Your company culture can be a deal breaker for the top candidates in the market. In fact, the best employers offer lots of benefits and an environment that helps people to develop different skills. In these books, you can find insights from some of the most successful companies in the world on how to create a great company culture and retain your employees for the long term.
A job is not only an exchange of time and money, it can be much much more.
1. Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman, by Yvon Chouinard
Patagonia is one of the most famous brands when it comes to outdoor sports equipment. The culture was very clear since the very beginning of the company: fun first, business later. Even though it seems quite an impossible equation to make a company become profitable, it worked out pretty well. As Yvon Chouinard, the founder, puts it in the book: Patagonia's employees are unemployable by other companies. They have high degrees of autonomy and enough free time to keep pursuing their passions.
2. Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose, by Tony Hsieh
The story of Zappos was definitely a roller coaster. However, the drive of the team and the company culture, even in the worst moments, was the priority for everyone. In this book, the founder explains all the choices he made to make the business work and to not let down his employees even in the most difficult periods. This book is definitely a must-read to understand how to set a vision, stick to it and make everyone work to achieve it together.
3. The 4-hour work week, by Timothy Ferriss
If working fewer hours seems like a dream, think again. You need to be organized and know how to prioritize the right things. This is a book for entrepreneurs, but also for companies who want to work smarter not harder. It's possible to work from a beach and be productive. It's possible to have more free time and get the job done. Here you can have some more ideas on how to organize your team in a more effective way.
4. Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead, by Laszlo Bock
Google is for sure one of the companies that attracts most of the top talents in the market. Its work culture is world famous and the environment is studied to offer everything people need to feel comfortable and productive. In this book, the Head of People Operations expains Google's culture step by step. From how to organize different teams to how to give as much independence as possible to your employees, here you can find the most important lessons from one of the most famous HR team in the world.
5. Think like a Freak, by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner
From the same authors of the best-seller Freakonomics, this book analyzes the thought processes to be more productive and creative. Think Like a Freak is a manifesto to help solve problems in a different way. At work, as well as in your private life, you face difficult situations, here is a framework to hack your life and become a better decision maker.
6. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, by Daniel H. Pink
If you ever saw your team demotivated, then you should read this book. The reasons behind our motivation are very simple, the hardest part is giving your employees the opportunity to keep a high level of motivation during long periods of time.
People are motivated if they have autonomy, mastery, and purpose. When one of these begins to lack, it's time to re-assess. HR managers should keep this book in mind to retain their employees and create a motivating working environment.
7. Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most, by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen
The saying “don't judge a book by its cover" was probably invented for this specific book. In fact, even though the cover seems designed on paint by a bored kid, the content of this book is very inspiring. Starting a difficult conversation with an underperforming employee is never easy, but you can learn how to discuss the matter without getting too emotional or harsh. In the end, difficult conversations are just a way to improve things and find solutions together.
8. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, by Sheryl Sandberg, Nell Scovell
This best-seller written by the COO of Facebook goes deep inside most of the gender equality problems companies face on a daily basis, especially when it comes to hiring new people. Unfortunately, unconscious biases are still very persistent in the recruiting process. HR managers prefer to hire man based on their potential, but women based on their skills. This is a must-read for everybody in every company. It's definitely an eye-opener on most of the problems faced by women in the workforce.
9. Emotional Intelligence 2.0, by Travis Bradberry, Jean Greaves, Patrick Lencioni
IQ is not everything to look for in a new employee. You need to take into consideration his/her emotional intelligence as well. This, in fact, will determine lots of aspects of culture fit and work methods. The best part is that you can improve your EQ if you train, so fret you not!
10. It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want To Be, by Paul Arden, Roger Kennedy
This book is literally for everyone, not just HR managers. It helps to figure it out how to improve your own skills and how to achieve your goals. It was defined as the pocket bible for the timid and the talented alike to help make the unthinkable thinkable and the impossible possible. And we have to agree. Definitely a must-read.