A dozen doughnuts isn't an employee engagement strategy

It might have seemed like a good idea. Bringing coffee and doughnuts your employees as token of appreciation. It's a nice gesture but also an empty one.  Let's discuss some better alternatives. 

Employees spend a significant amount of their waking hours producing work for your organization.  In addition to their wage and benefits, most employees are motivated by the relationships they have with members of their team, including their manager.  An organization that engages and demonstrates an appreciation for its employees are likely to build a strong culture and maintain a high performing team that stays for a long time. 

The best way to boost employee morale is through engagement. Once you have established a strong employee engagement strategy, sharing snacks with the team can add a nice touch.  Before you buy doughnuts to increase engagement (and increase cholesterol levels) follow these tips instead. 

  1. Provide a Healthy Option:  Doughnuts are delicious, but they're also a lazy choice so instead, choose to serve a healthy option. You wouldn't be wrong for thinking that it seems to always be the people who ask for granola bars and fruit that wind up eating the doughnuts. Obviously, they're not really health nuts, and no one chooses a granola bar over a doughnut.  
    ***A rule of thumb is to go with the healthiest option available and also something that isn't associated a particular meal of day.  
  2. Get to Know Your Employees:  Sit down with your employees over snacks and learn something about them. Use the snack time for an impromptu "get-to-know-you" or mixer for members of your team.   

  3. Provide Options:  Now that you've learned the likes and dislikes of your employees, you're able to make an informed decision on the best way to treat them.  Remember that everyone is unique and will have different preferences.  Also, be aware of the dietary needs that members of your team may have.  

  4. Remember the Time of Day:  Always choose a snack option that coincides with the sort of snack people would get for themselves.  Coffee and doughnuts are not an ideal snack for the afternoon. 

  5. Bring Enough for Everyone:  Unless it's a scheduled meeting, not everyone arrives to work at the same time and the last thing you want to do is run out of food.  If necessary, hold a portion of the snacks off to the side to ensure you have enough for other members of your team. 

In conclusion, if you want to treat your team to doughnuts then go ahead, buy doughnuts—after all, they're delicious.  But let the food be an afterthought and be sure to follow food safety best practices.  If you want to truly connect with your employees, then make an effort to engage with them on a personal level.