Quar­an­tine leaves us with a healthy chunk of time to reassess and spend time with the ones we love. But as quar­an­tine goes on, the work must go on as well and for HR pro­fes­sion­als, that means devel­op­ing pro­fes­sion­al­ly as much as every­one else with­in the organization.

With all this time on your hands, a nice relax­ing read is not only good for your devel­op­ment, but also your health. To help you devel­op a read­ing list that can fuel your own growth, we’ve pro­vid­ed a quar­an­tine read­ing list of the best HR focused books to read in 2020.


  1. HR on Pur­pose: Devel­op­ing Delib­er­ate Peo­ple Pas­sion by Steve Brown

A well-known thought leader in HR, Brown spends a great deal of time facil­i­tat­ing con­ver­sa­tions about the pos­si­bil­i­ties in HR. In this book, he looks to chal­lenge assump­tions and pre­con­ceived notions about what HR should be and instead chal­lenges the read­er to think of the pos­si­bil­i­ties and tap into their pas­sion for HR.

  1. HR from the Out­side In: Six Com­pe­ten­cies for the Future of Human Resources by Dave Ulrich, Jon Younger, Wayne Brock­bank and Mike Ulrich

A cast of HR vet­er­ans has put togeth­er a hand­book of com­pe­ten­cies that sets the mod­ern HR pro­fes­sion­al up for a more strate­gic role with­in the busi­ness. The put for­ward the argu­ment that one of the most impor­tant roles of an HR prac­ti­tion­er is to be a cred­i­ble activist, both for the employ­ee and for the busi­ness as a whole.

  1. Gen­er­a­tion Z: A Cen­tu­ry in the Mak­ing by Corey Seemiller and Megan Grace

When Mil­len­ni­als (Gen Y) hit the work­force it cre­at­ed a shift in expec­ta­tions of employ­ers, work­place cul­tures and the way employ­ers think about process­es and employ­ee rela­tion­ships. Now, a new gen­er­a­tion is enter­ing the work­force and their lifestyles, expec­ta­tions and world view are once again different.

To man­age the Gen Z demo­graph­ic effec­tive­ly, HR lead­ers need to look at how the way this gen­er­a­tion man­ages mon­ey, pur­sues edu­ca­tion, val­ues their rela­tion­ships and what they want for their careers. This book explores these top­ics in a way that will help HR teams man­age the gen­er­a­tional diver­si­ty of their teams.

  1. Unleash­ing the Pow­er of Diver­si­ty: How to Open Minds for Good by Bjørn Z. Ekelund

As cul­tures col­lide and the nature of work becomes more glob­al, there are dif­fer­ences which could divide teams if we can’t devel­op a com­mon lan­guage and a cul­ture that high­lights our com­mon strug­gles. In this book, the author unveils a step-by-step pro­gram for com­mu­ni­cat­ing across cul­tur­al lines to devel­op a cul­ture of trust that facil­i­tates greater diver­si­ty with­in the orga­ni­za­tion and the con­struc­tion of glob­al teams.

  1. Tal­ent Wins: The New Play­book for Putting Peo­ple First by Ram Cha­ran, Dominic Bar­ton, and Den­nis Carey

Tal­ent plan­ning is chang­ing and requires a new way of doing things. This book uses exam­ples from some of the world’s largest com­pa­nies all the way down to Sil­i­con Val­ley star­tups to show how HR can become the part­ner the busi­ness needs to acquire, devel­op and man­age tal­ent that can meet the tech­no­log­i­cal and ana­lyt­i­cal demands of the mod­ern workplace.

  1. Feed­back (and Oth­er Dirty Words): Why We Fear It and How to Fix It by M. Tam­ra Chan­dler and Lau­ra Dowl­ing Grealish

Good, hon­est feed­back can be dif­fi­cult to take, but as HR lead­ers, col­lect­ing feed­back and being able to pack­age it into con­struc­tive con­ver­sa­tions that fuel employ­ee growth is an art. In this book, the authors take a deep­er look at where neg­a­tive reac­tions to feed­back come from and how to lim­it neg­a­tive phys­i­cal and emo­tion­al respons­es to it. It intro­duces the three F’s of feed­back, (focused, fair and fre­quent) to help ease the ten­sion that some­times accom­pa­nies these discussions.

  1. Pre­dic­tive HR Ana­lyt­ics: Mas­ter­ing the HR Met­ric by Mar­tin R. Edwards and Kirsten Edwards

Advanced HR met­rics can be dif­fi­cult, but are becom­ing a nec­es­sary part of the mod­ern HR pro­fes­sion­als work as employ­ee engage­ment and expe­ri­ence take cen­ter stage. Being able to pre­dict turnover, ana­lyze and fore­cast diver­si­ty and fine tune employ­ee inter­ven­tions are all key skills dis­cussed in this book. The authors focus on sta­tis­ti­cal tech­niques and pre­dic­tive ana­lyt­ics mod­els that can help improve the HR practitioner’s abil­i­ty to do those things in an eth­i­cal manner.

  1. Tal­ent Keep­ers: How Top Lead­ers Engage and Retain Their Best Per­form­ers by Christo­pher Mul­li­gan and Craig Taylor

Through six case stud­ies, the authors of this book reveal how orga­ni­za­tions can devel­op and imple­ment employ­ee engage­ment plans that use tac­tics which have shown proven results. Start­ing from the time a new hire walks through the door to years into their devel­op­ment, this sys­temic approach will help HR lead­ers cre­ate a cul­ture that retains and nur­tures employ­ees to grow with­in the organization.

  1. Nine Lies About Work: A Free­think­ing Leader’s Guide to the Real World by Mar­cus Buck­ing­ham and Ash­ley Goodall

Cul­ture is every­thing, but there are mis­con­cep­tions and lies that per­vade the work­place and cause dys­func­tion. That is the cen­tral tenet behind this book which seeks to iden­ti­fy those lies and high­light free­think­ing lead­ers are able to see through the fog to see the unique nature of their teams and reveal truths about the work­place or what the authors call the real world of work.

Orig­i­nal­ly post­ed on hrexchangenetwork.com