifestos, and eulogies to Congressional testimonies, and beyond: this anthology gives a glimpse into the rich complexity of the disabled experience, highlighting the passions, talents, and everyday lives of this community. It invites readers to question their own understanding. It celebrates and documents disability culture in the now. It looks to the future and the past with hope and love.
Great HR Read #7:The 9 Faces of HR: A Disruptor’s Guide to Mastering Innovation and Driving Real Change
by Kris Dunn (2019)
Popular blogger and CHRO Kris Dunn presents a hard, but compelling reality: every HR professional on the planet can be classified as one of nine “Faces” based on your career level and your ability to innovate and drive change. The book opens with a behavioral assessment, so readers can quickly identify their own “HR Face” then reveals career tracks, behavioral markers, ROI, macro-trends driving behavior, and market demand for each face. Which face are you? Which one do you want to be? Whether you’re a solo HR pro trying to make your way in the world or an HR leader trying to build a cohesive HR team, this is your no-BS playbook to empower your HR career and elevate our profession.
Great HR Read #8: Bring Your Human to Work: 10 Surefire Ways to Design a Workplace That Is Good for People, Great for Business, and Just Might Change the World
by Erica Keswin (2018)
As human beings, we are built to connect and form relationships. So, it should be no surprise that relationships must also translate into the workplace, where we spend most of our time. Organizations that recognize this will retain the most productive, creative, and loyal employees, and invariably seize the competitive edge. As a workplace strategist and business coach, author Erica Keswin has spent over 20 years working with top business leaders and executives to build successful organizations that honor relationships. Featuring case studies from top brands such as Lyft, Starbucks, Mogul, and SoulCycle, to name a few, Bring Your Human to Work distills the key practices of the most human companies into applicable advice that any business leader can use to build a “human workplace.”
Great HR Read #9: HR on Purpose: Developing Deliberate People Passion
by Steve Browne (2017)
Making the list for the second year in a row, HR leader and popular “Everyday People” blogger Steve Browne, who was also a guest in WorkTango’s 2021 webinar series looks at HR through an engaging assortment of real-life examples, insights, and epiphanies. Browne encourages practitioners to drop any preconceptions of what HR should be and instead look to what HR could be. Can you be in HR for more than 30 years and still be geeked about it? The answer is — YES you can. Read this book to rekindle your passion for a field that’s vibrant and vital, and touches the lives of everyone you encounter.
ONE TO LOOK FORWARD TO (IF YOU’RE READING THIS BEFORE JANUARY 11, 2022):
Great HR Read #10: How to Begin: Start Doing Something That Matters
by Michael Bungay Stanier (2022)
Whether you were fortunate enough to catch Michael Bungay Stanier’s WorkTango webinar last year or missed out, you’ll definitely want to put this read on your radar. Releasing January 2022, New York Times bestselling author Julie Lythcott-Haims describes Bungay Stanier’s new book as “Piercingly frank, funny, gorgeous, vulnerable, and ultimately really damn helpful.” With The Coaching Habit, Bungay Stanier penned the bestselling coaching book of the century. With The Advice Trap, he showed you how to tame your Advice Monster. Now, he’s writing to help you become your best self, driven with purpose and meaning. This practical guide is a must if you want to live a life of meaning and impact, you’re unhappy with how the world is working right now, and you want to change your part of it for the better. As Courtney Hohne, Chief Storyteller for X-The Moonshot Factory (a separate division of Alphabet) opines, this is “of particular appeal for those of us who instinctively recoil from self-help woo-woo and just want to get on with doing Great Work that leaves the world a bit better than we found it.”
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