best performance management books to blast off your career

11 Best Performance Management Books of 2023 to BLAST OFF Your Career

What is performance management?

Performance management is where you’re responsible for increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of a company through improved employee performance.

What are some performance management examples?

Some performance management tasks include:

  • employee retention
  • keeping employees engaged in work-related activities
  • boosting productivity
  • developing leaders from within the company
  • incentivizing accomplishments

And beyond.

What are the benefits of performance management?

The benefits of performance management include increased:

  • morale
  • retention
  • motivation
  • consistency

It also supports workforce planning and helps identify the right employees for promotions. 🏆

What are the best performance management books?

I’m glad you asked! Now, step into my office…

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TLDR: Best Performance Management Books

🔥 Best Overall 🔥
Coaching for Performance, Fifth Edition

💸 Best Value 💸
High Output Management

💥 Best for Techies 💥
The Manager’s Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change

Best Performance Management Books

1. Coaching for Performance, Fifth Edition

Because of its proven GROW method, Coaching for Performance is one of the best performance management books of all time.

↘️ Ideal for: software developers, coaches, leaders, talent managers, tech professionals
Topics covered: GROW model, productivity, growth, engagement

Coaching for Performance is the diamond in the rough when it comes to performance management books. You’ll learn the essentials of any successful performance management plan.

You’ll work closely with the GROW method:

  • Goal
  • Reality
  • Obstacles
  • Way Forward

This is key to driving growth, productivity and engagement in employees by highlighting their best qualities.

So whether members of your team are learning JavaScript or are senior software developers, there’s always room for improvement and growth.

➡️ Coaching for Performance sets forth a performance management plan for long-term success for both employees and your organization.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in the book Coaching for Performance

🔥 Geena’s Hot Take

If you’re looking for the best performance management book out there, look no further.

Instead of hitting short-term goals, you’ll tap into effective techniques producing long-term results.

If there’s one book I’d recommend for dominating performance management, it’s Coaching for Performance.

🌊 Keep the momentum going with the video course Managing Technical Professionals on Pluralsight.

2. High Output Management

High Output Management is one of the best performance management books for software developers in the tech industry.

↘️ Ideal for: FAANG engineers, tech managers, accountants, consultants
Topics covered: performance management

High Output Management is the go-to performance management book for Silicon Valley. With this practical manual, you’ll learn how to navigate real-world business scenarios. In addition, you’ll explore key concepts to revolutionize how your organization operates.

This book has been used across the board by:

And more.

➡️ With High Output Management, you’ll learn how to create productive teams operating at peak performance.

Jared recommends High Output Management for all aspects of mid-level management:

A very straightforward accessible book that covers the critical aspects of managing processes, objectives, and contributors to get the highest output. Written for mid level management however the guidance and insights apply at all levels of an organizations. - Jared F. Linley

A very straightforward accessible book that covers the critical aspects of managing processes, objectives and contributors to get the highest output.

– Jared F. Linley, Manager

3. The Manager’s Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change

The Manager’s Path is one of the best performance management books for tech industry leaders.

↘️ Ideal for: tech managers, FAANG engineers, software developers
Topics covered: expectations, mentoring, unifying teams

The Manager’s Path takes a techie’s approach to performance management. Under the veil of working in the software development industry, you’ll learn some core skills to strengthen members of your team individually and as a whole. You’ll explore:

  • manager expectations
  • mentorship
  • individual management
  • team management
  • self-management

So even if you’re brushing up on your jQuery or preparing for your FAANG interview with AlgoExpert, there are applicable lessons in performance management.

➡️ The Manager’s Path provides actionable advice for tackling obstacles you’ll encounter in performance management, particularly in the field of tech.

Michael thinks The Manager’s Path is a must-have for technical managers:

Excellent book that outlines every level of technical management. Even if management isn't on your career roadmap, insight into the process can only help your career. I had immediate takeaways and I'll be using this as reference in years to come. - Michael Gray

Excellent book that outlines every level of technical management…

Michael Gray, Techie

📈 Take performance management to the next level with the course The Manager’s Toolkit: A Practical Guide to Managing People at Work on Coursera.

4. Organizational Behavior

Organizational Behavior is one of the best performance management books for FAANG-level developers and companies.

↘️ Ideal for: students, web developers, FAANG engineers
Topics covered: organizational behavior

Intended for graduate and undergraduate college courses, Organizational Behavior uses a clear writing style and cutting-edge research to bring you a fresh approach to performance management in the workplace.

You’ll discover how to utilize performance management in the scope of individuals as well as groups of people while discovering:

  • diversity in organizations
  • foundations of group behavior
  • understanding work teams
  • conflict and negotiation

And much more.

This is especially helpful for front-end and back-end developers working in a group setting. Or aspiring devs who are working on cracking the coding interview.

➡️ Organizational Behavior provides a detailed look at performance management under the scope of individuals and groups of people.

