As I sat down to think about what I did last weekend, I realized I spent nearly all of it watching little geniuses perform their magic on Junior Masterchef reruns. The hangover of the brilliance of these pudding-baking tots continued into my Monday morning, and is now a part of this article. Food is common ground and an interest that goes beyond just the three daily meals for most of us. So why not use the ‘samosa along with the chai’ to compliment the endeavors being made to enthuse morale on the shopfloor?
Statistics from the macro perspective show that the idea of great food at work isn’t just about tempting taste-buds but also about the importance of nutrition at the workplace, which isn’t particularly in the best shape either. Quoting figures from a study conducted by International Labor Organization, over 2 billion people worldwide are iron deficient. Nearly a billion people are chronically undernourished and one billion are overweight or obese. Diet-related diseases account for 60 percent of deaths worldwide. Hence, the need to implement “food solutions” is pivotal to build a healthy and wealthy future of an organization.
Explored below are some interesting reasons why food incentives work at work.
• Since food is a basic need, using better offerings in the cafeteria or special meals on special occasions for employees is considered a very caring gesture, even at a subconscious level. While traveling on business to America, Priya Sahay, an analytics professional at Google craved home-cooked Indian food and was delighted when she saw that the cafeteria at work had a special Indian food offering that day. It is really one of the small things that add to the bigger connect that an employee has with the firm.
• Health consciousness is becoming more and more trendy today and hence, the nutrition value derived from the food provided at work is also of importance. With the increase in the number of heart attacks and stress-related health issues, employees look forward to healthier options in the cafeteria. Pavitra Solanki, a consultant at Accenture, insists on kickstarting her day with the fresh watermelon juice served at office in summers.
• To a labourer working on a daily-wage, it is the free daily meal which is an important pull-factor. Besides the money that is paid at the end of the day as compensation, employers often provide additional snack deals in the evenings to these daily-wagers. This adds to the morale on the factory floor, thereby increasing productivity as well as the retention scores of this clan.
In the end, companies today need to come up with creative food options that cater to both, the need for nutrition as well as employee morale. As for the supply chain, caterers and food providers to the corporate sector are also gearing up to manage such demands and are customizing their offerings accordingly.
As food prodigies on television get better, the question remains – do I really think that the samosa on the side, is doing a good job of intensifying that cutting chai’s flavor and helping me write this article in an interesting manner? Why don’t you tell me!