When was the last time you took your squad to lunch? Sometimes getting away from the work environment and having one-on-one time to bond is the only way to connect during the hectic day-to-day grind of the game. This is a great practice for co-workers as well.
We typically gravitate to those folks we are most comfortable with in the company. On most football teams, the offense hangs out together and the defense hangs out together. Nudge yourself and be intentional about practicing Cheer Leadership by having coffee or lunch with those you don’t know well, possibly from other departments. Getting to know them on a personal level will only enhance everyone’s level of play over time.
Did you know that, according to one study, 60 percent of the employees surveyed said they would feel more valued and appreciated if they were provided food at the office? Imagine how much more valued and appreciated they would feel if you took them out to lunch for some team bonding instead of just plopping a tray of sandwiches down in the break room?!
Research has found that the workplace lunch break isn’t really much of a break anymore for a number of workers. In fact, one report found that 34 percent of employees take a lunch break but usually stay at their desk, 15 percent take a lunch break only from time to time, and 16 percent seldom, if ever, take a lunch break. That means that 65% of employees aren’t consistently taking a true lunch break! This trend can negatively impact loyalty, engagement, retention, and overall company culture.
One way to ensure your team members are taking time to get out of the office for a real lunch break? Take them out to lunch yourself (if your budget allows, of course)! Not only will they appreciate the chance to get out of the office, they’ll also enjoy the company of sharing a meal with their co-workers, which will surely build camaraderie and foster a stronger team! Take this a step further and start reaching out to people you don’t normally socialize with. See if Audra from accounting would like to join you for a cup of coffee. Ask Julio from IT if he would like to grab a quick bite at the corner deli. You could also ask leaders from other departments if their team would like to join yours the next time you’re planning a group lunch.
This week, I challenge you to research potential lunch spots close to your office that would be a good fit for your team - size/space wise, budget wise, menu wise. You could even compile a list of options and poll your team to see what the top choice is. Or you could make an “executive decision” and keep it a surprise and just round everybody up! And it's perfectly acceptable for each colleague to pay for their own meal as long as you've indicated this in the invitation. The gesture will not only nourish your team physically, but also mentally by showing them that you value their hard work and dedication!
FUN FACT: In 1866, the Bank of France provided employees with the possibility of lunching together in a self-managed canteen. This type of collective dining for company employees became widespread across the country in the 1960’s.