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Romano Denise A. The HR Toolkit

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Romano Denise A. The HR Toolkit
McGraw-Hill Education, 2010. — 353 p.
Denise Romano's The HR Toolkit is both a call for a modern HR professional (the vanguard of a new wave of enlightened corporate activity) and a practical handbook for HR professionals. Too often, when HR is considered "fluff" by lawyers and other suits in organizations and companies flounder. Romano, who spent 14 years in HR and OD development, knows the importance of HR's knowledge and how companies flaunting the rules have paid not just with profitability lost but even. She also realizes how unwelcome HR can be, when it points out the risks of corporate behavior.
Using Seinfield's joke about the difference between regular people and lawyers, "who read the rules in the lid of the monopoly box," she explains how the information HR professionals have is powerful. But with it comes the obligation to politely but firmly set the line of the rule of law. In the HR Toolkit, she gives real life cases, from bullying in the workplace and, job discrimination, to threats to public safety or other malfeasance through a company's actions or avoidance of action.
With over a hundred templates, sample memos and checklists, Romano explains how conflict resolution, action plans, and job design can be implemented. For experienced professionals, the book is an eye-opener for ways to assert HR prerogatives, including whistle blowing, with maximal effectiveness and minimal personal risk. And for the HR novice, she uses a variety of typical employee situations to demonstrate the art of pointing out policy to superiors with tact and credibility. One of my favorites is the new dad penalized for asking for leave he's entitled to, or a grandmother raising two kids, who is relieved of responsibility she preferred.
I especially liked her look at humor that heals or hurts. Laughing with others, as opposed to laughing at people, feelings or issues, sums up much of the evil repartee of the workplace-the subtle backstabbing at watercoolers. But the heart of this book is about more than casual workplace cruelty. Romano's advice is especially valuable for the troubled HR people, who wring their hands in private for fear of losing their jobs.
For the ethical HR professional who might feel like Cassandra, Romano offers the grounded role of credible professional. She shows how to guard your back, while bravely soldiering on in complete knowledge. Her modern professional is committed to change in a job too often seen as a corporate flunky. Emotional intelligence is a powerful HR tool that can be wielded to implement codes of ethics, fair labor standards, eliminate workplace violence, and create a dynamic workplace culture.
I suggest this book to modern HR professionals and their colleagues, who will certainly experience a jolt of recognition. Romano's techniques are calculated to give HR back the credibility too often denied in corporate culture. And, in the process nudge business toward the enlightened more profitable workplace we all desire.
Susan Weinstein
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