Wellbeing is generally defined as “health and happiness”, and considering we spend so much time at work, it is essential that employers ensure a positive sense of wellbeing in the workplace and have ways to boost employee motivation.
One suprising way to do that is to keep the office kitchen stocked with snacks and lunch options, then watch your business acquire the rewards of a happy workplace.
Positive Team Culture
A break by the coffee machine, or a snack with colleagues will foster stronger connections within the team and contribute to a vibrant and positive culture and in turn help boost employee motivation. A recent survey by Staples Business Advantage found that 53% of office workers surveyed felt a stocked kitchen or breakroom contributed to a positive social environment and team motivation.
Google has been acclaimed for its attractive hiring perks, and the resulting effect on team culture. Employees never have to move more than 150 ft to grab a snack, lunch, or a simple coffee. Whether it be a cafe or stocked kitchen, Google uses food to create a workplace social buzz.
Not all businesses can afford to provide food at Google’s level. However, some snacks and milk in the fridge will go a long way to cementing stronger bonds. Workers who feel valued and connected to their team are more likely to be happier and more productive staff members.
A lot has been said about flexibility of scheduling, location or office setup, but flexible culinary options are just as important for helping with employee motivation. For staff, time is precious. Between account management, client communications, product development and routine internal tasks, schedules are packed to the brim. So, how is this related to food?
It’s no mystery that most workers would prefer to leave their desks at lunch, but they need not necessarily exit the office. Office kitchens offer a convenient alternative to the local cafe or restaurant. Depending on how you stock your kitchen, an employee may opt for a light lunch in the office.
The flexibility allows staff to set their own breaks, and facilitates a nutritious snack during busy days. The bread in your pantry and the fruit bowl will provide the necessary employee motivation throughout the day.
Providing nutritious snacks for your team will have a tremendous impact on wellbeing for two primary reasons.
The recent survey by Staples found that 83% of employees reported that stocked kitchen or breakroom made them feel happier at work. Furthermore, 29% benefited from healthier eating habits. From these statistics, it is evident that catering for your team creates a positive effect upon physical and mental. Both of these are essential to a sense of wellbeing and employee motivation.
Catering for special diets is another matter. It’s more than just meeting health requirements. It’s also about inclusion. Ask your staff whether they need gluten-free, dairy-free, halal or any other special choice in your kitchen provisions. The nourishment from the food, and morale boost associated with the social aspect of eating in the office is sure to impact wellbeing for the better.
At the end of the day, providing food for your staff shows that you, as an HR Manager, care about their wellbeing and are implementing important – albeit small – actions to foster employee motivation. Remember that wellbeing does not end at a morale boost for employees. The flow on effect will increase productivity, staff retention, and team culture.
When you care for your team, they will care more about their jobs and their performance. Everybody wins.