Looking to Build a Better Culture In 2020? Top 5 Must-Read Books for HR Professionals

The world is caught in chaos due to the pandemic crisis. Organizations are seeking ways to create a better work culture. Therefore, reading has projected to be one of the best ways for HR professionals to stay in sync with the industry trends.

The pandemic has caught organizations off guard.

Preparing for an event like the pandemic requires strong predictions, but who would have known it would drive the entire world crazy.

Professionals are now investing more within themselves — upskilling and reading a book is becoming the new normal nowadays.

If you’re an HR professional looking to expand your skills, you’ve got to read some of the best HR books that can help you build a better culture this 2020.

1. Radical Candor: Fully Revised & Updated Edition: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity

👉Author: Kim Scott

Summary: Nobody needs to choose between being a pushover or a jerk. Instead, you can be kind and just. This book by Radical Candor gives you a great perspective on how you can achieve what you’re seeking.

Key takeaways:

· Direct challenge — showing care for your employees is just one part of the equation. You need to challenge them directly, doing this will give them the idea to be the best version of themselves. This is where you can provide feedback, specifically the bad ones.

· Stay focused — it will be a waste of time to care for others if you cannot take care of yourself. Ensure your body and mind is present at your workplace for your team.

· Demonstrate care — as a leader of the team, you need to take care of your employees, value them even for the smallest efforts they make.

2. It’s the Manager

👉Authors: Jim Clifton and Jim Harter

Summary: The book ‘It’s the Manager’ demonstrates how HR professionals and HR managers are adapting to the rapid change within the new workplace. This book covers topics related to new technology such as AI, managing and keeping the gig workers intact, and managing remote employees.

Key takeaways:

· Provide more responsibility to employees — managers need to give more responsibilities to their employees and become a coach themselves. If you can explain a simple ideology such as why, how, and what to your employees, it is likely for you to have engaged employees.

· Lead the team as a manager — despite explaining the why, how, and what, the team needs a leader to lead the way. It is the responsibility of the manager to ensure their team implements what they’ve been instructed and this will happen only if it’s being led by an example. And who else can lead a team other than the manager?

· Technology and adaptation — with technology emerging at breakneck speed, it is also mandatory for organizations to keep up with the latest technology trend. It is said that the most successful organizations are the ones with the latest updates in technology and innovation. To keep up with the speeding transformation, HR professionals have started opting for online HR and Talent Management Certifications to update their skills.

As a leader of the company, you will need to first adapt then lead your team and employees toward skill development.

3. Humanity Works: Merging Technologies and People for the Workforce of the Future

👉Author: Alexandra Levit

Summary: We’re at the cusp of the fourth industrial revolution, an era where technology is bound to lead the way we live and work. There won’t be a robot invasion or takeover for sure, but you will find a robot integration.

Key takeaways:

· Swarming of online teams — a word had been stressed in this book “swarming.” This simply means that online teams will quickly gather together to get the project complete, and once the project is over, the team disperses — in a swarming fashion. Such virtual teams will be the norm of the future and for some companies its already a reality.

· Technology is here to increase jobs not remove them — it is a myth to say that technology is here to destroy jobs. AI and augmented reality are here to improve manpower and not remove or replace humans from the workforce.

4. The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth

👉Author: Amy C. Edmondson

Summary: A quality talent is of no use if you cannot speak your mind. Amy in her book demonstrates a structure of how you can create a fearless organization that can bring success to the economy.

Key takeaways:

· Speaking upfront — HR professionals need to possess the capability to speak up. Managers often mistake that they’re working in a fearless organization, but this is not how the employees see things around at the workplace. If the culture tends to possess negativity, it gets challenging for employees to come up and share their ideas or speak up regarding any queries or information.

· Building a psychological safety — an organization that is void of fear is a place where employees feel psychologically safe. This can further lead to a fearless culture where employees can voice their opinions and share their ideas.

5. We Can’t Talk about That at Work!: How to Talk about Race, Religion, Politics, and Other Polarizing Topics

👉Author: Mary-Frances Winter

Summary: Mary-Frances Winter in her book explains how to handle difficult situations happening at the workplace. It is not an easy task for HR professionals such as the leaders themselves to fall in a position where they are not able to make stern decisions.

Key takeaways:

· Establish a common ground backed by facts and statistics — the author believes in Carl Rogers and his Rogerian method which states, “The things that unite us are far stronger than the things that divide us.” It is all about establishing a common ground where discussions can happen. For this, you need to first come up with facts and statistics to back you up.

· Embracing the Platinum Rule — wait, what’s the Platinum Rule? The “Platinum Rule” tells us to “Do unto others as they’d like done unto them. “This can simply happen if you dedicatedly follow the “4Es”: exposure, experience, education, and empathy.

Human Resource Professional. Passionate about Human Resources. Writing has always been a passion with strong interest in talent management & HR Industry.