5 books you need to read about managing human resources

5 books you need to read

2020 will be forever engraved in our memory and in the world history, by the changes it has forced us to make – both personally and professionally – and because of the new contexts of work. The Covid-19 pandemic has changed habits and routines and has put remote work on the agenda, as it was the only possible way, for several months, to keep businesses going.

The situation brought enormous added value to the companies, which adapted without hesitation, but brought major problems and new challenges for the Human Resources departments, which are not used to dealing with employees and teams working out of doors. The pandemic created a new normality that is gradually becoming routine in all companies.

And this is mirrored in the numbers of different national and international market studies. In the European Union, in the last decade, only about 5% to 6% of the employed population worked from home. With the pandemic, this figure has risen to 12%, according to Eurostat data. In Portugal, the number of long-distance workers in 2020 was almost twice the European average: 23%.

Faced with this reality, it is urgent that the Human Resources departments adapt in terms of management, otherwise, they will lose the innovative train and competitive power for companies more adapted to this new reality.

The pursuit for knowledge

To respond to the challenges of this new reality, it is essential to keep professionals and their managers updated as much as possible. Finally, it is necessary to start looking for knowledge, which is essential to help people management.

We all know that management is a skill that can always be improved. We have several ways to do this. We can follow good practices in monitoring and managing talent or look for articles and specialized books that help us to be more precise in our analysis.

Start reading about new strategies will help HR professionals solving problems.

There are many books, but we advise five books, essential in understanding, promoting and embracing Human Resources on this new normal:

1. Best for HR: Powerful – Patty McCord

The former chief talent officer at Netflix, Patty McCord, just wrote this “Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility” book to help its readers on the HR practices. When it comes to recruiting, motivating, and creating great teams, Patty McCord says most companies do it all wrong. In this book, the author shares what she has learned on Netflix and that may be strategic to your company. Why don’t you give your employees a fulfilling work that they’ll want to do in the first place? Have you thought about it? The author did and you may learn all about it in this book.

2. The One Minute Manager – Kenneth Blanchard Ph.D. and Spencer Johnson M.D

We are talking here about a short book by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson that tells us a story about three techniques and an effective manager: one-minute goals, one minute praising, and one-minute reprimands. Each of one takes only a minute but is purportedly of lasting benefit. In fact, the book is about setting a way to define clear goals or expectations for those you manage on an organization.

3. Best on Workplace Behaviour: Don’t Bring It To Work – Sylvia Lafair

In “Don’t Bring It to Work: Breaking the Family Patterns That Limit Success,” Sylvia Lafair will led readers into a journey on some of the most common office personalities (raging from the Super Achiever and the Pleaser to the Drama Queen or the Avoider). The author also tries to describe why these people came to be the way they are. With Lafair’s advice, readers learned how to carefully observe behaviours – inclusive theirs – and discover patterns, probe deeper into their past, and positively transform their work self.

4. The Truth About Leadership: The No-fads, Heart-of-the-Matter Facts You Need to Know – James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner

In these turbulent times leaders need to move beyond pessimistic predictions, dark scenarios, and simplistic solutions. In fact, they need to turn to what’s real and what’s proven as Kouzes and Posner point out. So, they will reveal ten time-tested truths that show what every leader must know, the questions they must be prepared to answer, and the real-world issues they will likely face. This book is based on thirty years of research and more than one million responses to Kouzes and Posner’s leadership assessment.

5. Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ – Daniel Goleman

Polemic! Provocative! Totally new!

This is a book that you will need to read. Daniel Goleman’s fascinating report from the frontiers of psychology and neuroscience offers us startling new insight into our “two minds” — the rational and the emotional – and how they together shape our destiny. Beginning deep in the brain, Emotional Intelligence shows us the exact mechanism of an “emotional hijack,” when passion overcomes reason. The final chapters reveal the possibilities – and limits – of “emotional literary,” as it is taught by both parents and educators. The book concludes with a vision of what true emotional intelligence means for us both as individuals and as a society.

Whichever book you choose, what matters is that ideas are refreshed and extra management skills acquired to facilitate team motivation, talent retention, and success in operations.

Good Reading!

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