Bonding Over Books

Laura Sweltz, Director of UX Research and Strategic Initiatives

Article Categories: #News & Culture, #Employee Engagement

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Viget leaned into our love of books — and free pizza — with our very own BOOK IT!-style challenge this summer.

Many people have fond memories of completing the BOOK IT! reading challenge as a kid and earning a free personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut. Viget is full of readers, so we decided to host our very own BOOK IT!-style challenge this summer — complete with the opportunity for free pizza.

Our primary goal was to provide folks at Viget with a fun way to connect. We offered 2 ways to participate — the reading challenge and the activity challenge.

The Reading Challenge

For the reading challenge, employees needed to sign up at the beginning of the summer to read a certain number of books, pages, or days. If they met their personal goal by the end of the summer, they would earn a personal pizza.

This challenge motivated many people to increase their reading. Some even went above and beyond their original goal.

“Goal was 20 books. Read 39 books instead!”

Working towards a goal is more effective — and fun — when you have support and encouragement from your peers.

The Activity Challenge

For the activity challenge, employees needed to complete 3 of the 6 activities:

  • Attend the June book club meeting (for Dreamland Burning)

  • Attend the July book club social (no required reading, just fun bookish chatter)

  • Attend the July book club meeting (for The Lathe of Heaven)

  • Visit your local library

  • Visit your local bookstore

  • Share a book you love in #books

Activities like attending a Viget Book Club meeting helped foster personal connections between folks at Viget. The activity challenge also provided an opportunity to participate even if someone was unable to complete the reading challenge.

“Appreciate the activity challenges as a way to still succeed even if your reading goals got derailed”

The Pizza Party

Ultimately just under 30% of Viget employees completed one or both of the challenges. Everyone who did received a special certificate in the mail for one personal pizza! We capped off the summer with live pizza parties so folks could gather, enjoy their well-earned pizzas, and connect about books.

At the end of the day, it wasn’t really about the free pizza (though that certainly didn’t hurt). It was about the opportunity to connect with others and create community. Our BOOK IT!-style challenge not only provided a great way to help employees incorporate more reading into their lives, but also allowed folks to bond over their bookish enthusiasm and help their relationships with their co-workers flourish. If you’re looking for a fun way to help foster employee engagement, consider introducing a similar challenge at your company.

Laura Sweltz

Laura is Viget's Director of UX Research and Strategic Initiatives. She works from our Durham, NC office, where she helps clients like Rotary International, AARP, and Time Life understand the needs and behaviors of their users.

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