In a time when employees feel more isolated than ever from their coworkers, new and innovative ways to boost employee morale are critical. I’m sure we all can relate to having our fair share of Zoom happy hours, and trying to make awkward small talk in front of our laptop screens. While face to face interaction may not be happening as soon as we had hoped, we can still make these Zoom meetings a little more meaningful by offering a book club. Employee book clubs have an added number of benefits, like improved communication, advancing diversity and inclusion initiatives, broadening perspectives and strengthened interpersonal relationships through meaningful discussion. And reading is fun, allowing employees a momentary escape from the pressures of a work from home lifestyle. A company enforced break from our screens? Yes please!!!
Benefits to starting a workplace book club
Learn more about your industry in creative ways. Depending on what kind of books you decide, you could expand your understanding of your industry and find new ideas you could apply to your own business. Reading allows for you to expand your knowledge, and find new ways of thinking.
Build stronger connections among employees. Book Club discussions mean getting to know coworkers on a deeper level. Book club meetings should be open and free of judgement, inviting different opinions, feelings and perspectives to the meeting. It’s what makes book clubs interesting after all! Book club is a way for employees from all levels and departments to engage in non work related conversations which ultimately can build stronger relationships and decrease turnover.
A space for leaders to grow. The hierarchy of the office make some employees feel unheard or powerless. A book club allows for anyone to step up and lead a discussion whether it’s an intern or the CEO. Book club’s created safe space will encourage employees to step out of their comfort zones in their day to day work.
Create a learning environment. Companies that emphasize growth and development usually create adaptable environments that are ready for change within any industry. To be most successful and stay relevant it is important to always be a student of life. Book clubs can increase employees' soft-skills and offer a fun way for employees to continue learning and to expand their knowledge.
Easy and simple ways to implement a book club in the workplace
Determine if there's interest. First and foremost it is important to ensure that your employees are actually interested in creating a book club. If there is no interest it won’t be as beneficial and you don’t want to add one more item to your team’s plate
Decide when the meetings will take place. How often you want to meet is dependent on your club, however it is important to keep in mind everyone’s busy schedules. Some clubs do the same day every time, for example the last Tuesday of every month. Other clubs take a more “decide as we go” approach.
Use a polling process to select the book. Democratize!! Coworkers will feel more invested in the book club if they have the chance to weigh in on book selections. Luckily, Bookclubz has a very easy feature for this. Our polling capabilities allow book club members to vote on which book interests them the most.
Consider purchasing copies of the books for the employees. Buying the books for the group is a small way to express your gratitude for your employees. Everyone likes to know they are appreciated, so this can win you bonus points with employees!
Nominate an employee to lead the discussion. By doing this, discussions will run a lot smoother, and every meeting won’t fall on one member’s shoulders to prepare for. Bookclubz also has many book discussion guides readily available for you!
And have some fun! Make sure your company’s book club is pressure free. This is meant to be a fun way for employees to bond, so make sure to keep the expectations low and allow for fun discussions.