Are your employees relaxing on their holiday? I do not thínk so!
– sarcasm alert – Here’s how to keep your team engaged while on holiday.
When we first started working from home, it was hard for some of us to get used to our “new normal”. Just a few weeks into our remote employment, Beemies started to notice that something was missing. You know those morning pantry conversations you’d have with your coworkers? Gone. Grabbing a quick bite with someone from another team in between meetings? Can’t do it.
But the silver lining was that this gap encouraged Beemies to think outside the box. And they did not disappoint.
Soon, we started coming up with different initiatives to keep the team engaged. We began scheduling afternoon Zoom coffee breaks, gaming sessions, and team lunches. But for the bookworms at Beema, that wasn’t enough🐛.
*Enter new initiative* (and my personal favorite): Beema’s Book Club 📚.
When we were first introduced to the idea of a book club, I thought to myself: Why in the world would an insurance company have a book club? Do we even have time for that?! How would it work.. exactly?
But lo and behold, it became one of my favorite parts of our work culture.
See, ours is a little different than your traditional, run-of-the-mill book club. We don’t select 1 book for everyone to read, and then schedule meetings to discuss it. What we do in our Book Club, is discuss what each of us is currently reading, our reading lists, and any book-related hits & misses on a dedicated Slack channel. This way, everyone can still enjoy their own choice of reading, while still being able to share their thoughts and opinions with the rest. It’s also a great way to add new books to your lists, and maybe remove a few that others didn’t really enjoy. We also found that it was less limiting this way and gave us the freedom to choose whichever genres we wanted to delve into. And boy, was that interesting.
For instance, we discovered that one Beemie really enjoys reading about prison reform & racial justice. Another happens to love memoirs and autobiographies of really interesting figures. One Beemie really loves Stephanie Meyer, and we found a few Potterheads in the mix as well ⚡. Through our Book Club, we were able to not only bond over our favorite (and least favorite) books, but also get to know each other’s interests on a much deeper level.
We saw immediate results with how Beemies responded to the idea of coming together and having conversations that had nothing to do with work. Believe it or not, through the success of our Book Club, we even considered starting more clubs like a movie club or a Netflix club (for the TV geeks 📺). I even found myself immediately going to our Book Club channel on Slack as soon as I finished a book, to share my thoughts. It became almost like a reflex. I don’t know about you, but when employees voluntarily engage on work platforms in their free time, that’s a pretty big win.
Moral of the story: Start. A. Book Club! Or any other club for that matter. It’s free, easy, and will strengthen your work culture and employee engagement in more ways than you realize. Especially if you work from home.
Written by Shazia Sherif, Data Analyst at Beema. Shazia's favorite author is Cassandra Claire, and her favorite book series is The Mortal Instruments.
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