The Essential Handbook for Highly Effective Human Service Leaders is Tim Nolan’s latest release and focuses on how people leaders can utilize a wide variety of modern leadership approaches to drive sustainably high levels of employee commitment, engagement, performance and retention.

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Highly Effective Human Service Organizations focuses on high-performance organizational processes. This book pulls from 30 years of research, his experience with over 10,000 professionals, 100 organizations and consulting experience with dozens of agencies to offer the most comprehensive roadmap ever seen for our field. 40 chapters are broken into five main parts: the foundation, expected employee behaviors, optimal organizational processes, desired end state, and moving forward. Every professional and organization in the field needs to use this book to create sustainably high levels of employee commitment, engagement, performance, and retention.

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The Essential Handbook for Highly Effective Human Service Managers, 2nd Edition has had each chapter updated with new insights and research to support the hugely popular content from the first edition. Chapters retain the clear and concise format along with critical thinking questions designed to challenge your growth and development as a leader. Tens of thousands have used the first edition to enhance their leadership skills and improve staff engagement, performance, and retention. Over 50 pages of new content. If you are a new or experienced supervisor, manager, or director in the human services field (i.e. behavioral health, child protection, child welfare, juvenile justice, health care, or intellectual disabilities), this book should be on your desk. There is no comparable resource in the field.

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Tim Nolan is the industry leader in helping leaders at all levels within the human services field demonstrate exceptional levels of leadership and support employee engagement, performance, and retention. He has worked with over 10,000 human service managers throughout the country to enhance their leadership skills and incorporates his experience along with his expertise in human behavior to help management staff enhance employee motivation, performance, and retention.

See how 80 organizations and over 6,000 managers are using this book over a 12-month period with the managers program to create environments for consistently high levels of leadership behavior among management staff and exceptional employee performance and retention.


“Tim Nolan is providing a resource for the human services field that is acutely needed. Leadership training and information designed specifically for our industry is often hard to come by and often incomplete. Not so with Tim’s work. I have had the pleasure of knowing and training with Tim during the past several years and I have become very familiar with the excellence of his work. This book is no exception. If every manager and supervisor in the human services industry would follow the clear precepts and practices laid out in this book, our entire industry would immediately be elevated to another level.”
William “Bill” Nunnally, Chief Quality and Performance Officer, Heartland for Children

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The Essential Handbook for Highly Effective Human Service Professionals is written to help frontline professionals excel. Each chapter is short, easy to read, and carefully crafted to help you stand out in a variety of areas. This is the ideal resource for child welfare case management staff, child protection workers, juvenile justice, behavioral/mental health and residential staff.  This is based on experience with over 10,000 human service professionals.

The main themes include: taking initiative, being proactive, providing exceptional client care, working with a high sense of urgency, having high standards, demonstrating superior professional skills, practicing self-care, contributing to a positive culture, having a positive approach and outlook, building superior professional credibility, and displaying leadership.

Recent Reviews

“I have read the book “The Essential Handbook for Highly Effective Human Service Professionals. It’s an easy read but engages some critical thinking as you read along. It’s clear about what your responsibilities are as a Human Service professional to not only the client, but coworkers, supervisors and the organizations as a whole. Sometimes as reading it you may think this is “common sense” but in this era “common sense” is not so common and sometimes you have to be direct in your explanation about what is or is not acceptable professional behavior. Your book is direct, clear and concise without being demeaning. It is general enough to be able to be used in a wide array of human service fields but specific enough to get the worker to start to critically think. This is a handbook to read over and over again before you start to work and refer to during your career. It’s almost like a compass to always point you in the right direction.”

Cheri Richards, Regional Administrator

See the worker program for how this book is used over a 12-month period to guide employees to exceptional levels of performance and client care.

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Tim Nolan’s latest and 10th book turns its focus on helping school leaders build sustainable school cultures to optimize the commitment, engagement, performance, and retention of teachers. Tim draws on his experience in the education field to craft a comprehensive guide to building a dynamic culture where teachers and students thrive. This book is ideal for principals, assistant principals, department heads, team leads and anyone who aspires for school leadership or wants to improve school culture.

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