As 2017 draws to an end, there’s a brief period when a busy professional can take a breather before the ambitions and challenges of the new year come into view. It’s a great opportunity to sort out some of the little things, like catching up on your reading. Here are 10 highly-rated books that can help you start 2018 on the right foot.
Gen Z @ Work
The coming years will see Generation Z, the tech-savvy young adults born from 1995 onward, start entering the job market en masse. Gen Z @ Work aims to shed light on how members of this group are different and what businesses can do to help them become a successful part of the team. The book promises to provide practical advice on managing Gen Z employees, along with contextual information about the factors that shaped this demographic’s worldview.
Thriving in the Gig Economy
Generation Z isn’t the only new group emerging within the working population. There is also a large and rapidly rising number of professionals who are striking out on their own to pursue opportunities via what Thriving in the Gig Economy calls “digital talent platforms”. The book takes a methodological look at the trend. It lays out the key factors to consider, as well as specific ways a business can tap this fast-expanding talent pool to boost its operations.
The Second Machine Age
One of the few phenomena than may prove even more impactful than the gig economy is the rapid spread of automation. This is the subject of The Second Machine Age by MIT professors Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee. It’s an accessible, but informative, primer on the technology trends that will transform how companies and society as a whole operate. The book’s high-level perspective can provide useful context about the long-term direction of the market, as well as bring a nice change of pace to your reading list.
William Bridges’ classic Managing Transitions is among the most gifted business books of the holiday season on Amazon. It was recently re-published in a new edition that adds modern context to the original’s insight about guiding employees through restructures, layoffs and other major organizational changes. The core concepts are presented in a somewhat theoretical form intended to make it straightforward for leaders to apply them to different situations.
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team delivers leadership best practices in the form of a fable about the senior management at a fictional company undergoing a crisis. In his New York Times bestseller, Patrick Lencioni touches upon key topics such as accountability, building trust and the importance of fostering open debate over artificial harmony . The anecdotal style of the story makes it a smooth read.
Telling Ain’t Training
Telling Ain’t Training can be divided into two main parts. The first covers the various cognitive processes that shape the way an adult takes in new knowledge. The other, in turn, offers practical guidance on how companies can take those nuances of human thought into account to ensure the success of their employee training programs. The authors apply some of their own recommendations by providing interactive exercises to help the reader internalize the material.
There are certain books in every genre with a title so memorable that one almost gets the impression they were guaranteed to become a hit from the outset. But Who has other things going for it, too: it’s a New York Times bestselling guide on hiring that has been endorsed by over half a dozen of the business world’s most prominent figures. Inside, the reader can find recruitment advice distilled from 1,300 hours of interviews with some 20 billionaires and 300 CEOs.
High Velocity Hiring
In High Velocity Hiring, Wintrip Consulting Group founder Scott Wintrip offers a more original take on recruiting. He details the method that he’s developed over the years as a corporate staffing advisor to help companies significantly speed up employee searches without making compromises. High Velocity Hiring boasts a long list of glowing reviews on the back cover that rivals that of Who.
Workplace Wellness that Works
Laura Putnam’s Workplace Wellness that Works focuses on a topic that is somewhat more niche but has been steadily moving up the agenda in recent years: employee wellness programs. Drawing on research and case studies, Putnam provides a framework for how companies can make a difference in staffers’ health. The main highlight is a 10-step guide that addresses the core requirements to implementing an effective wellness program.
An Everyone Culture
Topping off this list is An Everyone Culture by Harvard psychologists Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey. The authors, together with their three collaborators, have studied organizations that make an active effort to foster workers’ professional development. They’ve distilled their findings into a detailed guidebook for creating a more engaging and productive workplace culture.