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Top 10 Management Books for the Human Resources Book Shelf


Certain business and management books belong on the book shelves of every Human Resources office. These are the Human Resources books you'll reference repeatedly. When managers seek your help to deal with problems or opportunities, you'll share or recommend these business and management books. Some are old, some new, but all are worth your reading and book review time. We begin a series.

1. First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do ...

Woman holding a open book
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Think you know what 80,000 great managers do that is different than how you may manage? I'll bet you don't. Do you build your staff member's weaker skills? Hire employees based on experience? Rely on an annual appraisal? This management book by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman may cause you to change your thinking. It belongs prominently on your Human Resources book shelves. (Simon and Schuster)
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2. Why Employees Don't Do What They're Supposed to Do: And What to Do...

Do some of the employees in your organization have trouble doing what they are supposed to do? Ferdinand Fournies provides a simple, yet masterful, look at the specific reasons people are failing at work. He provides clear, straightforward recommendations for what you can do about it. Start with clear expectations. Understand employee motivation. Great book for sharing. (McGraw-Hill)
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3. Business: The Ultimate Resource

A management book that may need its own book shelf in your Human Resources book case, but it is worth its weight-2172 pages-in information. Best practice articles for every aspect of business including HR, action check lists, a recommended management library, the current thinking of business gurus, and resources form the core of this tome. Best all-around reference I've seen. (Perseus Publishing)
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4. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

Looking to improve your personal productivity and get more accomplished during your work day? This business management book, by David Allen, is the most helpful I've found. His flow chart for processing your inbox is worth the price of the book alone. His planning model that helps you focus is a close second. (Viking)
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5. Flight of the Buffalo: Soaring to Excellence ...

A professor and a business owner write out the lessons needed to understand why and how your organization can soar - if you just enable your employees to lead. One of the best books on employee empowerment I've read. Filled with common sense and practical, doable wisdom and examples, plus the must do's for success. James A. Belasco and Ralph C. Stayer are electric. (Warner Books, Inc.)
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6. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... And Other's Don't

Why do some companies sustain growth and success for fifteen years and more while others flame out in a couple of years? James C. Collins answers that question and provides insight into who leads these companies, who gets on the bus, how the seats on the bus are assigned, and more. Have you found your hegehog concept? Can you sustain success? Find out more. (HarperCollins Publishers)
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7. Coaching for Improved Work Performance, Revised Edition

If you've read Ferdinand Fournies' other books, his simple, straight-forward, common-sense approach to teaching in a brief management book is familiar to you. Want to know how a supervisor can coach employees in such a way that work performance actually improves? This is your book. It starts with clear expectations and includes much more. (Fournies Associates)
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8. The Empowered Manager: Positive Political Skills at Work

Peter Block is a master organization development consultant. He understands deeply what people need at work. He is also a master at getting his points across. Want to accomplish your mission at work? Empower and enable others to accomplish theirs in an adult setting? This management book belongs on every Human Resources book shelf. You'll loan it out again and again. (John Wiley and Sons)
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9. New Pioneers: Man and Women Who Are Transforming the Workplace ...

Thomas Petzinger studied companies from thirty states to distill the best new approaches creating business success in organizations. His story-telling will hook you as much as the ideas he shares on such topics as radical new compensation and motivation strategies, how the ethos of business is returning to fundamental human values, and how nobody is as smart as everybody. (Simon and Schuster)
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10. 1001 Ways to Reward Employees

Okay, so some of these ideas are too cute! Others are right on. The beauty of the book is that it gets you thinking about the hundreds of opportunities you have every day to reward and thank employees. It helps expand your thinking about all the types of opportunities available to you. Check out Bob Nelson's management book for reward and recognition ideas. (Workman Publishing Company)
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