Individual-level variances among employees can make demographic-based generalizations difficult, but the reality is that work expectations have changed – and continue to change – as the world around us evolves at a breakneck pace.

RG pro tip: One easy way to promote L&D at your own organization is to offer a book benefit (like ours!) to reduce the barrier to entry. Reward Gateway offers its employees unlimited professional development books, magazines and podcasts, and covers one nonfiction (or simply non-professional) title per month as well, because there’s more to the self than one’s career.

Research shows that people are hungry for professional development and career advancement at work – in fact, our research found 35% of U.S. workers say they would leave a job for lack of these opportunities.

Modern employees crave learning and development opportunities – give them the gift of free professional development books!Professional development comes in a variety of shapes and sizes and formats, ranging from webinars and lectures to certifications, training courses and, of course, books on nearly any topic you can conjure. While endless options means endless development, specialization and growth, it also means it can be a challenge to sift through the noise to find the best ideas.

This list of HR professional development books address a variety of topics that can help prepare you for an impactful 2024, whether through your own role or via organizational transformation. As the weather takes a turn for the chillier, find your favorite blanket, fill up your mug with a hot drink, get cozy – and get reading.

Editor’s Note: This blog is not an ad, and we won’t receive compensation for any titles you purchase via these links. Happy reading!

1. Diversity in the Workplace: Eye-Opening Interviews to Jumpstart Conversations about Identity, Privilege, and Bias by Bärí A. Williams

The world has come a long way, but the work is far from over when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. To create a truly inclusive workplace, organizations must understand the perspectives of minorities and the experiences and challenges they face, or efforts to solve problems might simply create new ones.

Diversity in the Workplace uses 25 real-life interviews to guide managers and leadership to creating a better, more equitable experience at work. This book explores intersectionality – the interaction of various aspects of personhood (like race, religion, culture, age, sexuality or gender expression and more) – alongside unconscious bias, which is a belief that a person holds subconsciously, often without realizing it exists.

This title is available from publisher Simon & Schuster, as well as from most major booksellers.

2. Agile HR: Deliver Value in a Changing World of Work by Natal Dank and Riina Hellström

Books on topics like diversity, soft skills and process are vital for employees across all industries – and there's no shortage of material!Originating in the tech space, Agile refers to a way of working that divides large tasks into collections of smaller, faster projects that allow the team or organization to act and respond quickly to market events or changes in business priority. When it comes to HR, agility is what enables us to actually do more with less – faster, and with less stress.

Agile HR is a manual for creating agile practices, regardless of the size of your organization, and covers every aspect of HR: people processes, HR services, organizational design, operating models and more. Using real-world case studies, this text also discusses how to overcome pushback and constraints, manage backlogs and offers guidance for project prioritization.

This book is available from publisher Kogan Page, as well as from most major booksellers.

3. Remote Not Distant: Design a Company Culture That Will Help You Thrive in a Hybrid Workplace by Gustavo Razzetti

Remote work isn’t a new phenomenon, but the global pandemic forced a mass shift out of the offices in the name of public health. There are pros and cons to every work mode, from socialization and collaboration methods to impacts on budgets and schedules. And although many organizations are beginning to transition toward a more office-forward hybrid approach, navigating this scattered arrangement can prove a little tricky.

Remote Not Distant is a handy resource for HR personnel in hybrid organizations to transform culture for the “new normal,” where employees can be anywhere, but 

This book is available on Razzetti’s website, as well as Amazon and Audible.

4. Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t by Simon Sinek

35% of US employees said they'd leave a job over a lack of L&D opportunity – don't neglect yours!Simon Sinek has rapidly risen to social media fame for his perspective (optimism is his keyword) and “golden circle” – where the ‘why’ is the most important aspect of ‘how’ your organization does ‘what’ it does – and attitude about employment that meets reason and tradition with empathy and a human-centric perspective. With a plethora of podcast appearances under his belt and frequent viral TikTok (and LinkedIn) video clips, Sinek’s approach is guided by conversations with acting leaders and professionals across an array of industries (including the U.S. military) to get to the heart of multi-faceted issues.

You can purchase Sinek’s books directly on his website, or from most major booksellers.

5. Bring Your Human to Work by Erica Keswin

Humans are social creatures, built from the ground up for relationships and connection. We don’t stop being human and seeking connections when we’re at work, so it’s vital to humanize our workplaces.

Author Erica Keswin is a workplace strategist and business coach who’s spent over 20 years working with businesses to improve the human experiences at work, as well as their positions in their communities and industries. In Bring Your Human to Work, you’ll find practical advice and real-world examples from the likes of Lyft, Starbucks and SoulCycle, among others to help illustrate the path to success.

You can grab this title from Porchlight Books, Indiebound, Barnes & Noble and Amazon – grab your favorite through her website.

Bonus #6: Build It: The Rebel Playbook for World-Class Employee Engagement by Debra Corey

I would be remiss not to include this title from Reward Gateway alum Debra Corey, a longstanding HR and employee appreciation expert with 25+ years of experience across an array of organizations and six published books (with a seventh coming soon!).

Engagement Bridge

The Rebel Playbook is a relatively short read at only 247 pages, but it uses that time wisely to ensure readers get the most value possible. Starting with Reward Gateway’s Engagement Bridge model, Corey walks readers through each aspect of a successful HR department, beginning at communication and wrapping up with a guide to get started.

All of Debra Corey’s books are available on Amazon.

Reward Gateway’s mission is to Make the World a Better Place to Work – lofty, but we believe it’s attainable, and we never stop striving for more. See how Reward Gateway can boost your employee morale and engagement with a quick call to one of our friendly Employee Engagement experts.

Talk to an Engagement Consultant »

Emily Mellwood

As Content Manager for the Americas region, Emily looks after the Reward Gateway blog kingdom and produces content to inspire, educate and inform our readers. She can’t live a day without coffee and plays her music at full blast. During her quiet time, you’ll likely find her curled up with a book.

Content Manager, Americas

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