5 Books Your Employees Should Read
Books are vital to an employee’s professional and personal development. However, reading is often categorized as a leisure activity rather than a tool to educate and inspire employees.
The benefits of book reading in the workplace are plenty, from reducing stress, reinforcing core ideas, and boosting employee engagement.
Furthermore, leaders can spearhead discussions about certain books to emphasize some aspects of the company culture.
With up to a million book titles appearing each year in the U.S., organizations have limitless resources to nurture a reading culture.
Here are some business books your employees should read:
1. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
This self-improvement bestseller by Stephen R. Covey highlights seven habits to drive personal, team and organizational development.
Covey based his insights on the belief that people’s perceptions shape how they see the world. So, if we want to change a particular situation, we must change ourselves by changing our perceptions.
Although Covey published the book in 1989, his principles are as relevant today as they were then. For instance, he advises readers to learn how to lead themselves, prioritize specific goals, and understand the people around them before forming opinions. Further, Covey promotes the classic principles of honesty, fairness, human dignity, and fairness.
Some of the takeaways from this great book are that highly effective people commit to continuous learning, seek to understand before being understood and inspire others to find their voice. Most importantly, the book will inspire your workforce to be proactive.
2. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
Today, employees spend around 50% more time collaborating with coworkers. Yet, many business leaders struggle with underperforming teams.
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team is a must-read for firms that want to identify and eliminate barriers undermining teamwork. The five dysfunctions are:
- Fear of conflict
- Lack of commitment
- Absence of trust
- Avoidance of accountability
- Inattention to results
Patrick Lencioni stacks these dysfunctions in a pyramid with the absence of trust at the bottom and inattention to results at the top. In his view, Lencioni asserts that you cannot solve the higher-level issues before you deal with those at the level first.
To illustrate, teams that lack trust doesn’t ask for help, shy away from giving feedback and avoid spending time together.
As a result, team members fake harmony and avoid conflicts. Then, the team struggles to commit to decisions and avoid accountability.
Finally, team members don’t pay attention to collective goals and focus more on individual targets. You can make visual slides for break room digital signage out of Lencioni’s pyramid to educate employees during breaks.
3. How to Win Friends and Influence People
Many entrepreneurs are not natural-born leaders. Luckily, Dale Carnegie recognized that leadership is an art and opened the Dale Carnegie Center for Excellence to help people develop better relationships. He also recommended practical instructions on being a better leader in How to Win Friends and Influence People.
In a nutshell, the book focuses on techniques for handling people and making them warm up to your ideas. In addition, Carnegie shares some suggestions to make people like you.
If you run a startup, there are great tips on dramatizing your ideas, understanding other people’s points of view, and taking responsibility for your mistakes.
4. Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business
This masterpiece from Charles Duhigg is about managing how you think is among the best books your employees should be reading. Duhigg worked as a reporter for New York Times and is a current contributor to The New Yorker Magazine.
In Smarter Faster Better, Duhigg sprinkles social and cognitive science on riveting case studies to explore the science of productivity. More specifically, he is curious about why people do what they do.
Drawing from the experiences of different professions and recent findings in behavioral economics, psychology, and neuroscience, Duhigg asserts that the most productive people and firms view the world and their actions in extremely different ways. This book is a great addition to a company book club as it demonstrates how productivity works.
5. Getting Unbusy: 5 Steps to Kill Busyness and Live with Purpose, and Peace
If employees in your organization are always in a rush, this book encourages them to slow down. Currently, 60% of Americans admit to having a poor work-life balance.
In Getting Unbusy, Garland Vance writes that busyness isn’t necessarily a good thing. In fact, he almost burned himself out from having too many commitments.
Vance draws from his years of experience as a speaker and consultant to encourage readers to take inventory of their commitments and eliminate or delegate some of them.
He is the co-founder of AdVance Leadership, which equips overwhelmed people and firms with tools to improve wellness and productivity. The book can also help HR professionals nurture a culture of unplugging.
By fostering a reading culture in your organizations, employees read books that improve their decision-making, critical thinking, and other skills.
The bottom line is an innovative workforce and enhanced collaboration. The books above are excellent additions to your company library.