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.
It only took us several hundred years, but we’ve figured out that chairs are the worst thing ever. The option of working on your feet has come to seem more attractive than ever, and some say it facilitates greater productivity. And if you’re not comfortable forcing your employees to stand all day, there are plenty of adjustable desks that allow them to choose how lazy they want to be.
Money is a slippery commodity. Much like a wet fish, if you don’t handle it just right it’s bound to squirt out of your hands, never to be seen again. However, there’s a lot of solid advice available on this front. You just have to know where to look. The important thing is that you get this good advice in the hands of a new investor before they go monkeying around in the markets and end up with empty pockets and egg on their face. A beginner’s guide to investing from a credible source is a great way to start.
You may think you all know each other, but as any shipwreck survivor can tell you, real bonding happens in the wild. After a few days on vacation together, everyone will know what it’s like to turn to the person in the next cubicle, reach into their chest, and feel their squishy, pulsating heart. Okay, maybe it won’t get that intimate, but at least you’ll get to see people let their guard down for a few minutes.
This is the perfect metaphor for an idealized workplace: a self-contained ecosystem where the needs of every organism are met without any input from the outside world, harmony is maintained effortlessly, and if one organism dies, the rest feed off it and get stronger. Your company’s culture probably can’t compete with this little glass orb, but let it serve as a model for all to follow in the hopes that one day you can approach its perfection. Subconscious guidance can be very powerful.
Everyday life has plenty of unavoidable indignities; there’s no reason to add cold coffee to the list. We’ve come so far technologically, yet we’re still relying on basic pottery to keep our coffee warm, like it’s the Stone Age or something. And your employees are too busy making your business AWESOME to pay attention to how long their coffee mug has been sitting out on the desktop. Place it on one of these instead, and they never have to worry about it again.
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.
You’ve never expected your employees to build the castle alone. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. But when you give a competent, conscientious person the guidance they need - in the form of instructions they can’t possibly f— up - that’s when the magic happens. Blue Apron works on the same principle. The recipient does the cooking, but everything has been planned, portioned, delivered, and explained by a master chef, ensuring that the final product is something everyone can be proud of.
When it comes to your workplace, there are so many things your minions love. The open lines of communication, the abundant praise for good work, the absence of backstabbing politics. The free donuts. But more than anything, they love being paid not to be there. Let’s stop messing around and make them really happy.