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The Ultimate 2024 Summer Reading List for Workplace Investigators


Summer reading lists aren’t just for kids! Long evenings and relaxing days by the pool or campfire make summer the perfect time to catch up on your reading. Not into mysteries or romance novels? Look for books that can give you some professional insights as you work on your tan.

Whether you want to get a new perspective on an issue you’re familiar with or learn something totally new, we’ve found some books that are both entertaining and relevant to your work. Check out our summer reading for workplace investigators below.

 

1. The Bullied Brain: Heal Your Scars and Restore Your Health by Dr. Jennifer Fraser

After experiencing (and blowing the whistle on) an environment where bullying ran rampant, Dr. Jennifer Fraser felt compelled to learn more about it. How does being a victim of bullying harm us? How can we heal from the trauma? For this book, Fraser worked with neuroscientists to learn about the physical and psychological damage harassment and bullying do to the human brain, plus ways to reverse those harms.

The Bullied Brain is fascinating for anyone who has ever witnessed or experienced bullying (probably all of us). But it can be especially useful for human resources and employee relations professionals. You’ll learn how a toxic work environment is harming your employees, which is bad not only for them, but also for your company.

HR teams can also use the information in this book to inform harassment training. The realistic examples are perfect for explaining how bullying looks and why it’s harmful. You can also provide Fraser’s recovery tips as a stop-gap resource to employees experiencing bullying while you investigate and take corrective action.

Bonus: If you enjoy this book, we’ve got exciting news; Fraser is coming out with a new title, Shattered Brains: The Impact of Gaslighting on our Minds & Proven Ways to Stay Safe & Sane, in Fall 2025! This is sure to be another helpful and interesting read for both personal and professional use.

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2. In the Arena: Real-World Answers to Actual Investigator Questions by Meric Bloch

If you’re looking for an expert in workplace investigations, Meric Bloch is the perfect fit. His company, Winter Investigations, offers advisory services for internal investigations, policies, DEI, employee training, case management, data analytics, and more. Bloch holds many professional certifications and has decades of investigative experience, so you know you can trust the wisdom he shares in In the Arena.

The format of this book is straightforward: Bloch takes questions that training session attendees have really asked him and answers them in depth. He figures that if one investigator has a question, others will, too. “I wrote this book from the perspective of the practitioner” he explains. “There is no philosophy or theory here. My responses are the accumulated knowledge of what I have learned as a coach, mentor, teacher, and investigator in 20-plus years of case work.”

This title is ideal for workplace investigators who want to brush up on best practices, or for new investigators who want to gain practical advice for their careers.

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3. The Compliance Kids series by Thomas Fox

Tom Fox is one of the premier voices in today’s corporate compliance space. He is the founder of the Compliance Podcast Network, home of dozens of general and niche compliance podcasts, as well as a speaker and the author of numerous books.

While all his books are filled with helpful information, some can be too heavy to read on a casual beach day. That’s why we recommend reading his series of children’s books, The Compliance Kids. Each of the three books in the series covers an ethics or compliance topic in a way kids can understand, making it perfect to read with little ones on their summer break, or keeping in the office for “Take Your Kids to Work Day.”

Being a Compliance Officer is Awesome! follows the Compliance Kids as they visit a new planet to rescue its adorable dog inhabitants. This book teaches readers about bribery, corruption, and the importance of having a compliance officer to help enforce rules and make sure everyone is treated fairly.

In Speaking Up is Awesome!, one of the Compliance Kids notices something is wrong with the crew’s spaceship but is afraid to tell anyone. This book outlines the importance of “going with your gut” and speaking up when you have a concern.

Finally, Galactic Integrity covers topics including integrity, fairness, and justice. In this story, Samantha, a newcomer to the Compliance Kids, wants to adopt one of the alien dogs and learns about the importance of following proper processes from her crew.

These quick reads are cute, smart, and perfect for all ages. Seeing things from a child’s perspective in these books might even get you to look at these topics in a new way.

 

4. How to Steal a Lot of Money—Legally by Edward Siedle

Edward “Ted” Siedle is one of history’s most awarded whistleblowers. For his part in uncovering conflicts of interest at JP Morgan Chase, Siedle was awarded tens of millions of dollars through both the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Whistleblower Program and the Whistleblower Program of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

A former SEC attorney, Siedle now runs his firm, the Siedle Law Offices. He is also the author of three books, including How to Steal a Lot of Money—Legally. This book examines true events involving some of the world’s top financial institutions. Siedle outlines financial fraud schemes of all shapes and sizes to help readers protect themselves from scams and manipulations.

Fraud investigators will not only find the real-life stories fascinating but can also use these examples to inform their work when looking for indicators of fraud on the job. Even if it’s only tangentially related to your job, workplace investigators of every kind can enjoy the sharp wit and unbelievable scandals outlined in this book.

 

5. The HR Bartender Blog by Sharlyn Lauby

Not ready to commit time and brain power to a whole book? The HR Bartender blog is full of short yet information-packed articles covering a huge range of timely workplace topics.

Sharlyn Lauby is an HR professional who now uses her practical knowledge not only for the blog, but also in her work as a president of ITM Group, Inc., a company that helps organizations develop employee training programs, as well as a speaker at industry events.

HR Bartender has advice on every topic a human resources professional could want, such as employee engagement, employment law, leadership, recruitment and retention, training and development, and employee wellness. Lauby includes articles that address hot topics in the news as well as “evergreen” HR concerns.

Be sure to bookmark this blog to reference anytime you have a question about best practices or just want to see what’s new in the world of human resources. Don’t be surprised if you spend hours clicking from one article to the next!

 

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