Recommended Reading for the “Savvy HR Professional”
One of my New Year’s resolutions is always professional development. As an HR Manager, it is so easy to get bogged down in the day to day operations, that you lose sight of your own continuing education. In order to keep up a high level of thought, creativity, and commitment to what we do, it’s important to keep our finger on the pulse of any new developments in HR. For those new to HR, it can he daunting just to keep up with the basics!
With that in mind, I am making a list of books that I have read, would like to read, or thought would be useful to you. Whether you’re addicted to your Kindle, or love the feeling of turning physical book pages, there’s something for every library.
So, come on in, look around a spell, and see if there’s something that interests you.
By: Sharon Armstrong
This book is a great introduction to all things in HR, especially for someone new to the role. This book is simply written and easy to understand. Also, the addition of an “HR index” in the back provides a quick reference for when you’re faced with a question or issue you need to resolve quickly.
The author packs in tons of examples of HR scenarios and how to deal with them. She tackles everything from hiring-with an accompanying list of interview questions-to providing feedback, avoiding HR and legal landmines, and dealing with real-world employee concerns. The author also uses professionals in the HR industry who are experts in their specialty to write some of the chapters. I think this makes the book more relevant, in addition to the fact that it also touches on technology and software that can help the busy HR professional.
One detractor-there are a few typos throughout the book. Even though it’s packed with useful info, I hate that they didn’t do a bit more proofreading before going to print. Also, you will need another reference if you want hard core HR legal advice. But, overall it’s a good reference.
The next pick is a fun one. In the age of collaboration and employee engagement, team building has become a critical HR skill.
How do you bring the wallflower out of her shell?
Can you get employees relaxed so that they share their thoughts or absorb your ideas?
Teambuilding is a great way to bring a little fun to the office. My pick for this category is:
The Big Book of Team-Motivating Games: Spirit-Building, Problem-Solving and Communication Games for Every Group (Big Book Series)
This is a fun book that is well laid out and has a ton of ice breakers, activities and games. If you need to get people off their backsides and moving around the room, this is a keeper. I have actually used it before and it’s a good resource to have stashed in your desk for team meetings. Clear, simple examples make this an easy read. The Big Book will help you to foster communication and interaction and pull the shyer team members into the conversation.The book is indeed big, so if you like to collect cute little books to stack on your desk or bookshelf, this may not be for you. However, it may be worth breaking up your ambiance to add it to your collection.
Back to a more serious subject…sexual harassment. This is an issue that seems to crop up more often lately and the lines between what’s OK and what will get your hand slapped has become a bit grey. Some HR reps don’t like to touch this subject because it makes them uncomfortable, but you have to face this head-on. Instead of shying away from sexual harassment, make sure you understand all the tricky little nuances, so that you can easily identify and stop it in its tracks.
For that, I think this book is helpful:
By Linda G. Howard
Written by a Lawyer, this book is frank and to the point. The author clearly explains sexual harassment law and how this applies to the workplace. I really like that she gives scenarios and examples that give the reader a better grasp of what constitutes harassment. She also tackles some “not often touched on” scenarios, like managers being harassed, and the surprising frequency with which men are sexually harassed. I know what you’re thinking, but yes it does happen.
A big focus of this book is that sexual harassment reaches much further than the victim and the accused. If left unchecked, it eats away at the company and creates a culture that will have people running for the front door after a while. If you’re easily offended or a blushing Betty, you may be uncomfortable with this subject, but avoiding the issue won’t make it go away.
These are just a few books that I think would be beneficial to people in our industry.
If you have a great Book on HR that you’d like to share, please leave a comment below.