The Simple Activity That Boosts Your Teams’ Personal and Professional Development
According to LinkedIn Learning’s 2021 Workplace Learning Report, 64 percent of learning and development (L&D) professionals said that L&D shifted from a “nice to have” to a “need to have” in 2021. One study showed 94 percent of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in helping them learn. Major companies like Amazon and JPMorgan Chase have committed to investing millions in L&D programs over the next few years. While we know the investment in L&D is always worth it, we also know that it’s costly. So, how can organizations ensure they’re meeting the mark while remaining cost effective?
Benefits of Reading for L&D
One easy solution is reading. Reading has long been known to reduce stress, increase empathy, enhance general knowledge, improve decision-making skills, and strengthen your brain, among other benefits. It is one of the best sources of continuous learning, and its benefits transcend to nearly every aspect of personal and professional development.
Empathy and Leadership
Reading is linked to having a greater sense of empathy because it requires readers to imagine different perspectives and put themselves in someone else’s position to understand their feelings and choices. Research shows that empathy in the workplace, particularly in leadership, is positively related to job performance. A 2020 study by Catalyst to understand the effects of empathetic leadership on employees found that “empathy is an important driver of employee outcomes such as innovation, engagement, and inclusion.” In fact, 61 percent of people with highly empathetic senior leaders reported they often or always are innovative at work compared to 13 percent of people with less empathetic leaders.
Diversity and Inclusion
Regardless of genre or subject, reading exposes you to different experiences, schools of thought, and ideas, which creates a more culturally diverse workforce. Having employees who are open-minded and bring different experiences to the team leads to creativity, innovation, and ultimately profitability. Beyond this, giving employees access to books that support diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) creates more inclusive and enlightened teams.
Impact of Good Communication
One study from the Centre for Research into Reading, Literature, and Society at the University of Liverpool showed that people who read for just 30 minutes a week are 27 percent more likely to find it easy to start a conversation with a stranger and 50 percent more likely to enjoy it.
Good communication is one of the most beneficial skills to an organization. It helps mitigate conflict, build better relationships among teams and customers, improve productivity, and increase employee job satisfaction. The ability for people, from executives to individual contributors, to have the skills to communicate and develop relationships is a major driver of company engagement and performance.
Upskilling and Training
Books provide a simple way to train and upskill teams with titles applicable to every role in an organization, from general professional topics like management and communication to job-specific technical training like coding and analytics. Using a digital library ensures every employee has the choice to pick training opportunities that match their individual goals and interests and provides them access at any time.
How to Offer These Benefits to Your Workforce
The benefits reading brings to your L&D initiatives are endless. It’s why companies like Microsoft and SpaceX have invested in a digital library for their teams. Creating a digital library gives companies the ability to provide resources that align with their company’s mission and employees’ development goals. It supports training and upskilling initiatives, while also providing titles that support company culture and employee wellness, like DEI, mental health, and leisure reading.
When it comes to L&D, conferences, in-person trainings, and high-dollar investments are valuable, but investing in cost-effective and time-saving options like a digital library will quickly and simply increase your return on investment.