What We Read in 2019 (And the Importance of Company Culture)

by | Dec 12, 2019 | Company Culture

Did you know that Dittoe PR has a book club? As often as we can, a handful of our staff read the same book over a month, head out to a local restaurant after work, and chat about what we liked or didn’t like about each pick. We’re not a terribly formal group, and sometimes that #PRLife means we don’t always get to meet monthly, but we’re usually pretty successful.

Why have a work book club? Because at Dittoe PR, our leaders strive to create ways for employees to connect with each other aside from workloads or clients. Why is this important to care about? Because research shows that 88% of employees believe a distinct corporate culture is important to a business’s success. What’s more, a positive workplace culture has benefits such as improving teamwork, raising morale, increasing productivity, and reducing stress in employees. If you’re interested, you can read more about why team building is critical to the success of employees with this blog post from our very own Kaitlyn Beck.

While there are dozens of ways to create a positive culture, we’ve noticed the following positive results from our book club:

  • It builds camaraderie, comfort, and teamwork in our employees. By branching out on book choices to suit everyone’s tastes or picking up something you might not normally read, you’re building trust with your coworkers by showing that you’ll do what you say you’re going to do.
  • It builds a common language. Not only does it give you something to chat about at meetings, but it also gives you something to chat about while you’re waiting for your lunch to heat up in the microwave. Members of the book club often check in to see each other’s progress or discuss as they’re reading. We also loan each other books on the regular, usually ones that aren’t book club picks that we think someone else would like, creating room for additional conversations and dialogue.
  • A book club can give employees the opportunity to step up and practice leadership skills by finding or creating discussion questions, leading the group discussion, or expressing an opinion that might be different than others. In a more relaxed environment, employees can become more comfortable expressing different opinions than what others are thinking or feeling.
  • It is a great way to get to know new team members. Whenever we have a new employee, it’s always fun to hear what books they’re into and find new suggestions for our monthly meetings. By constantly having the door open to any employee, it also allows for anyone to join at any point and learn new things about people they might have already been working alongside.

While sometimes a club within a company might come across as exclusive or closed off, at Dittoe PR we’re less picky on the semantics and more interested in creating conversations with each other. Some members of the book club are remote employees, meaning they aren’t able to meet with us each month. Others are parents who spend more time reading “Goodnight Moon” than the latest thriller. And still others are just looking to get more recommendations for books and participate in fun conversations about Harry Potter. There is no right or wrong way to have a work book club. You can even add podcasts to the mix like we did!

As we wrap up 2019, the Dittoe PR book club is reading its final pick of the year and discussing what our favorite reads were, whether book club choice or personal fave. We’ve recapped every book that we read as a group this year and compiled the list of favorites below. Have you read any of these? Or have one you’re dying to read ASAP? Let us know!

What was your favorite read in 2019?

  • Fleishman Is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner – Zoe Spilker, Account Coordinator
  • Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis – Sam Bunes, Account Coordinator
  • The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai – Sara Owens, Account Executive
  • The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton – Haley Williams, Account Executive
  • A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum – Vanessa Stepanek, Senior Account Manager
  • A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas – Madisen Petrosky, Senior Account Manager
  • Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou – Ashley Eggert, Director of Accounts
  • Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson – Kasie Pieri, Director of Accounts

Dittoe PR 2019 Book Club Books

  • The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
  • Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
  • Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou
  • Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  • A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum
  • Miracle Creek: A Novel by Angie Kim
  • My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing
  • Homegoing: A Novel by Yaa Gyasi

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