Best Books To Read As An HR Professional In 2019


As a human resources professional, it’s important to keep learning top of mind. You are always trying out new techniques that will help you serve the people who work for your company best. Besides being well-versed on all the best tools, you should also think about other professional development techniques. If you are an HR professional, you should add a few of these books to your reading list!

1. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t by James C. Collins

In this book, James Collins asks a simple question, “How do companies who were just okay turn into companies that are great at what they do?” What Collins found is that it takes a lot of leadership, transcending competence, and use of technology––among other things. Collins breaks down how companies go from mediocre to changemakers.

2. First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently by Marcus Buckingham

This book was written with the help of Gallup, and it profiled over 80,000 great managers to see what they did to create amazing, successful teams. Buckingham’s book digs deep to show how each manager did things a bit differently. It also highlights what each manager has in common with how they lead and succeed. With over 360 pages, this book showcases helpful insights about breaking the rules of conventional management wisdom to create an exceptional work environment.

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

Laszlo Bock was in a tailspin before he started working at GE in 2003. He had worked in every job imaginable from minimum wage work to jobs that paid him six-figures. As Bock was working all of these jobs, though, the way he was treated by management stayed consistent. He was still not treated with the dignity that workers should be. He knew there had to be a better way to manage and encourage employees so that they would be successful. When Google hired him in 2006, he began to understand how human resources truly works. Bock wrote this book so that everyone can understand how Google works with their employees. Why does Google spend so much time on recruiting? How can other businesses learn from their HR practices? All of that and more can be learned from this book.

4. The SPEED of TRUST: The One Thing that Changes Everything by Stephen M.R. Covey and  Rebecca R. Merrill

Trust is immensely important. If you don’t value or trust members of your team, you will always be at a disadvantage. You will feel like you can’t trust your team to do the right thing, and they will often find ways to meet your expectations because of the weight you put on them. Teams must build trust, and this book by Stephen Covey discusses just why it is so essential.

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

Talent retention is key. If you are continually replacing your workforce, you will always struggle as a company. In this book by Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans, you will get insight into 26 strategies that you can use to help you keep your brilliant employees year after year. This duo starts by asking the simple question: “What keeps you at your company?” and then they take you through an entire book of strategies that you can use to retain top talent.

6. 1501 Ways To Reward Employees by  Bob Nelson, Ph.D.

Employees thrive when you create a company culture that isn’t afraid of praise. One of the best ways to retain employees is by letting them know how essential they are to your company. Most organizations don’t do this enough. It’s not about throwing expensive rewards at the problem. Instead, many of the rewards you give employees will cost little to no money. This book by Bob Nelson will walk you through 1501 ways that you can reward your employees, and many won’t require more than your time.

Do you want to learn more about rewarding employees? Check out our article on employee perks that will incentivize your team.

7. Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes Into Stepping Stones for Success by John Maxwell

From the outside looking in, it may seem like successful people are always winning big. Once you peel back the layers, though, you understand that many successful people have seen some of the biggest failures. They may have been fired from a seemingly easy job or lost millions on a risky career move. Chances are, they have failed in some way. In this book, John Maxwell uncovers the secrets of reimagining the way you think about failure so that your company can be the most successful version of itself.