From the University of Michigan Great Places to Work* web site, here is a list of recommended reading from University Human Resources professionals that help point the way to toward great, supportive, productive workplaces. Some short comments are also included.
The Practical Coach: Management Skills for Everyday Life. Paula Caproni, UM Business School. Prentice-Hall, 2000. "Practical and direct. Doesn't just talk about trust — suggests ways to do something about it!"
Energize Your Workplace: How to Build and Sustain High Quality Connections at Work. Jane Dutton, UM Business School. Jossey-Bass, 2003. "Downright exciting. Anyone can create 'HQC's' that change the working climate on the spot."
A Company of Leaders: Five Disciplines for Unleashing Power in Your Workplace. Gretchen Spreitzer, UM Business School. Jossey-Bass, 2001. "Gretchen doesn't just talk about empowerment — she makes it come alive."
Generations at Work: Managing the Clash of Veterans, Boomers, Xers, and Nexters in Your Workplace. Ron Zemke, Claire Raines, Bob Filipczak. Performance Research Associates, 2000. "Perspectives are different (not wrong, just different) with the X Generation and Y Generation from the Baby Boomers, and we miscommunicate unnecessarily. If we understood each other (and Boomers didn't arrogantly believe we were always right!), things would go more smoothly."
Partnering Intelligence: Creating Value for Your Business by Building Smart Alliances. Stephen M. Dent. Davies-Black, 1999. "Excellent explanation of what we learned in the former Team Leader courses. Best explanation I have seen of how to handle storming."
Personal Empowerment: How to Turbo Charge Your Life Both On and Off Your Job. Carole Copeland Thomas. Milormic Press, 2003. "I felt empowered by her great message."
Powerful Conversations: How High-Impact Leaders Communicate. Phil Harkins. McGraw-Hill, 1999.
People Styles at Work: Making Bad Relationships Good and Good Relationships Better. Robert Bolton. Amacom, 1996. "A simple read on understanding our different approaches to work in a positive manner"
Zingerman's Guide to Giving Great Service. Ari Weinzweig. Zingerman's, 2003. "We've had Zingerman's do a training session on giving great service each year for the past 7 years. We learned that when we work on ways of giving great service to [clients], work is a lot more fun than when we simply had an "enforcing the rules" mentality. [It] helps pull us together as a team and gives us opportunities to support and compliment each other. …Essential concepts [include] giving great service to each other, and managers and supervisors genuinely serving the people they supervise."
Organizational Culture & Leadership and the Corporate Culture Survival Guide. Edgar Schein. Jossey-Bass, 1997 and 1999. "[Schein] provides great background and research in developing productive organizational culture, which …is the key to a great workplace."
The Skilled Facilitator: Practical Wisdom for Developing Effective Groups. Roger Schwartz. Jossey-Bass, 2002. "Helps [leaders] understand where employee/organizational issues … stem from, and their impact."
The Fifth Discipline and The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook. Peter Senge. Currency, 1994. "[The] field book has a lot on organizational culture, and activities to foster employee participation."
Driving Fear Out of the Workplace: Creating the High-trust, High-performance Organization. Kathleen D. Ryan & Daniel K. Oestreich. Jossey-Bass, 1998. "Describes the cycle of distrust, and how to break it."
Credibility: How Leaders Gain and Lose It, Why People Demand It. James M. Kouzes & Barry Posner. Jossey-Bass, 1993. "Plain good advice."
Trust & Betrayal in the Workplace: Building Effective Relationships in Your Organization. Dennis S. Reina & Michelle L. Reina. Berrett-Koehler, 1999.
Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A's, Praise, and Other Bribes. Alfie Kohn. Houghton-Mifflin, 1993. "Really opens your eyes about why conventional 'reward' systems don't work like we think they do."
A Great Place to Work: What Makes Some Employers So Good (and Most So Bad). Robert Levering. Great Place to Work® Institute, 2000. "I particularly recommend the chapters on 'Workplace & Society'and 'How Management Gets in the Way.' They provide a very different — and very helpful — perspective on supervision and management."
The Time Bind: When Work Becomes Home and Home Becomes Work. Arlie R. Hochschild. Metropolitan Books, 1997. "A penetrating look at the dilemmas of work and family in contemporary American society....Hochschild shows how families and especially children are losing out to the demands of workaholic companies and lays bare the impossible choices people are forced to make. "
Life and Work: A Manager's Search for Meaning. James A. Autry. William Morrow, 1994. "With courageous candor, Autry addresses the most troublesome challenges that arise in both work and life — from stress and sexual tensions on the job to the breakdown of civility and community — and offers invaluable guidance toward a 'whole partnership' and the successful integration of who we are and how we live with what we do." "A wise and poetic book, one about leadership and living."
Work Naked: Eight Essential Principles for Peak Performance in the Virtual Workplace. Cynthia Froggatt. John Wiley & Sons, 2001. "High-tech tools ....are not and never have been sufficient by themselves to gain competitive advantage. What's needed is a concurrent change in corporate culture...." "[Froggatt] uses the topic of working remotely as a Trojan horse to cover virtually every essential element of working in the new economy."
The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom . Don Miguel Ruiz . Amber-Allen Publishing, 1997
The Four-Fold Way : Walking the Paths of the Warrior, Teacher, Healer, and Visionary . Angeles Arrien. San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1993. "This book honors the perennial wisdoms found among indigenous peoples on each continent."
The Art of Happiness at Work. His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and Howard C. Cutler, MD. New York: Riverhead Books, 2003. "The Dalai Lama's exploration of job, career, calling and finding the ultimate happiness at work."
* Much of the information contained herein is an interpretation by the University of Michigan of the findings of Great Place to Work® Institute and the Great Place to Work® Model©. This information does not necessarily represent the findings of Great Place to Work® Institute. Comprehensive information on Great Place to Work® Institute research may be found at http://www.greatplacetowork.com.