ProjectHR Anniversary Celebration: A Round-Up Of Top HR Books We Loved this Year

Books We Loved - 2020

At Projections, we've had the pleasure of interviewing many incredible guests over the last year. Not only that, we're thrilled to be able to celebrate our podcast, ProjectHR, that has officially been pumping out episodes with these guests for a whole year! Among these guests, there have been many authors with books we loved so much; we wanted to share! The following is a list of the top HR books we've mentioned on our ProjectHR podcast this last year.

We're going to shout out each author we've been able to interview along with their books and why we think you'll love them too! Whether you're a Human Resources professional looking to expand the books in your arsenal, or a leader who wants to build their team morale and boost employee engagement and retention, you'll find value in each of these books, just like we did!

  1. The Insider's Guide To Culture Change: Creating a Workplace The Delivers, Grows, and Adapts - by our guest speaker, Siobhan McHale. We enjoyed chatting with Siobhan, a company culture expert, about the importance of culture and how culture is one of the least understood topics in the workforce. We discussed the importance of culture change and how culture can apply to any aspect of how a business functions. Are cultures set in stone? Of course, we also discussed her incredible book! The Insider's Guide to Culture Change walks readers through McHale's four-step process to culture transformation, including how to:
  •  Understand what "corporate culture" really is and how it impacts every aspect of the way your organization operates
  • Analyze where your culture is broken or not adding maximum value
  • Unlock the power of reframing roles within your company to empower and engage your employees
  • Utilize proven methods and tools to break through deeply embedded patterns and change your company mind-set
  • Keep the momentum going by consolidating gains and maintaining your foot on the change accelerator.

2. The Millennial Whisperer by Chris Tuff. This book is incredible because Chris puts into context "the ways Millennials differ from previous generations and shares practical steps companies and leaders can take to immediately boost productivity without building an office full of ping pong tables, beer kegs, and participation trophies." Not only is his book incredible, our podcast episode included a free digital download of it for listeners! This book is perfect for leaders who are struggling to close the generational gap and need ideas for how to motivate today's largest workforce! Don't forget to check out our interview with Chris here!

3. Building the Best: 8 Proven Leadership Principles to Elevate Others to Success by John Eades. We had such a fun time talking to John about some of the leadership principles he discusses in his book! This was an enlightening conversation, so don't miss the podcast episode! His book is so beneficial to anyone who needs to identify their current leadership style and wants to develop the skills of others by understanding the "4 Stages of Role Development"! John's words, "Leadership is about empowering, inspiring, and serving in order to elevate others over an extended period of time. You are the perfect person to live this out every day." are inspiring and motivating for leaders at any level!

4. Align: Four Simple Steps for Leaders to Create Employee Fulfillment Through Alignment Leadership - Chris Meroff really made us think when he said, "I will always reward excellent failures and punish mediocre success." But this is the basis of his book, Align: leaders will learn to create alignment within their organization and develop a culture built on employee fulfillment. We had a great time interviewing Chris, and talked about eliminating uncertainty in the workplace and helping everyone find their pathways to success. USA Today and Wall Street Journal BestSeller, Align, is a fantastic read for "transforming the way leaders lead and renewing their self-confidence."

5. Inclusify: The Power of Uniqueness and Belonging to Build Innovative Teams - In Dr. Stefanie K Johnson's book, she explains what it means to "Inclusify" and how it can strengthen any business. "Inclusifying—unlike "diversifying" or "including"— implies a continuous, sustained effort towards helping diverse teams feel engaged, empowered, accepted, and valued." We talked with Dr. Johnson about how uniqueness and belonging are both important in your workplace, along with some of the common pitfalls that leaders experience.

6. Transformative Conversations: The heart of the leadership journey - Dr. Ada Luiz Gonzalez wrote this book, which is an excellent resource for leaders who are working to improve their leadership skills. Dr. Gonzalez is the owner of Transformative Conversations, a consultancy committed to helping organizations facilitate change, development, and growth through dialogue. We talked with her on our podcast about the cost of poor communication and how you can design a dialogue that can lead to transformative change!

