How do you treat people at work?
At 4 p.m. each day at Happy, my London-based training company, it is ice cream time. Our learners take a break and are introduced to the freezer full of frozen goodies. After a day learning IT or management, most find it a refreshing change. And it gives a nice boost before the last session of the day.
This fits into what Seth Godin describes as the “Free Gift Included.” Our customers come to learn new skills and all the normal activities you would expect from a course. But what will make the day a different experience, and something they will talk about, is the surprise extra. I’d love to be able to say our learners tell all their friends about the new Excel skills they have learnt, but they are much more likely to mention the ice cream.
These are available to our staff, too, though I have to admit the interest wanes after a while – though I kept up a daily dose for my first seven years at Happy. And, of course, there are now lots of healthy alternatives provided including vegan and fat-free options, a choice of fresh fruit, juices, herbal teas, fairtrade and decaffeinated teas and coffees as well as the standard hot drinks.
If nothing else, find some way to force your people to take a break. An article in this month’s Harvard Business Review finds an 8% increase in efficiency just from organising a common coffee break. So get your people away from their screens and give them a treat of some sort.
What can you do to delight and surprise your people? Try something new this week.
This is no. 34 in the list of 80 ideas for a happy workplace. Do let us know your favorites or what has worked for you.
DH guest blogger Henry Stewart is Chief Executive of the London-based Happy Ltd., a training company which has earned numerous awards including rankings in the World’s Most Democratic Workplaces and the UK’s Best Workplaces, and the Institute of IT Training’s Gold medal for Training Company of the Year. Download Henry’s book, The Happy Manifesto, for free, read his blog, or check him out on Twitter @happyhenry.