At Cardinale Group of Cos., more than 800 employees participate in a book-study program aimed at inspiring them, both professionally and personally.
"It's really more of a mentoring program than a book club," said Erich Gail, CEO of Cardinale Automotive Group, part of Cardinale Group, of Seaside, Calif.
"It's a call to action that fulfills our brand promise to develop outstanding relationships where everybody wins. We want to inspire our associates to be better men, women, employees, fathers, mothers, sons and daughters," he said, "and books touch the full gamut of everything that is possible."
Management initiated the program in 2010 as the company was emerging from near bankruptcy in the wake of the Great Recession. Gail said members of the senior management team are voracious readers but realized employees weren't benefiting from what management learned. "We all love to read, but we weren't sharing all the gold we were finding," he said.
Since then, everyone in the company is required to read the same book, one every three months. Employees take notes about what they read every week -- an important step because writing down concepts greatly improves comprehension and retention, Gail said.