Peter Drucker, an American management consultant is credited with contributing to the philosophical and practical foundations of the modern business world. He’s known for sayings like
“Management is doing things right, leadership is doing the right things.”
“The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said” and….
“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”
Although traditional business practices may disagree, companies like The Container Store, Facebook, Google, etc. are proving Drucker right, putting company culture and employee happiness at the top of their priority list, having fun and making millions/billions.
Want to follow suit but not sure how to do so on a budget? Here are suggestions from Howard Chapman, Royal Cup Inc.’s Office Beverage Division President, on how to be a competitive business in this new platform by focusing on changes in the breakroom.
Coffee is one of the cheapest employee benefits but has one of the highest perceived values. In other words, coffee, even premium brands are relatively inexpensive but by offering premium coffee in your break room you are: keeping employees on location increasing productivity, increasing energy through caffeine intake, showing your employees that you value them and their time and improving your bottom line.
$ – Drip brew coffee (ideally portion packs to contain mess and provide a consistent pot)
$$ – Bean to cup machines that use whole bean coffees to create black coffee as well as fancier beverages including lattes and mocha.
Cool Way to Save – Reach out to local coffee roasters (not the hipster kind the wholesale kind) and get coffee that’s fresher than the name brands and cheaper. Ask about branding with your company’s logo. If they can’t, make up your own names and labels for airports
Don’t Forget – A large percentage of Americans (especially Millennials) are drinking tea more than ever. Spend a couple extra cents per bag and invest in a premium selection (think Tazo, Numi, Mighty Leaf). Also, remember that when it comes to coffee and teas these days, cold is hot. Consider getting an ice machine or cold brew on tap if budget allows.
When creating your beverage menu make sure you include condiments, aka sugars and creamers, as it’s likely that a majority of your employees won’t enjoy their beverage black.
$ – Powdered creamer and sugar in canisters, after all, something is better than nothing.
$$ – If possible always get the real deal. Keep half and half in the refrigerator, flavored creamer capsules on the counter and in addition to cane sugar include sugar in the raw.
Deciding What Stays and What Goes – If budget doesn’t allow for flavored creamers and half and half, or for sugar alternatives and sugar in the raw cut out the imposters and keep the real deals. Ultimately these options are healthier for your employees and healthier employees are happier employees. With that in mind don’t forget a soy/almond milk alternative for your lactose employees.
Extra Bonus – When thinking about your break room condiments, if budget allows, include mayo, mustard, ketchup, hot sauce, salt and pepper, etc. Save money and the environment and by providing family style options instead of individual packets.
And what’s a break without snacks?
$ – Vending machines are a lot different now than they were even 5 years ago in Atlanta. You can offer your employees healthy snacks and easy payment solutions (including credit cards and mobile pay) at no cost to your company.
$ – For Atlanta companies with 250 employees consider micro markets in place of typical vending machines. These systems operate like mini convenience stores and are run by a self-checkout kiosk. Benefits include more product variety and fresher options.
$$ – Take a page out of tech playbooks and offer beverages and snacks free to Atlanta employees. Benefits include: encouraging employees to eat healthier by only offering healthy options and increased productivity by keeping employees on location longer.
Cool Way to Save – Get a service provider and DO NOT try to manage snacks and cold beverages on your own. If you only look at unit cost it may seem cheaper to go with a bulk store or insta service but when you factor in your time and efforts a provider is significantly more affordable.
Finally, no matter what you decide to offer in you break room it could mean nothing if you don’t pay attention to overall ambiance. You want your breakroom to be a place where company culture is cultivated, where employees become friends and where team bonding happens. You also want your breakroom to feel like an escape, a mini vacation from the day.
$ – Paint the walls different colors than the rest of your office. Have a bookcase where employees can swap favorite reads.
$$ – Get comfy couches and lounge chairs, a family style farm table, maybe even a TV.
For more ideas on how to cultivate company culture in your break room call your Atlanta expert, Eagle Vending at 770-426-1969. We can help you develop a plan that fits your culture from what coffee to order to what color you should paint the walls.