The Truth About Doughnuts

Everybody likes to be rewarded and recognized for their efforts; and for the most part, they look forward to those special days that don’t come around that often.

However, there are companies that don’t do anything special for their team because “their paycheck is reward enough”. To some extent that is a true statement, but is there more to it; are those employees happy, is there a lot of turnover, are there a lot of employee and customer complaints, and is there a lack of cohesiveness?

Remember being a little kid in school and doing something out of the ordinary that made the day that much better; like watching a movie, a class party, having lunch outside, an extra recess, or that very popular early release?

People still like to feel that way now, as adults in the workforce. “We like to feel that we matter and that you care”, as one employee stated. Happy employees work hard and stay with one employer for a very long time.

Depending on the size of your company, the number of employees, and the size of your budget; doing something for each employee may be difficult, but not impossible. In fact, smaller companies may struggle more due to time and budget restraints.

But it doesn’t have to be expensive.

There is a company that celebrates Independence Day with their employees every year. Each store location has an old grill that they keep somewhere in the backroom for these special occasions. How it works is that the store takes some items out of stock (frozen burger patties, hot dogs, buns, condiments, water, etc.) and the employees bring potluck style dishes to share. It’s fun, and everyone looks forward to it. The cost to the company is minimal, and there is no expense report to turn in due to using the company card or petty cash.

Buying lunch for all of your employees is nice, but bringing in a few boxes of doughnuts can create that same effect of appreciation. Instead of recognizing each person individually, bring in a cake at the beginning of the month to celebrate every person who is having a birthday or work anniversary that month. Have a themed potluck that coincides with a “Casual Friday”. There are lots of ways for employers to make their team feel valued, and it is also a good way to make you more approachable, which is always a good thing for employee morale.

Next time that your company is having a themed potluck; dress casually, go with the theme, have lunch in the break room, and be personable; doing those things a few times a year will increase employee self-worth and their overall view of you as an employer will be better.

What I want you to do now is to simply think. Think about when you were an hourly employee, and what were some of your best days on the job? What is the dynamic of your company today, and how can you help create some “best days” for your employees in the future?


April Salsbury, MBA is a strategist, an analyst, an operational guru, a recognized leader and C-suite global healthcare executive with drive and focus for competitive markets. Co-host of The Business Forum Show and regular contributor to various business journals, she possess multi-functional and multi-national competencies with more than 15 years experience in business and healthcare. Her expertise is in invigorating revenue growth and infusing value of lean practices in growing companies through improvements to cash flow and operations management.

Fueling revenue, growth and profit, Salsbury & Co. is a consultancy firm focused on helping businesses and healthcare organizations achieve excellency. Our specialists have executive experience combined with deep functional expertise to provide our clients with services that drive real impact and results.

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