You may be thinking, what an odd title for a blog, but give me some time and it may start to make a bit more sense. It’s common in most work environments that the prospect of free food can turn frowns upside down. In fact, most of us would probably jump at the chance if there was pizza or cake available. It’s often the right thing to do when long shifts can flow into the night or the team have pulled through an exceptionally hard grind to complete a particular project. And let’s face it, it’s a nice little reward for all the hard work. But . . . is it enough?
Many organisations can find themselves in bad habits, where employees are working beyond the normal expectations to complete tasks, often staying late and sacrificing much needed time at home. As we’ve said before, this can easily become the ‘norm’ for a lot of businesses right now. Free food, along with other incentives, can sometimes feel like the shining saviour to show employees they are respectfully valued during these times but it doesn’t really tap into how they may be responding to a potentially poor work cycle.
What else can we offer?
There’s no doubt that offering a free incentive is still going to bring with it some thanks but it’s time to consider a much wider picture. Once a free pizza is gone and employees are still working, what more do they have to look forward to? As well as this, just because their plates are clean doesn’t mean you’ve necessarily done your bit. Wellbeing goes far beyond the ‘quick fixes’ that a free bit of food can offer, taking the time to actually listen to your employees can make far greater impact and allow you to understand your staffs’ needs, beyond supplying them with the simple luxuries.
Next time you’re planning a meal for the staff, why not use the opportunity to see how they coped throughout busy periods, what worked, what didn’t, whether it was too much or whether it was received well. Take the time for some one on ones, checking in on individuals, create some safe spaces to talk through any issues or problems they may be having. The time can be used constructively to achieve better insight!
You don’t need to put yourself out there though. It’s safe to say that many individuals won’t be as honest if you’re stood right in front of them. Everyone is different and some prefer to keep their opinions on an anonymous basis. You can provide your staff with a means of supporting their wellbeing without putting them on the spot.
Edtesa Wellbeing gives individuals a platform to give honest feedback around their work, whilst giving the management valuable data to learn and adapt from. Offering your staff the wellbeing surveys that Edtesa provides can illustrate the areas that are working and what areas need attention. It’s important to give everyone a platform so you can adapt and make your business the best it can be.