Silver Fortune Cookies
Nothing is more galling than to give an employee a gift just to watch him eat it. Furthermore, if you’re the boss, you are probably very diligent in controlling the messaging at your workplace. You don’t need your loyal workers getting infected with some goofy superstition based on something Confucius mumbled while he was drunk. This makes conventional fortune cookies a terrible choice for any workplace function. On the other hand, people love these things, despite the fact that they taste like sweetened cardboard. This is the compromise you’ve been looking for.
Nothing interrupts productivity like the intrusion of inane chatter, construction noise, fire alarms, and other nuisances. And try as you might to erase it from existence, every office has its fair share of explosive interpersonal drama. The only solution is to give your most dedicated employees the means to physically block it out, and let all the other unhinged maniacs eat each other alive. Hey, it’s your fault for hiring them. That makes it your job to shelter the innocent.
Mainstream wine snobbery has never taken hold in the New World like it did in Europe, so we use coffee and beer as vehicles to look down on each other in its place. Your grandpa may have been more than happy with a cup of Maxwell House every day for 70 years, but that was a different time. The masses have developed a palate, and there’s no looking back. But with all the thousands of artisan roasters out there, anyone trying to keep up on their own is likely to go insane. Luckily, some already insane person has taken on the job of curating, so the rest of us can pretend we’re experts.
When your employees say in their interviews that they’re looking for a workplace with a great “culture”, this is what they mean. Team building activities, group outings, honest communication, integrity, and a sense that they’re making a difference in the world are great, but those are all forms of beating around the bush. And that bush is beer. Because anyone who feeds them free beer earns their trust and respect. Anyone who feeds them free beer while paying them earns their eternal loyalty and the keys to their soul. Talk about a return on investment.
Who has time for trial and error? Folks today demand fast-acting, proven solutions to their everyday conundrums. A modern stand-in for the tried and trusted Farmer’s Almanac, this back pocket companion is more reliable than your great-grandmother and more concise than an open-ended Google search. Believe it or not, some of the “smartest” solutions have been around for ages.
From an ergonomic perspective, the verdict is in: chairs are a public nuisance, contributing to all manner of aches, pains, muscle imbalances, and other dreaded physical dysfunctions. In fact, there’s only one thing worse than chairs: old chairs. As an employer, you’ve taken an implied oath to limit the psychological, physical, and spiritual damage you inflict on your employees. Subjecting them to the torment of antiquated furniture is like a doctor shooting his patients. We can do better.
Don’t bother trying to figure out what your employees really want to do in their spare time. The tickets to Marylin Manson’s reunion tour that you gave away at Christmas last year? Those went straight to StubHub. Making a misstep with event tickets makes your entire team wonder if you know them at all. One Nickleback ticket can undo a whole year of culture building. You’re a firm believer in delegating responsibility to lower level managers. It’s time you let them have control over their personal lives as well.
There are many forms of behavioral conditioning and mind control that can be used to get what you want out of the people you employ. In the end, however, cash is still king. But don’t waste this opportunity for some sly brand promotion, or to give them a subtle reminder of who pays the bills around here.
How do you know you’ve really made it? When you’ve finally put your stamp on the food supply — literally. The shrewd business moves of your company’s executives have nourished your employees in many ways, filling their lives with meaning and putting food on the table for their families. But nothing is as satisfying as seeing the workers you command physically assimilating your corporate logo. It’s like watching the circle finally be completed, right before your eyes.