Surveys Show an Employee Appreciation Lunch May Be the Motivator You Need

Posted by on Tuesday, December 17th, 2013 with Comments Off on Surveys Show an Employee Appreciation Lunch May Be the Motivator You Need Comments

If your company’s idea of employee appreciation means a five-year pin or a ten-year watch — or worse, just a paycheck — chances are good that you’re missing out on a key way to motivate and retain your best workers.

Appreciation has long been recognized as key to a successful, positive workplace environment — and two new employee surveys are underscoring just how important that recognition can be to employees, as well as the most effective ways to get the message across.

employee appreciation cake

Peer-to-peer recognition is important for creating a culture of appreciation! Image source: flickr user pedestrian saint

The first, a new study by online career site Glassdoor, confirms that appreciation from their boss is the most common motivator for employees — moreso than a demanding boss or the fear of job loss.

And the best way to show that appreciation? Well, a pay raise. But after that? Food!

The Glassdoor study showed that “unexpected treats and rewards” like snacks, lunches, and dinners were the leading form of non-monetary appreciation that employees wish their bosses would show. In fact, unexpected treats ranked above public recognition, career opportunities, and even feeling involved in decision-making processes.

thank you cupcakes

Surprise treats are one of the preferred ways to show appreciation. Image source: flickr user RHiNO NEAL

Consider, however, a key word in the findings: “unexpected.” In the same way that receiving repetitive verbal praise like “Good work” every day can diminish its impact, the same can happen with company catering and food programs. To communicate appreciation clearly, keep things interesting!

A plate of bagels or box of muffins every Friday soon becomes an expected part of the routine rather than a special reward. While regular business meals are a wonderful perk, consider surprising the office with an employee appreciation lunch on a Monday morning or an unexpected staff breakfast in the middle of the week.

The benefits of employee appreciation are well worth the effort, both in terms of creating a positive work environment and in fiscal terms. Forbes recently published the results of a comprehensive study showing that companies with vibrant recognition programs had 31% lower voluntary turnover rates — a significantly fewer number of quality employees leaving on their own. Appreciation not only motivates employees to work harder, but to stay with their companies longer.

One aspect of employee appreciation that may be neglected, but can easily be combined with the strategy of unexpected treats and rewards, is peer-to-peer recognition. Forbes reports that the most successfully appreciative companies don’t rely on the boss to dole out thank you’s and praise, but create a culture of recognition throughout the entire workplace.

surprise employee appreciation

Employee appreciation is key to a happy, motivated workplace. Image source: flickr user Pioneer Library System

One way to incorporate peer-to-peer praise is to grant employees a “recognition budget”, and ask them to surprise a hard-working coworker once a month with a special employee appreciation lunch delivery. Not only will the reward itself be a surprise, but so will the identity of the appreciative colleague! This reinforces the employee’s value within the company, the social relationships between coworkers, and increases engagement on both sides of the exchange. Empowering employees to recognize each other makes appreciation flow throughout the workplace — a hefty return for the price of a few office lunches.

Creative catering solutions from can help your workplace become a buzzing hub of recognition and appreciation. From fully catered office parties to staff breakfasts to box lunches, there are nearly endless options to provide the unexpected treats and rewards that employees crave. Make your appreciation count!

When it comes to feeding employees and coworkers, make your company's food program really count! If your workplace dining plan needs to take it up a notch — or if you don't have one at all — is here to help. From Virtual Cafeteria Service to diverse menus to local takeout & offers customizable dining solutions for every business and budget. Contact us today to get started!

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