When I was growing up, my mother insisted our family eat dinner together every night. No television, just conversation about how our day had been. Afterwards we kids would try to sneak away while Mama wrangled her brood into doing the dishes.
I’ve been lucky to join in with one of our clients, Anchor, for their team lunch recently and it struck me that bringing their team together for a regular team lunch has the same benefits that it does for families – closer connections, better communication and even lower stress. It turns out that I’m not alone in thinking that. Not only does research suggest that feeding employees lunch improves retention and motivation, but a recent LinkedIn survey indicates that nearly half of all professionals consider their workplace friendships important to their overall happiness.
The impact coworkers have on an individual’s experience at the office is massive. Employees have reported workplace friendships made them feel more motivated and productive. Supportive and trusting relationships help employees stay engaged and maintain a sense of belonging at a company, leading to higher productivity and making it more likely your employees will remain so.
So: how to foster a company culture linked to higher productivity, greater staff retention and happier employees?
Feed your team just like a family.
Much has been said about the importance of bringing families together over a shared meal. Studies have consistently shown that the benefits to both the parents and children are numerous. At You Chews, we spend a lot of time working together (and eating together) and our strong working relationships not only help us not to drive each other crazy – most of the time, anyway – they also help us to communicate better around just about everything, including dealing with conflicts.
Conflict in any relationship is inevitable, especially in the workplace. Team building activities that encourage regular communication, and healthy co-worker relationships, can mean that conflict is more likely to dealt with in a mature and professional manner. Given the positive statistics on families breaking bread together, why not designate a special weekly team building lunch to foster a better company culture and build positive relationships in the workplace?
You Chews firmly believes that team lunches are an important and effective team building activity. What do you think? Take our team lunch poll here.
And if you’re thinking of giving team lunches a go, check out our menus for great team lunch ideas!