The essential reading list for HR

Interested in reaching the top of your profession? HRM Online asked three industry professionals about the books that helped them on the road to success…

The essential reading list for HR
HR professionals are always encouraging employees to grow and development but how often do you take the time for self-directed learning? Here, HRM Online asked three industry professionals about the books that helped them on the road to success…
Vice President of HR at Shoppers Drug Mart, Darren Ratz told us there are two books he’d highly recommend:
  • Emotional Intelligence: Why it Can Matter More than IQ, by Daniel Goleman.
According to Ratz, the biggest challenge of his career (so far) was “moving from an operations-based role focused on execution and implementation and delivery of results to be in a business function that enables these actions.”
While the Goleman’s book isn’t specifically targeted at HR professionals, Ratz says it was instrumental in helping him overcome the difficult transition.
  • HR from the Outside-In: Six Competencies for the Future of Human Resources, by Dave Ulrich.
 “It speaks to our need to continue enabling and supporting the business,” explains Ratz.

Head of human resources at Datasift, Bob Lehto says he still refers back to two books that have helped him for many years:
  • 12: The Elements of Great Managing, by Rodd Wagner and James K. Hatter, PH.D. 
“Great coaching advice for [managers] and employees,” says Lehto, “based on decades of Gallup research.”
  • Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us, by Daniel Pink.
“Must read book regarding intrinsic motivation,” explains Lehto. “Great ideas for bringing mastery, autonomy and purpose to your workplace.”

HR veteran Jill Noble established her own consultancy firm 10 years ago, she recommended three books to fellow professionals:
  • The End of the Performance Review: A New Approach to Appraising Employee Performance, by Tim Baker.
Based around Baker’s principle of “Five Conversations”, the reader is offered a new model for performance management.
  • The Tao of Coaching: Boost your Effectiveness at Work by Inspiring and Developing Those around You, by Max Landsberg
Easy to read and apply, this bestseller suggests all it takes to become a great coach is the careful nurturing of a few simple skills.
  • The Speed of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything, by Stephen Covey Junior.

Covey’s instant classic emphasizes the value of trust in any organization and shows the speed at which it is established is critical.

Which books helped you success in your career? Share you recommendations below. 

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