Before I even joined the team at NCFDD, one benefit that I
bragged about non-stop was the fact that I would be able to order free
unlimited books from Amazon! Who doesn’t love Amazon? And who doesn’t love
unlimited books from Amazon? And who doesn’t love FREE unlimited books from Amazon? Maybe it’s just me, but when an employer is
willing to offer this kind of benefit, it says to me that they value self-directed
growth, constant learning, new ideas, change, and professional development.
This benefit may not be for everyone but it’s incredibly
attractive to highly motivated people who want to become better (aka "A”
players). For the generation of working professionals today, money isn’t everything. If I can’t live a balanced, happy, and
fulfilling life, a well paying job just won’t cut it.
I imagine that this might feel a little scary for an
employer. What if they order too many
books? How much is this really going to
cost me? Obviously, I can’t say from my
perspective. But what I’ve observed is
that, not everyone will use this benefit.
And for the people that do, even the book hungry peeps who devour all
kinds of stuff (like me!), no one can read that
many books and devour too much information
at once. It’s not practical and doesn’t
necessarily increase productivity.
In my case, I tend to go ham on books when I feel like I’m
hitting a wall with something I don’t know or can’t seem to figure things out
on my own. When I reach that point or
feel myself getting close, my first inclination is to look up books that could
potentially help me. When I find some, I
order them. How empowering is it, as an
employee, to take my learning and growth into my own hands? Instead of realizing I have a problem, sitting
around trying to figure it out in my own head, and sinking further, I have a
tool to get started. I can take my
growth to another level first and if
I find I am still stuck, I can then take it to my boss to ask for insight.
I would think that an employee that comes to their boss
having already done research, tried some things out, and taken some initiative
in their own growth is far more interesting to talk to and "worth” the time,
then someone who is just stuck and completely unsure of what to do next (not
that it’s a bad thing, just very different). As an employee, I find being completely dependent on my boss for growth
or always needing permission to use resources for development
disempowering. By just offering a
simple resource such as amazon books that doesn’t require permission or
anyone’s knowledge enables me to take more personal responsibility for my job,
my growth, and myself. I think that’s
pretty invaluable and gives me the opportunity to truly "own” my role in the
If you have great people on your team, want to keep
growth-oriented individuals, or want to attract self-motivated employees, then
offer free unlimited books from Amazon. Your employees will be bragging about working for you!