A Human-Centric Workplace Reading List By The Humans of HR

Written by Rossina Gitto, Founder @ The Humans of HR, November 2020

It’s the end of the year, a hectic one to say the least, and The Humans of HR, including myself, couldn’t think of a better time to sit down and relax with a new inspirational and/or educational human-centric workplace book. For that reason, I have built a list of different resources for our readers, where I highlight some of my favourite HR-related books which revolve around the topics of career development, soft skills, diversity & inclusion, and international mobility.


Recommendation # 1

For those who wish to drive their career forward.

Career Development

Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?
How to drive your career and create a remarkable future By Seth Godin (Godin, 2010).

I highly recommend this book for workplace misfits, intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs who want to gain some career inspiration. Godin explains that maybe not fitting in, questioning what is normal, and bringing in new ideas might just make you indispensable to an organization. The Humans of HR completely agrees with the fact that employees should not just be cogs in a machine or “good old factory workers,” but truly human artists, change makers and linchpins.

Godin (2010) says: “If you want a job where you are treated as indispensable, given massive amounts of responsibility and freedom, expected to expend emotional labor, and rewarded for being human, not a cog in a machine, then please don’t work hard to fit into the square-peg job you found on Craigslist. If you need to conceal your true nature to get in the door, understand that you’ll probably have to conceal your true nature to keep that job. This is the one and only decision you get to make. You get to choose.”


Recommendation # 2

For those who are in management positions, or simply want to learn about resilience as a soft skill.

Soft Skill Development

Man’s Search For Meaning By Viktor E. Frankl. (Frankl, 1962). Holocaust Survivor and Founder of Logotherapy.

I highly recommend this book for people in management positions and to anyone that wants to learn about resilience as a soft skill. In times of crisis, it’s important for people to stay resilient at work, and to learn how do differentiate real problems from workplace problems. Oftentimes we see people overreacting to minor inconveniences at work, which might be a sign that the person might not have the necessary soft skills to behave appropriately in such a context.

Man’s Search For Meaning is a memoir of Victor Frankl’s personal life experiences as a prisoner in the Auschwitz concentration camps during World War II, where he lost everything he had, but still managed to find meaning in life. Frankl believed that human suffering is unavoidable, but the way people cope with their problems and find meaning in them is a choice. He founded the humanistic and existential psychology theory called Logotherapy, which is based on the conviction that the primary human drive is the pursuit of what we find meaningful. 

Frankl (1962) says: “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

Read Frankl’s (2006) memoir introduction here.


Recommendation # 3

For those who are Diversity & Inclusion champions and advocates for gender equality in workplaces.

Diversity & Inclusion

I Am Malala. The girl who stood up for education and was shot by the Taliban
By Malala Yousafzai, with Christina Lamb (Yousafzai & Lamb, 2013).

I highly recommend Malala’s autobiographical book for anyone that is interested in Diversity & Inclusion, but especially for those who advocate for gender equality at work and are looking for inspirational stories of female leaders.

Malala is an activist for girls & women’s rights, and has focused most of her work on education. In her autobiography, written by both Yousafzai & Lamb (2013), you will be able to read about how she courageously started her journey to stand up for gender-focused human rights and about the different issues that still hold us back today.

Malala’s life story is a wake-up call for those who don’t understand or believe girls & women are still being treated as second-class beings in all aspects of life and are denied basic rights in education, work and their personal lives in different regions of the world.


Recommendation # 4

For those who are International Mobility Experts, Intercultural Coaches, Expats, or Third Culture Kids

International Mobility

Third Culture Kids. Growing Up Among Worlds By David C. Pollock & Ruth E. Van Reken (Van Reken & Pollock, 2009)

I highly recommend Van Reken & Pollock’s (2009) book to anyone interested in or affected by International Mobility. This book is a must-read for all Global Mobility Experts, Intercultural Coaches, Expats and Third Culture Kids themselves.

Although knowing how to draft an expat contract or calculating an expat compensation package is great, learning about the most human side of expatriation is, to say the least, far better. It doesn’t get more human than understanding how a company’s choice to send employees abroad can affect their personal lives in a global and permanent way.

I wrote an article on the 4 things people should know before becoming expats (Gitto, 2020), where I have also recommended this book and have resumed some of the real-life challenges faced by people on international missions for those who are interested in learning more about the topic.

There are thousands of other inspirational and educational HR-related books out there, and these four are just a small portion of them. Now I’d like to ask you: do you have any additional human-centric book recommendations for The Humans of HR?


Written by Rossina Gitto

About the Author
About the Author

Rossina Gitto is a Licensed Psychologist & holds a Masters Degree in International Human Resources Management from the University of Paris II Panthéon-Assas. She is the Founder of The Humans of HR.

*The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of The Humans of HR.


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The Humans of HR is a Digital Social Enterprise that is on a mission to humanize the world of work. We aspire to be recognized as a high quality International HR & Business media outlet for a diverse body of professionals from all over the world. Our Magazine currently reaches readers in over 90 counties.

We believe everyone is entitled to have access to professional content that is backed up by relevant sources, as well as the work of the global scientific community, no matter where they come from. That is the reason why we started writing, and also why we will continue to do so. In order to keep growing and keep our content open to our global audience, we would like for you to consider supporting our work.

Your contribution is highly appreciated.

The Humans of HR is a Digital Social Enterprise that is on a mission to humanize the world of work. We aspire to be recognized as a high quality International HR & Business media outlet for a diverse body of professionals from all over the world. Our Magazine currently reaches readers in over 80 counties.

We believe everyone is entitled to have access to professional content that is backed up by relevant sources, as well as the work of the global scientific community, no matter where they come from. That is the reason why we started writing, and also why we will continue to do so. In order to keep growing and keep our content open to our global audience, we would like for you to consider supporting our work.

Your contribution is highly appreciated.

The Humans of HR is a Digital Social Enterprise that is on a mission to humanize the world of work. We aspire to be recognized as a high quality International HR & Business media outlet for a diverse body of professionals from all over the world. Our Magazine currently reaches readers in over 80 counties.

We believe everyone is entitled to have access to professional content that is backed up by relevant sources, as well as the work of the global scientific community, no matter where they come from. That is the reason why we started writing, and also why we will continue to do so. In order to keep growing and keep our content open to our global audience, we would like for you to consider supporting our work.

Your contribution is highly appreciated.

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References


Frankl, V. E. (1962). Man’s search for meaning; an introduction to logotherapy. Boston : Beacon Press.

Frankl, V. E. (2006). Man’s search for meaning. Beacon Press. Retrieved November 23, 2020, from https://books.google.com

Gitto, R. (2020). 4 Things you should know before becoming an expat. Retrieved November 23, 2020, from https://thehumansofhr.com/2020/08/31/4-things-you-should-know-before-becoming-an-expat/

Godin, S. (2010). Linchpin: are you indispensable? How to drive your career and create a remarkable future. London: Piatkus.

Van Reken, R E.; Pollock, D. C. (2009). Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds (3rd ed.). Boston: Nicholas Brealey Publishing.

Yousafzai, M., & Lamb, C. (2013). I am Malala: The girl who stood up for education and was shot by the Taliban (First edition.). New York: Little, Brown and Company.

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