5. Performance Management, 3rd Edition

↘️ Ideal for: tech managers, students, software engineers, FAANG developers
Topics covered: people as a competitive advantage

Ideal for both professionals and students, Performance Management emphasizes the concept that people are what make some businesses more successful than others.

You’ll discover how to gain this competitive advantage by motivating employees to deliver exceptional customer service.

If you’re not yet in the work force, you can find top programming courses on Educative, Treehouse, and Codecademy.

➡️ Performance Management has a strong focus on customer service as the key to business success.

6. Performance Conversations: How to Use Questions to Coach Employees, Improve Productivity, and Boost Confidence

Performance Conversations is one of the best performance management books for millennials.

↘️ Ideal for: tech professionals, tech managers, senior software developers, FAANG engineers
Topics covered: productivity, confidence, coaching

Performance Conversations acts under the premise that there are three proven approaches to performance management:

  • coaching employees
  • improving productivity
  • boosting confidence

Alongside this foundation you’ll find a framework and tools used to enhance your staff’s performance such as ready-to-use templates.

Seasoned FAANG programmers and entry-level devs alike can benefit from the offerings in Performance Conversations.

➡️ Performance Conversations touts itself as a millennial-friendly and hip approach to performance management.

The power of questions in Performance Conversations

7. Organizational Behavior: Managing People and Organizations

↘️ Ideal for: students, tech managers, senior software developers
Topics covered: pressing issues, solutions

Organizational Behavior taps into insights from organizations and managers to examine a multitude of sample cases of performance management. Here you’ll learn about typical issues to expect and practical solutions you can apply.

You’ll also take self-assessments to determine where you can develop and deepen your performance management skills.

These lessons are also useful for students learning general programming or more advanced concepts like system design.

➡️ Organizational Behavior is for leaders looking to improve their existing performance management abilities.

8. How Performance Management Is Killing Performance – and What to Do About It

↘️ Ideal for: FAANG engineers, tech professionals, senior software developers, students
Topics covered: development, reward, drive

How Performance Management is Killing Performance steps away from the annual performance reviews and instead focuses on three key components of successful performance management:

  • personnel development
  • equitable rewards
  • driving performance

Using a science-based approach to motivation, you’ll learn how to value collaboration over competition. You’ll also discover ways to reward people as they level up their skills.

➡️ How Performance Management is Killing Performance takes a modern, non-boomer approach to reaching performance management milestones — without annual reviews and other boomer benchmarks.

9. The Effective Manager

The Effective Manager is one of the best performance management books for all levels of management.

↘️ Ideal for: entry-, mid- and upper-level management, FAANG engineers, senior software developers
Topics covered: effective management, retention, behavior

The Effective Manager is not your typical performance management book. Rather, it’s one of many general management books that has crossover applications.

Geared towards management of all levels, you’ll learn how to:

  • understand your team’s strengths, limits and goals
  • stop limiting feedback
  • motivate your team to improve
  • distribute workloads

You’ll also discover the four traits that make a manager an exceptional leader.

➡️ The Effective Manager encourages managers to perform at a high level while attracting and retaining top talent.

➡️ If you’re not yet a web developer in the industry, check out the course The Complete Web Developer on Zero to Mastery.

10. Bringing Out the Best in People

Bringing Out the Best in People is one of the best performance management books for maximizing employee performance.

↘️ Ideal for: managers, FAANG engineers, senior software developers, team leads
Topics covered: maximizing employee performance

Bringing Out the Best in People uses scientifically proven strategies to strengthen:

  • management
  • leadership
  • culture
  • innovation
  • safety
  • engagement
  • collaboration

With step-by-step instructions, you’ll learn how to implement positive practices to retain beneficial behavioral changes.

As a FAANG engineer, you can use these traits to improve your performance as well as your team’s.

➡️ Bringing Out the Best in People uses the power of positive reinforcement to maximize the performance of your employees.

The perils of traditional management in Bringing Out the Best in People

11. Leader Board: The DNA of High Performance Teams

Leader Board is one of the best performance management books for highly performant teams.

↘️ Ideal for: FAANG engineers, senior software developers, managers
Topics covered: leadership skills, principles

Leader Board starts by identifying how leadership guides teams to greatness. Then you’ll discover ways to unleash the highest potential of your team members.

Following team-performance acceleration principles, you’ll explore how to level up your team leadership skills and encourage teams to perform at their highest ability.

Use this leadership on a personal level while jazzing up your skills in:

  • Python
  • JavaScript
  • Ruby on Rails
  • HTML
  • CSS

And more.

➡️ Leader Board offers managers a fresh, new approach to performance management.

Best Performance Management Books: Conclusion

Today we looked at the best performance management books including:

🔥 Best Overall 🔥
Coaching for Performance Fifth Edition

💸 Best Value 💸
High Output Management

💥 Best for Techies 💥
The Manager’s Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change

So whether you’re managing a small tech team or or holding down a FAANG-level enterprise, we think there are plenty of performance management books to help you on your journey.

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