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Whether you need a companion in your carry-on during a long haul flight, or simply need some inspiration and ideas to fuel you into the new year, now's a great time to garner some inspiration and stay current with industry trends by refreshing your reading-list. Who knows – maybe you can pop some of these titles onto your Christmas wish list? 

Here are the popular 2019 reads from HR professionals and leaders that have made it onto our "highly recommend" list:  

Reader: Danica Vujic, HR Specialist
Organisation: Peoplecare
Book: Leaders Eat Last, by Simon Sinek


“I think that every leader in every organisation should read Leaders Eat Last. It helps us all be the leaders we wish we had. One concept mentioned in the book was around the circle of safety, and how organisations need to build up their circle of safety and the link between endorphins, dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin. It helps leaders understand how these neurochemicals work together to create environments that are safe and engaging and allows individuals to make a meaningful contribution toward the organisations strategic goals."

Reader: Doug Butler, Chief Executive Officer
Organisation: Reward Gateway
Book: East of Eden by John Steinbeck


And even the busiest of people need to take a break and read a classic, just like our very own CEO. Here's what he's reading this summer:

East of Eden is a classic I’ve never read and the book he believed was his best. Every page has a line I want to highlight and remember... it’s beautiful, really.”

Reader: Fiona Murphy, Director, Culture, Capability and Wellbeing
Organisation: Charles Sturt University
Book:The 5am Club by Robin Sharma


“This book shows how early morning routines can create the space for self-renewal and creativity, setting the tone for the rest of our day and even our lives. It’s challenging and inspiring building new habits, but highly recommend giving it a go."

Reader: Robert Hicks, Group HR Director 
Organisation: Reward Gateway
Book: Not one, not two but three books to discover below!


“This summer, I’ve been fortunate to spend a lot of time reading (or planning which books to read next). Here are some of my top reads:

1. This one is a business classic. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...and Others Don't by Jim Collins is a great read about how some businesses do better than others and why.

2. I reread some key parts of Why I’m no Longer Talking to White People about Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge. Diversity and inclusion = a massive driver of success. So I want to learn more and be even more educated in this area.

3. The third book is The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce. It’s a brilliant book on a tough subject and my favourite read of the year fiction-wise. It’s a journey about personal discovery, ownership and accountability – but also about looking forward and not backwards.”

Reader: Jennifer Bass, Employee Experience Manager
Organisation: Cuscal
Books: Deep Listening by Oscar Trimboli and Work Fuel by Graham Allcott and Colette Heneghan


"The reason I love this book and keep a copy in my handbag (!) is because Oscar is so real and delivers so many 'aha!' moments that really make you stop and think. My fav quote "Over 55% of our day is spent listening, yet only 2% of us have been trained in how to listen'. I pull it out a lot when I coaching someone who is struggling to connect with others and find that the little sayings and quotes in here really help a lot."


"I'm also reading a book at the moment called 'Work Fuel' by Graham Allcott and Colette Heneghan. We run a program at work called the Productivity Ninja and its an offshoot of that, focusing on boosting performance, improving focus and eating your way to success. I'm only a few chapters in so far so can't comment fully but so far so good! For anyone that needs a reminder about the connection between nutrition and productivity, it's a must.”

Reader: Chloe Morley, Employee Experience Manager
Organisation: Cover-More Group
Book: Making the Elephant Dance by Sunil Mithas


"While I'm more of a podcast listener, a book I recommend this book because mixes experience and the science of organisational transformation."

Synopsis: Mithas provides a roadmap for corporate transformation and renewal using the levers of business excellence, innovation and globalisation by documenting the Tata group’s transformational journey from a $5.8 billion Indian firm in 1992 to a $103 billion global powerhouse in 2014.

Reader: Chloe Deiulis, Head of Content Strategy
Organisation: Reward Gateway
Book: Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long by David Rock


“It’s very easy to get distracted when you’re spinning too many plates at work – a situation I often find myself in! This book combines an approachable 'play' format and puts science behind it, so the reader can clearly see both scenarios with the “brain” tips and without.

To break it down even further, it gives you a scenario where the person is distracted or gets overwhelmed and how the day plays out. It then explains what the person could’ve done differently and the science behind it (like how splitting your attention too many ways leads to costly mistakes or a perception that you’re not professional). The book then gives you a better scenario that helps you put those tips in action. I’m looking forward to putting this in action to improve my Type A at work!”

Reader: Catrin Lewis, Head of Global Engagement and Internal Communications
Organisation: Reward Gateway
Book: Making the Connections by Bill Quirke 

"Internal Communications is a career many people seem to fall into, rather than one you study or work towards. I’d never imagined 8 years ago that I’d be in the role I am now and a lot of my personal development has been through hands-on experience, gut instinct and using values to guide me. I’m much further into my Communications career – I’ve been lucky enough to have some fantastic teachers to guide me and I’ve come a long way. 

As I look to progress further this year the time came for me to pick up what’s known in the internal communications industry as the 'Communications Bible.' It’s a book by Bill Quirke and it’s found on the desk of everyone who wants to know how to do Internal Communications exceptionally well. I am looking forward to reading this and looking at how my own personal experiences and concept match up to the 'approved' theory.

I’m excited to get stuck in and continue my learning journey with this book. I’ve even ordered a copy for my colleague, Kristen (pictured above), so we can be book buddies and share our different views on what the book teaches us."

Last but not least, here's a favourite from my colleague, Meghan (who's ability is amazing as is her taste in books):

Reader: Meghan Barrett, Content Marketing Editor
Organisation: Reward Gateway
Book: Alive at Work: The Neuroscience of Helping Your People Love What They Do by Daniel M. Cable


"I love learning more about psychology, sociology and human behaviour. I’m curious about what drives people, especially at work. So when I discovered this book, I knew it was right up my alley. Daniel M. Cable is a social psychologist who explores how to restore employees’ organisation for work. 

In Alive at Work, Cable walks through how organisations (and leadership teams) can create the environment for people to not only be successful, but truly enjoy the work they’re doing by stepping away from routine and repetition, and tapping into individuals’ passions, creativity and motivation. It’s all about shaping the employee experience and thinking outside the traditional box to improve company culture and employee engagement."

Get your learning hat on and embrace lots of learning, growing and expanding your expertise. What book are you most excited to read as we enter the summer months? We’d love to hear more from you in the comments section below!

Joy Adan

Joy spearheads RG's research about employee experience and engagement, and as our resident presenter, loves to inspire and challenge people to think critically about how to improve the way we work together. Joy’s passion for creative and inclusive storytelling, combined with experience in change management and corporate communications has allowed her to partner with global organisations to improve connection, culture and community in the world of work for over 15 years.

Senior Thought Leadership Manager

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