At Lemonade Stand, we implemented a book club just about a year ago, and we absolutely love it! It has been a huge blessing to our team and has helped all of us to continue learning and growing.
You can even check out this section of our blog to gain a little insight into some of the things that we have been able to learn and implement as a team by reading together and having this book club.
We believe that it is something that makes all of us better people. It encourages personal growth and development within all of us, and that, in turn, is reflected in how we all grow together as a team. We also feel that this has been a way for us to teach our team members about our core values by giving them real-life examples of what living these values can do for you and for others. Our values mean everything to us, and we strive to have team members who feel the same way. Our book club has helped a lot with this desire, and we have seen a lot of cool things come from it.
This article will present five reasons why your company should have a book club just like we do. I won’t get into how it should be managed or anything like that. Ours is completely voluntary, but you might want to make yours required. I think the results would be similar, so I want to really just focus on those.
1. Build Team Morale and Camaraderie
Everyone loves when they’re given a gift, right? Absolutely!
Same thing here! This is a really small and easy way to keep up your team members’ morale. Everyone on our team gets really excited to know that a new book is heading their way, and people are always asking me what book we are going to read next. We’ve even had people start suggesting books that we should read together. It’s pretty cool when you make a suggestion for a book and then a month later your company has bought that book for every single person on your team, and you’re all diving in and reading it together. Mega morale booster!
It can also contribute to the feeling of camaraderie that your team has. For us, when we finish a book, we dedicate one of our Friday lunch and learns to sharing and teaching each other about all of the things that we can learn and implement from that book. Someone from our team will prepare a presentation on the book, and everyone is encouraged to share and participate in that session. Then, we will also have a Kahoot! with questions from the book to test what we really learned and what we took to heart. We also offer some pretty nice cash prizes to the winners of those Kahoots, so it encourages our people to read and to learn together and also helps with the morale knowing that they can win a really cool prize for participating!
2. Foster a Love of Learning and Personal Growth
One of our core values is “Always Keep Learning.”
We know that there are many, many ways to learn, and we encourage our team members to learn in any way, shape, or form that they can.
The book club, though, is an awesome way to really show how much that value means to us. We want people to always be learning and growing, and we are more than happy to help contribute to that for them by providing them with top-notch educational reads.
When you are doing something as a group, it is very encouraging and makes everyone want to participate. This means that one person’s love of learning can then rub off onto 50 other people, and soon we have an entire team full of people who will never want to stop learning and growing. What an amazing effect from something as small as creating a company-wide book club.
3. Implement Life-Changing Ideas
One thing that we really try to focus on are ideas that change peoples’ lives.
We are pretty picky with the books that we read, and, honestly, we never want to read (or make our team read) anything that doesn’t have the potential to be completely life changing for them or for our company.
Every book that we’ve read so far has had the potential to do that, and we have already been able to change some things about our company or to at least get everyone on the same page with some of the things that we have already had in place previously.
If a book doesn’t make you want to change something about yourself in a positive way, then it probably isn’t worth your time to read.
Read life-changing books.
4. Attract and Retain Good People
A book club is a cool and unique benefit that isn’t offered in every company. It’s not the most expensive or lavish benefit (it’s not a Sebring convertible by any means), but it is a benefit of the job nonetheless.
Again, people really enjoy getting gifts, and this is one that they can continually expect, and it can be a great way to attract people to come work with you.
If you start this at your company, make sure that it is something that you bring up to people who are looking to join your team.
It’s a really cool benefit, and it’s also a great way to help in your decision process. If you want life-long learners to work with you, hire people who get stoked out of their minds when you tell them that your company offers a book club where they’ll be given free, priceless education.
5. Low Cost Education
The fifth reason is the cost to you.
Educating your team members can be a really expensive endeavor. Buying everyone a license for a course or premium access to learning sites or whatever other tools you might use can get extremely pricey! Then, after you’ve spent thousands of dollars, people spend an hour going through a video course (because it is required) where they’re really just watching YouTube and clicking through to get to the questions at the end to earn their “certificate,” and end up coming out exactly the same as they were before the course.
I’m not saying that a book club will fix everything. There will definitely still be people who might not take full advantage of such an incredible opportunity to learn. However, even for those who don’t want to read with you, they can still get a lot out of you meeting together as a team and having a training session about each book that you read.
The other positive is that, even if there are team members who get absolutely nothing from it, you at least only spent $10 – $20 on a book rather than $1,000 on a course. And, in an even more positive light, for those team members who have their life changed? You only had to spend $20 to do that for them and to help them continue to learn and learn and learn.
Honestly, we would argue that you can get a top tier education and come out knowing just about everything you need to know to be successful in life for less than $500 worth of books. If you can spend $500 on each of your team members, then you can turn them into some of the highest educated people on the planet, and then they’ll be the ones helping you to run your company.
That sounds pretty cool!
If it sounds cool to you, it’s really not that hard to make it happen. Start a book club at your company, and you’ll be blown away by what happens!If you have any questions on how to get started on something like that, feel free to reach out to our team. We’d love to answer any questions you might have!
Company Book Club Ideas
Looking for a place to start? These are some of our team’s favorite books we’ve read so far: