The 5 Best Books on Performance Management in 2023
Work isn’t what it once was a few decades ago.
Modern employees want a strong workplace culture that prioritizes their well-being. They want an employer that supports diversity and inclusion. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, many employees expect hybrid and remote working options.
In a tight labor market, employees have more power to choose the right workplace. They can demand fair compensation. This environment makes puts pressure on managers and HR to bring their A-game to performance management.
That doesn't mean trying new things at random and seeing what sticks. It means knowing what works by digging into performance management reference books that are written by experts.
Here are the top books on performance management in 2023:
- Irresistible: The Seven Secrets of the World's Most Enduring, Employee-Focused Organizations
- DEI Deconstructed: Your No-Nonsense Guide to Doing the Work and Doing It Right
- Winning the Talent Shift: Three Steps to Unleashing the New High-Performance Workplace
- HR for Hybrid Working: How to Adapt People Practices to Support Employees and the Organization
- HBR Guide to Performance Management
Irresistible: The Seven Secrets of the World's Most Enduring, Employee-Focused Organizations
Released on October 25, 2022, Irresistible is a Josh Bersin novel. Bersin is one of the world’s leading HR and workplace industry analysts.
He has spent the last 25 years studying hundreds of management practices and found that many aren't getting the job done. They are reminiscent of the industrial revolution where labor did the work and management told labor what to do.
Things like stack rankings, and even cascading goals, are based on this kind of outdated distribution of work. Bersin argues that managers have less control today. The labor market now has many in the service sector. Plus, organizations are hyper-focused on innovation. As a result, organizations must inspire and empower employees with a management system that focuses on trust.
This book summarizes Josh's findings after identifying and researching the companies at the top of the bell curve. He mentions seven management principles designed to help you create an "irresistible" business.
Irresistible has an impressive 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon. The Chief People Officer at Microsoft says, "If you want the secrets of maintaining a workforce of fulfilled, engaged, and loyal teams, read this book—now."
Learn more about Irresistible: The Seven Secrets of the World's Most Enduring, Employee-Focused Organizations here.
DEI Deconstructed: Your No-Nonsense Guide to Doing the Work and Doing It Right
DEI Deconstructed is a book by Lily Zheng. Zheng was named a Forbes D&I Trailblazer and 2021 DEI Influencer.
Lily Zheng is a Stanford University graduate. On campus, Zheng was the Design and Evaluation Associate in the Diversity and First-Generation Office. Zheng has experience as a diversity and inclusion writer, professional speaker, and strategist.
DEI Deconstructed was published on November 8, 2022. The book analyzes how current performance management techniques leave marginalized people feeling frustrated and disconnected. These feelings can arise even when companies have diversity, equity, and inclusion policies in place. The book uses dives into research on organizational change, using evidence-based methods to bridge the gap between theory and practic. It reveals how stakeholders at every level of the organization can affect positive change.
It has a 4.53 rating on Goodreads. Readers say things like, "Read it as soon as you can get your hands on a copy," and "A fantastic breakdown of what common problems organizations face and how to overcome them and move toward a more equitable future."
Learn more about DEI Deconstructed: Your No-Nonsense Guide to Doing the Work and Doing It Right and follow the link to purchase the book here.
Winning the Talent Shift: Three Steps to Unleashing the New High-Performance Workplace
Winning the Talent Shift by Berta Aldrich tells readers how to obtain a high-performance workplace. It focuses on how to hire and retain the right talent in modern workplaces. Aldrich says organizations must redesign talent strategies to achieve future success. She goes on to offer three steps proven to increase revenue, engage employees at every level, and foster a culture of leadership.
The book outlines how to retain high performers. High performers are likely to leave organizations that don't properly identify, support, and reward them. It also shows you how to select and retain new, high-performing leaders.
The book even tells you how to help marginalized groups develop leadership skills so they can occupy C-suite roles in your organization.
The book is rated the number one book to buy on Company Culture. It’s also listed as one of the best human resources books of all time by BookAuthority. The book is a must-read for HR folks looking for actionable solutions to the problem of low performance.
Dawn Zier is the former CEO of Nutrisystem. She says the book, "tackles head-on the workplace barriers to success and unveils the new playbook for hiring and retaining a competitive and diverse workforce to unlock superior corporate performance."
A managing Director and co-founder at Private Advisor Group says, "If your company wants to continue to grow or have a strong presence in your industry, this is a must-read."
Published on October 8, 2020, Winning the Talent Shift: Three Steps to Unleashing the New High-Performance Workplace has a 4.6 rating on Amazon. You can learn more about Berta Aldrich, her book, and where to buy it here.
HR for Hybrid Working: How to Adapt People Practices to Support Employees and the Organization
HR for Hybrid Working is the go-to book for HR professionals who want to do hybrid working right. The book came out in June of 2022 and received acclaim from i directors and CEOs. The leaders say, "This book should be at the top of your list," and "It's a handbook for the future."
This book strives to provide a comprehensive guide for HR to manage the transition to this new way of working. It mentions the need for change in contractual documents and policies. The book reveals how to manage employee expectations and the impact it has on company culture. It even details every possible hybrid working framework.
The author tackles performance appraisal and management from a conceptual point of view. They also mention examples and case studies that illuminate each concept. The book does a great job of clarifying the concepts it mentions. It also contains a dedicated section on new HR skills that help organizations meet the challenges of a hybrid working model.
Click here to learn more about HR for Hybrid Working: How to Adapt People Practices to Support Employees and the Organization.
HBR Guide to Performance Management
The experts at Harvard Business Review outline processes HR departments can use to track employees and their work. The book teaches readers how to set clear goals and track progress. In turn, readers can close performance gaps, create growth opportunities, and avoid burnout.
This book has a 4.6 rating on Amazon. One reviewer says the book, "is a brilliant introduction to the essential elements of performance management."
It is important to be aware that this book is a volume of separate articles that the HBR team wrote. It is not a cohesive work written by a single author.
The book’s publish date was July 2017. Much of the advice in the book still holds up today. That said, it’s a good idea to combine the advice in this book with other materials.
For example, you might want to reference HR for Hybrid Working if you have a hybrid workforce, or DEI Deconstructed if you have a diverse workforce.
Check out this book, as well as other publications, at the HBR store here.
Digging into the top books on performance management can provide you with invaluable information. That said, it doesn’t matter how valuable that information is if you don’t put it into action.
PerformYard can help you take what you’ve learned and turn it into an actual, impactful process for your organization. Learn more about PerformYard and how it can help you take the next step in your performance management journey.