Success of any business is directly dependent on employees’ hard work and dedication. Maximizing on employee motivation and well-being through a positive work environment is the sure way of retaining the needed dedication and business success. A positive work environment can be defined as a strategic policy that strives to maintain employees’ well-being through such initiatives as good remuneration, health insurance covers, free food and drinks, travel and vacation opportunities, team-building tasks, individual recognition and appraisal, friendly employer-employee relationship and career and educational advancement opportunities among others.
The importance of having a positive work environment is because it’s conducive for maximum productivity and a minimum of employee complaints. A positive work environment does not necessarily mean meeting all the needs of the employees but rather creating a work space that appreciates and accommodates most of their requirements to perform maximally (Seppala & Cameron, 2015). An environment that motivates employees to be part of the company and feel indebted to its success and development. Providing the simple things like free food, good rapport and good remuneration that are necessarily to each individual goes a long way in motivating employees.
Hostile management always results in demotivated employees and increased human resource turnover. Cut throat and high-pressure environment can in the short-run provide the needed productivity from employees but has more negative implications in the long run due to the costs incurred. For one, health expenditures of these companies is usually more than 50% greater than organizations promoting a positive work environment (Seppala & Cameron, 2015). Based on American Psychological Association statistics, US used over $500 billion in health expenditure for work-related stress which also culminates to 550 million lost work days annually due to such work place stress. Moreover 60%-80% of work place accidents are attributed to stress as well as 80% of doctor visits (Seppala & Cameron, 2015). Work place stress leads to loss of loyalty to the company. Stress at work accounts for over 50% voluntary turnover where employees prefer to decline promotions and make voluntary resignations (Seppala & Cameron, 2015). The company therefore, stands to lose on the costs incurred in training, recruitment, low productivity and the lost expertise or talents. It is estimated that the cost incurred on employee turnover is equivalent to 20% of that employee’s salary, according to American Center for Progress (Seppala & Cameron, 2015).
In my organization, one of the policy to create a positive work environment is provision of free food and drinks at work place. A busy schedule and structured routine at work place usually accompanies a full-time week of work which can take a toll on employees trying to meet tight deadlines to an extent of forgetting about eating. As a responsible company, the free food and drinks initiative plans to address such dilemma. In order to boost the employee’s morale and increase productivity exponentially, offering healthy foods and drinks at the disposal of the employees makes them more satisfied since they can replenish their energies at the comfort of their offices. As they say, the best way to a “man” is through the stomach and that is exactly what the organization is planning to do. Providing a well-stocked cafeteria with a variety of meals everyday depending on the employee’s tastes and preferences is the best way to motivate them.
The free food and drinks policy will be open to all employees at no cost. Being free is an incentive because the staff do not need to worry coughing up some cash to order for meals from outside caterers or visiting a hotel nearby. The strategy to offer meals at work place is informed by the need to save on time used in tea and lunch breaks. This will allow employees to resume work in the shortest time possible hence increasing productivity and task schedules. The policy will involve employing at least three cafeteria staff who will prepare all meals every day and serve the employees at the common cafeteria or in their offices. Every employee is at liberty of requesting for an office delivery if they don’t want to visit the cafeteria for self-service. Employees thus feel more appreciated and valued (Baldoni, 2013).
The policy will include breakfast, lunch and evening snacks. The policy will also involve a free snack dispenser where staff can pick snacks, energy drinks and carbonated beverages at their preferred time. All these meals will accommodate a balanced diet including carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vegetables, vitamins and fruits which ensures healthy feeding habits. Another main advantage of a common cafeteria is allowing interaction of employees (Baldoni, 2013). Many a times, employees are fragmented in their different departments and never interact. Promoting such interaction ensures harmonious coexistence, team work and professionalism.
The policy will increase company expenses on operational costs. To maintain the cafeteria, buy ingredients and snacks and recruit cafeteria staff will cost the company a substantial amount of money which could otherwise be regarded as profits. The long-run benefits are however higher than the incurred costs because a motivated and healthy workforce will be more productive, loyal and satisfied. The profits will be on an increasing trend and cover for the food expenses.
A positive work environment is important in motivating and retaining employees in a company. One of the ways to provide a positive environment is through provision of free foods and drinks at workplace. The advantages of this policy are saving on employees expenses on food, saving time, promoting employee interaction and motivating employees to healthy, productive and loyal to the company. The pitfalls of the policy are the incurred costs of maintaining the cafeteria and kitchen staff. Overall, the policy is good for the company in terms of motivated staff and increased productivity.
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