Equips Book Club – Connecting Across Departments

Move Over Oprah.
The Equips Book Club

Sometimes, even in a small office, we can operate in silos.  How often does an account manager in Sales have to cross paths with someone from Operations?  We came up with a creative way to encourage a more inter-departmental culture. Taking a page from Oprah, we created a company book club.

It happened organically when President, Adam York – an avid reader – was enthusiastically promoting a book he had read and enjoyed. After the leadership team read the book, the lightbulb went off.  Wouldn’t it be great if everyone read it?

So, in August 2016, the Equips book club was born. Participation, while voluntary, hovers at around 80%. Staff is divided into four groups, pulling from all different departments. Each group meets weekly to discuss insights gleaned from one chapter of the selected book. Discussions are free-flowing, though the books do sometimes offer questions for discussions or even online quizzes to complete.

Anyone can offer up a book suggestion. The goal is to pick books that encourage personal development and improvement in workplace dynamics. Suggested books are vetted by the leadership team and have included:

  • Mastering Communication at Work
  • Give & Take – Why Helping Others Drives Our Success
  • Radical Candor
  • Upcoming Selection: The Five Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace

We’ve been very happy with how our employees have embraced the book club. As a result of the book club, our goal of more tightly knitting the team together has been achieved and we’ve been able to implement some of the great ideas we’ve read about!  In the coming months, we’ll keep you posted on our book selections, things we’ve learned and ideas for new books to read.