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6 Books Every HR Pro Must Read (Or At Least Skim)

At Rocketrip, we know that smart executives are those who know how much they don’t know. As Dan Figenshu, CFO, explains: “Learning should be an everyday box to check for enterprises and for the people who run them.” And because we’re nothing if not problem solvers, we’re thrilled to present six books sure to add muscle to any HR pro’s intellectual powers, whatever their reason for hitting the books.

1. If you’re new to HR (or have a bad case of Impostor Syndrome): The HR Answer Book: An Indispensable Guide for Managers and Human Resources Professionals

Updated to reflect recent changes in the law, this surprisingly useful book addresses more than 200 FAQs, with insightful answers and specific examples of situations that are prevalent in most workplaces. Like a basic yoga class, even a seasoned veteran will benefit.

2. If better hiring is your jam: Recruit Rockstars: The 10 Step Playbook to Find the Winners and Ignite Your Business

A wise boss once said that the only decisions of real consequence in a business involve hiring. But even if you disagree, the advice offered here by executive recruiter extraordinaire Jeff Hyman will no doubt sharpen recruiting at your firm. Better still, Hyman’s 10 tips will make it more likely that the rock stars you hire stick around for longer than one concert tour. [End metaphor here.] A quick read that will have long-lasting impact.

3. If workplace culture is a priority: Setting The Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality In Business

Don’t work in the restaurant business? Don’t worry! This classic from restaurateur Danny Meyer is a playbook for creating a welcoming and unified workplace ecosystem regardless of product, service or customer. And unlike most books about corporate culture, this one never fails to entertain even as it teaches.

4. If you want to give better compliments: The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People

This popular volume offers tips for integrating the framework of “love languages” into the office, while reinforcing what should be an obvious lesson: compliments from higher-ups motivate employees. (Genuine encouragement, that is, delivered in ways that the recipient can fully integrate and take to heart.)

5. If you want to get more things done: The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

As delightful as it is essential, as practical as it is short. This bestseller from The New Yorker writer and renowned surgeon Atul Gawande is the quickest way to get past personal roadblocks without needing to hire more staff. Plus, you’ll finally learn the truth about Van Halen’s legendary green M&M contract rider.

6. If you want to go deeper: Thinking, Fast and Slow

A career overview from Nobel Prize-winning behavioral economist Daniel Kahneman, this exploration of the many biases that influence human judgment and decision-making will provide: a) useful insights into the many head-scratching aspects of human behavior; and b) techniques for “nudging” colleagues’ behaviors at both small and large scales. If “Human” is in one’s title or job description, this is a must-read.

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