Because we know that if you have the right culture, your employees will be engaged in your company mission, leading to increased productivity and profitable outcomes. There are so many thought leaders in this space, and we have many more books to read, but we thought sharing a few of what we have read recently may incite you to think about what you long for in your company culture.
Here are a few company culture books in alphabetical order to get you started.
By: Erica Keswin
Caring about people leads to success in business and this storytelling book details how top companies understand the importance of being human and caring about those you work with. It is so easy to be the boss, but are you prioritizing the well-being of your people? This book will help you rethink engagement practices.
By: Kevin Oakes
The approach taken in Culture Renovation is spot-on! Companies that effectively improve their cultures are successful, not because they start from scratch, building from the ground up, but rather because they identify their existing culture, work meticulously to understand the areas that need improvement, craft a strong plan for renovation, and then work the plan. This book is filled with real-life stories, a strategic plan to follow, and a ton of inspiration.
By: Tony Hsieh
What a fun way to learn about the power of positive company cultures! In comic book form, Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos shares the lessons he has learned on business and life that have influenced his view on making company culture his #1 priority.
By: Stephen C. Lundin, Harry Paul, and John Christensen
This short parable is packed with inspiration and powerful messages throughout. Centered around four practices of choosing your attitude, incorporating play in your life, making the day of others, and being present in the moment, the story supplies real life ideas to help you achieve success in all of these areas. There are real life examples of ways companies, school systems and hospitals have incorporated these practices into their lives and improved the culture of those professionally, as well as the domino affect it has on others.
By: Josh Levine
Developing a positive culture is extremely important in successful businesses. True employee engagement is key. “Culture isn’t shaped by one choice, but 10,000 decisions. Be the culture change you want to see in the world.” Great Mondays is full of ideas to keep your employees engaged and excited about coming to work every day, especially Monday.
By: Adam Weber
This book speaks to the importance of employee engagement, which ties to many of our company core values and also our reason for being for Up Your Culture, which is "Increasing Productivity by Elevating Team Engagement." He explores what we know to be true – people are the foundation of your business and if they are not bringing their whole self to work and are not engaged, then your business will not perform at the level of success it is capable of.
By: Beverly Kaye and Sharond Jordan-Evans
Since employees who walk out the door cost their companies up to 200 percent of their annual salaries to replace, retention is one of the most important issues facing businesses today. And with so many surveys reporting that employees are unhappy and not working up to their full potential, engagement is a second serious and costly issue. This book is packed with simple strategies managers can use to address their employees’ real concerns and keep them engaged.
By: David Novak
Recognition is so important! This parable shares the power recognition plays in the lives of others. He discusses the 10 Guiding Principles for inspiring others are key and ring true inside and outside of the work environment. “Giving recognition is a true privilege, not a job. If you give people the recognition they've earned, if you show genuine appreciation and acknowledge the unique things people have to offer, then you will drive real results.”
By: Kim Scott
Radical Candor is a great read for anyone in management or thinking about a career in management. It is chock-full of insightful advice on how to challenge people directly while at the same time show you care personally.
By: Simon Sinek
Start With Why provides advice for leaders on how they can inspire people to take action by starting with WHY. This book gives great examples of people like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers who all started with WHY. They realized that people won't truly buy into a product, service, movement, or idea until they understand the WHY behind it. Many companies or people can tell you what they do and how they do what they do, but very few people or companies can clearly articulate WHY they do what they do. The WHY is your purpose, cause, or belief.
By: Jon Gordon and Kate Leavell
This illustrated fable shares the importance of teamwork and how getting to the finish line works better as a unit and not with individual contributions. This is a short and simple book that discusses what is necessary for an effective team to be productive.
By: Patrick Lencioni
A fantastic business fable, this book shares the importance and power of positive teams and how much can be accomplished if set up for success. With the right leadership and expectations, even dysfunctional teams can be turned around. The five dysfunctions he mentions are the absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and inattention to results. He leaves you with actionable next steps to help turn and keep a team in performance mode.
By: Patrick Lencioni
A great read on the importance of surrounding yourself with ideal team players--those who are hungry, humble, and smart (smart about people).
By: Patrick Lencioni
How do you engage people in their job so they look forward to coming to work? This book discusses the three root causes of job misery and how they can be remedied.
By: Seth Godin
Human beings can't help it; we need to belong! And Tribes uncovers the reasons behind that and the wisdom that comes with understanding it. The author defines a tribe as a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. As a manager, one of my most significant takeaways is that you can't have a tribe without a leader, and you can't have a leader without a tribe. I especially enjoyed the chapter about "rituals and cues." When a company gets both of these things right, aligning them to their values, they set the stage for a strong culture.
By: Mark Miller
This is a parable about the importance of company culture. This quote rings true — "If you don't address low levels of engagement, you will destine your organization to mediocrity, irrelevance, or worse." We know that caring is such an important part of engaging someone and in this book the word CARE is an acronym for Connection, Affirmation, Responsibility, and Environment. Getting those right makes a huge difference in the engagement of others.
By: Arnie S. Malham
"You can't just WANT a better culture. You have to create an environment that GIVES you a better culture.” In his book, Malham shares many ways he worked to improve his company culture. He tried a ton of ideas, some worked and some didn’t, but he will tell you it was Worth Doing Wrong to find out what was right to improve the engagement of his employees.
Learning the strategies used by some of the world's most successful company culture leaders is sure to have a positive impact on your career and organization. These books listed are just a few of the many titles out there that will help teach and motivate you to Up Your Culture!