7. The Inside Gig: How Sharing Untapped Talent Across Boundaries Unleashes Organizational Capacity - the premise behind Dr. Edie Goldberg's book is: what if the talent you're seeking to hire is already on your company's payroll but going untapped? She believes "the future belongs to companies that can access and deploy talent quickly and efficiently." This book is great for anyone who needs to uncover hidden skills in their workforce and optimize and energize their workforce, and we discussed a lot of this in our interview with her!

8. Transforming Change Management: Change or Be Changed - Disrupt or Be Disrupted - This e-book from Dr. Mark Rogers, CEO of Insights Without Borders, is all about leading change leadership in your organization. As Dr. Rogers explains, "How do we accept the fact that we're out of control and get at peace with the fact that we can't control 'control'? We can choose how we respond and the actions that we take, personally, to deal with what's coming at us, and that gives us the control."

9. What's Your Problem? To Solve Your Toughest Problems, Change The Problems You Solve - Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg wrote this book that we love because it presents a simple, three-step method - Frame, Reframe, Move Forward - that anyone can use to start solving the right problems! We had an excellent conversation with Thomas and discussed how our biggest challenge might not be in finding better solutions but rather in better defining the problems we face.

10. 101 Costly HR Mistakes: and how to fix them before it's too late! - After consulting with thousands of employers, Vanessa G. Nelson discovered a pattern of costly HR mistakes. The mistakes often led to "expensive lawsuits, low employee morale, high-priced non-compliance fees/penalties, hurt profits, and damaged reputations." This is one of the top HR books and an excellent resource for HR professionals to avoid fees and penalties and learn from other businesses!

11. Recruiting Sucks...But It Doesn't Have To: Breaking Through the Myths That Got Us Here - Steve Lowisz shares a groundbreaking approach to attracting, developing, and retaining an accomplished and vibrant workforce. Our interview with Steve included how to break the recruitment myths that have locked us into our current process, what Results-Based Interviewing is, and how it can help! This book would be perfect for anyone that wants to know "how to prioritize behavior over skills, look beyond LinkedIn, be a marketer, find real ways to inspire employees, take responsibility, avoid reliance on technology, embrace diversity, and more!"

12. Courageous Cultures - Karin Hurt and David Dye share how having a courageous culture is your competitive advantage, and in this book, you'll learn practical tools to uncover, leverage, and scale the best ideas from every level of your organization!

13. The Arsonist in the Office by Pete Havel is "your survival guide for enduring the toxic workplace (and toxic people) and a call to action for a bold new approach to addressing tough issues." In our interview with Pete, we discussed ways we can all protect ourselves against toxic work cultures and the "arsonists" in our workplaces! This book is an excellent resource for protecting your workplace culture.

14. Feedback and other Dirty Words Co-authors M. Tamra Chandler and Laura Grealish explain "how feedback got such a bad rap and how to recognize and minimize the negative physical and emotional responses that can erode trust and shut down communication." M. Tamra Chandler was a guest on our podcast this year, and we chatted about the value of developmental (versus evaluative) feedback; and why feedback is the "secret sauce" to increasing a leader's effectiveness!

15. Unstuck by Craig Lemasters starts with Craig's personal experience as CEO of a Fortune 500 subsidiary, and through his story "reveals practical ways to tap into the wisdom of other people to solve problems." In Unstuck, you'll learn why we get stuck, how to identify it in your own work, and new ways to engage with people to craft workable solutions! On ProjectHR, we talked with Craig about how COVID-19 has impacted our tendency to become stuck and some steps to help your organization get unstuck!

16. Intentional Integrity In this book, author Robert Chesnut offers a six-step process for leaders to foster and manage a culture of integrity at work. He explains the rationale and legal context for the ethics and practices and presents scenarios to illuminate the nuances of thinking deeply and objectively about workplace culture. 

Which of these top HR books have you already enjoyed? 


About the Author Jennifer Orechwa

In over 25 years of helping companies connect with their employees, Jennifer has gained a unique perspective on what it takes to build a culture of engagement. By blending a deep understanding of labor and employee relations with powerful digital marketing knowledge, Jennifer has helped thousands of companies achieve behavioral change at a cultural level.

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