10 Must Read Books on HR Management

Human Resources

We all know of the commitments of the Human Resources professionals in turning their companies into the best workplaces possible for their employees. To do that, they must be aware of things like the cultures of their company and creating a work environment that motivates and retains key talent. Below are 10 of the HR books that are a must read for any HR professional out there to build an ideal working environment for their employees.

Games People Play

Games People Play

Games People Play was written by Eric Berne, a psychiatrist by profession, and was published in 1964. It was the pioneer which provided amazing insight on the social interactions in the workplaces. The material of the book may be over 50 years old, but offers an accurate and on-topic analysis on attempts of the workplaces which try to discard the sense of formal hierarchical interactions and the typical office layout. To explain this, Eric Berne has taken the approach of showing the relationship between an employer and his or her employee. He refers to this relationship as a cause and effect relationship. This relationship shows that the behavior of the boss most often decides the response of his/her employee. Berne has explained this relationship with the example of the parent and the child. The boss who acts like a parent or a micromanager for his or her employees will find that the employees will respond with the child like behavior. This book provides important guidance for HR professionals to help them to solve the difficult interactions between the boss and the employee or team lead with his subordinates.


First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently

Greatest Managers Break All The Rules

The book was written by two authors, Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman, after interviewing more than 80,000 successful and motivating managers from industries beyond count. All these interviews were to find out the qualities that make a good boss out of any manager. Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman discovered that what these successful and dynamic managers were doing in their industries was at complete odds with the by the book rules and long held beliefs about coaching, rewarding and treatment of the employees. These managers chose to put their efforts behind making strength instead of focusing to get rid of a weakness and chose to treat each and every one of their employees as individuals. This book can assist the HR professional in helping the managers who are struggling with problems like employee retention.


100 Ways to Motivate Others

100 ways to motivate others book

Written by Steve Chandler, the 100 Ways to Motivate Others emphasizes on the methods which can be used by the managers to push the efficiency of their teams to its maximum limits without being bossy or micromanaging. Steve Chandler has focused on the large scale motivational methods that a manager can offer to his team. This book is another fine guide for the HR professionals to guide different managers or bosses to be able to manage different sized teams.


Why Employees Don’t Do What They’re Supposed to Do and What to Do About It

Why employees don't do what they're supposed to do book

To figure out the truth behind the employees not finishing their assigned work due to any number of reasons, the author of the book, Ferdinand F. Fournies, interviewed 25,000 managers in his pursuit to uncover this mystery. After the long and extensive interviews, Fournies concluded the results of his long research. He discovered the 10 most common causes due to which the employees did not do what they were supposed to do and has offered advice on how to handle these employees and how to deal with their problems. He discovered that the root of the most of such problems was the lack of confidence of the employee either in his or her employers or in his or her performance. This book can offer valuable guidance for the HR professionals to increase the efficiency and productivity in their respective workplaces. Fournies says in this book that the results of solutions of these problems are largely dependent on the performance of the manager rather than the performance of the employees.


The Empowered Manager: Positive Political Skills at Work

the empowered manager book

The Empowered Manager seeks to awaken the motivation to inspire and lead their teams and to empower the manager to have confidence to do all this. Peter Block, the author of The Empowered Manager, seeks to lift off the managerial obstructions, due to which the manager can often feel sapped of energy, lack of creative control and Block argues for them to take back a sense of control and responsibility. This book is a great mood lifter and confidence builder for any manager, team lead or HR professional supporting these roles.


Lean In

lean in book

Lean In, written by Sheryl Sandberg in 2013, served as the call to arms of women in the workplace.These women were positioned in such a way that they are succeeding. While it is true that some of the arguments made by Sheryl Sandberg in Lean In have rumpled some feathers, the main message she has tried to deliver in the Lean In is in positive tone. This message encourages women to realize their worth and to receive training for their respective work fields and encourages them to take risks. This book offers great help to HR professionals to communicate with female workers about their career goals and future and to demand more output from them than they are usually comfortable with. Different studies have shown that a gender balanced workplace has been more successful and efficient than its counterpart organizations so Lean In should prove to be a good guide for HR professionals.


Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success

Failing Forward book

John Maxwell, the author of the Failing Forward, has made the positive attitude; an employee should have after experiencing a failure, his focal point. This book sheds some light on the ways in which the reactions of the employee to their failures are more important in their career than the failures. Maxwell makes the argument in Failing Forward that the most successful people are not those who are not afraid of the failure but are those who are willing to learn from their failures and are able to master them at one point. This book is a great guide for the HR professionals to motivate their employees that a positive work attitude is one of the key tools in having a successful career.


The Human Equation: Building Profits by Putting People First

The Human Equation

Dr. Jeremy M Pfeffer has used the Human Equation to attempt to change the world of business by examining the way the managers and bosses manage their employees in hierarchical workplaces. Thus, because of this, the Human Equation rules are not implemented in hierarchical workplaces. Dr. Jeremy M Pfeffer has shown his research in his book that the most successful organizations usually care more about their employees than end results. This book is a great guide for HR professionals to help them implement and fight for the best incentives and policies for their employees.


Smart Staffing

Smart Staffing Book

The Smart Staffing, written by Wayne Outlaw, has placed its focus on the small businesses which are not big enough to house a permanent HR department. Smart Staffing is an extensive and amazing guide for the bosses and CEOs of such small business who have to fill the role of the HR professional themselves. This book provides these bosses and CEOs with a guide to screening procedures, way to manage different works like outsourced, part-time or full-time work, job postings and hiring requirements.


Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t



The Good to Great is a book which has been held as the best ever written book by the Wall Street Journal. The author of Good to Great is Jim Collins, who has provided useful insight into rise and fall of the companies and the reasons behind them. Good to Great explains the reason behind the success of the companies which manage to build up and pitfalls of those companies who get taken down eventually. This book is an excellent helper for small businesses which are looking to expand into the big-time monsters of their respective industries.

What insightful HR books have you read lately?


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