small library

Curling up with a good book after work is a great way to relax and escape the stresses of the day. To celebrate National Book Month, you can explore all the benefits found between the pages at home. These same benefits can also boost professional skills and relationships in the office. Implementing a reading program and encouraging people to read may take time and effort. As a business team leader, encouraging the group to read more can have surprising effects. Reading can benefit the entire department or company.

What Does Reading Do For You?

man reading while having a drink

Reading is a great way to relax

Although reading non-fiction books can help you learn about specific topics, reading any book provides benefits in general. Even the latest fiction beach read can give you a boost. Encourage your team to read if you want them to improve in the following areas:

  • Improved intelligence and knowledge base
  • Larger vocabulary and understanding
  • Automatic development of writing skills
  • Expands the ability to analyze complex situations
  • Eases interpersonal relationships
  • Reduces stress

3 Tips to Encourage Solitary Reading

Reading by yourself is more for entertainment, though some prefer informational texts. The best way to encourage employees to pick up a book is to leave the subject matter and title to them. Don’t make it sound like homework or something they must do, or risk their job.

–Make free books available throughout the building. The more visible they are, the more likely people will be to pick one up and read. Every break room should have a mini library where people can take and give back. It makes it easy to stock, as well as keeps the selection fresh from library sales and thrift shops.

–Inform people of the benefits and set a good example. Post small posters near the bookshelves that list how reading can help them. Pick up a book yourself and read it on break and discuss it with others.

–Make books and bookstore gift cards a coveted prize for productivity goals met, or for special situations, holiday gifts, and fun giveaways.

How to Make Reading a Team-Building Exercise

Any time you can get your team to do something together, work-related or not, the strength of the whole becomes stronger than its parts. Book groups are a natural choice for encouraging your team to improve reading and social skills.

Provide the same book to the entire team, but make reading it voluntary. No one wants to be forced to do at-home work for their job. Schedule a regular book group meeting in the break room or even at a local bar or café. Make it fun. You could even hold it at your house if you are comfortable with that. As employees improve their knowledge and vocabulary from the book, they will improve their communication skills. It can also boost respect for fellow team members.

Employees work harder when they are enjoying the project or receiving rewards. For example, your business team got a client’s order out three days ahead of time. Reward them all with a gift card to a bookstore.

book with a flower on it

Make sure reading is a fun activity

Turn reading into a game at work as well and give prizes for it. If you are all reading the same book, create daily quizzes or reading progress charts. This can foster a bit of friendly competition. Post a quiz question about the book on the wall and ask people to email the answer. Whoever gets the most right by the end of the week gets an extra-long lunch or a special prize.

There are many ways to encourage reading in the workplace. Books and magazines offer so many benefits for cognition. Other benefits include vocabulary and writing skills. These skills are much needed in any workplace, so it makes sense to push your team to read.

National Book Month is the perfect time to start making changes which will positively impact the success of your team. It does not matter what industry you work in or what niche you fill. Reading entertaining books will boost productivity, interpersonal skills, communication abilities, and reduce stress. These benefits help everyone, and they are all found within the pages of a book.


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