How many times have I made a resolution to ‘read more’ in the new year? The answer is too many times. As a writer, that’s really frustrating. I make time for myself, I make time to write, but I just can’t seem to make time for reading. That’s why I was so excited when AvKARE announced a book club for personal and professional growth.

Reading just 30 minutes a day has some incredible benefits. Studies show that those who get in their reading time are 20% more likely to have better satisfaction in their lives. Even better, 11% report feeling more creative, 28% are less likely to suffer from depression, and 18% have higher self esteem. Just from reading! How amazing is that?

If reading can produce these amazing results in our lives, can you imagine how much better we will be at work? Here are some great reasons why you should start an employee book club to help boost the brainpower of your employees.

Community

Reading in a community helps you read deeply. Have you ever read a paragraph, realized you didn’t grasp anything that just happened, and had to read again?

Same, but when you are reading as part of a community, you pick up better habits. Even if you miss something, there’s a community that is actively participating with you! Someone might catch a line that you missed, or vice versa. Not only can we engage on new and interesting topics by listening to different people, we get a new understanding from a different perspective.

Sharpen Our Intelligence

Yes, reading is like food for our brain. Not only is reading great for our intelligence, it’s great for our emotional intelligence. Being able to enhance our empathy is an important factor to help build relationships.

Make Connections

Reading fiction can help you make connections between ideas from other fields that fit into your life. Even a nonfiction story about a company in a different field than yours can help your employees discover similarities and find new ways to improve your business.

Boost Employee Performance

Of course, this is the whole reason for this post. But how exactly does reading and communicating within the book club help employees with their work?

  1. Listening skills and improving conversation: Practicing communicating in a small, controlled, and safe space helps with the self-esteem statistic mentioned above. Employees who feel better about their abilities to have meaningful discussions find they are able to translate it into other areas of their lives.
  2. Employee development: With all of the benefits mentioned, there’s no doubt that employees will be able to grow in their job. Encouraging participation and engagement gives employees the ability to attract and retain top talent. This presents a great opportunity to build from within. Finally, with a strong community, you can draw on the experiences of thought leaders and find new ways to collaborate and develop solutions to problems.
  3. Increase innovation: Creativity boosts innovation. The more ideas an individual is able to consider, the more comfortable they will be in ambiguous situations. You are giving your employees the tools and confidence to approach an old or new problem with a new and creative solution.
  4. Build relationships: It’s important to tie all of this back into the community. Building a trusting environment, where employees can share ideas, strengthen relationships, and invest in others helps build individual confidence. Members who might not work together often are given the opportunity to share ideas and find new connections in their work. The open share of knowledge not only helps the individuals, it helps the company find solutions from new perspectives.

The AvKARE book club, which has just started reading The Fred Factor, is our way of building relationships within the company (and yes, this is a tool discussed in the book – I’m making connections). I look forward to hearing new ideas and stories from my coworkers that I don’t get to work with on a daily basis. Actually, hearing our COO’s opening remarks at our first meeting is what excited me to write this post! You never know when you’re going to pick up an idea, but I guarantee that relationships will have some influence on it.

What are some books you are reading in an employee book club? If you could start a book club, what would you want to read? Let us know in the comments!

-Laura