Need New Employee Engagement Ideas? Try Management Lunches!

Engage Employees in New Ways

It’s easy to get stuck cycling through the same old employee engagement ideas, so every now and again we’ll profile one to encourage you to try something new. While we like to make a clear distinction between culture and perks, there is nothing wrong with perks that help to foster great company culture and employee engagement! Such perks can keep things exciting and help employees feel appreciated. A management-hosted lunch is an example of a perk that does just that.

The Why

Management lunches foster great company culture by showing employee appreciation, facilitating communication, and promoting workplace relationships. For example, a study by Sociometric Solutions found that employees that sat together at a group lunch were 36% more likely to interact with each other later that day!

Bringing people together over a meal encourages free-form conversation and idea sharing. Management lunches also allow for mingling with people from other departments or levels within the company. A conversation that started in the sandwich line might lead to a brilliant inter-departmental innovation!

Additionally, taking lunch away from the desk can help prevent employee burnout. Therefore, management lunches provide employees with an opportunity to share ideas while taking a valuable break from their desk.

The How

There is no one-size fits all format for management lunches. They can take place at the office with catered food or be hosted at a nearby restaurant. They can be part of a regular schedule or be tied to special events, such as new employee orientation, work anniversaries, or special recognition.

Regardless of the details, the goal is to get people together, so plan ahead! If possible, try to seat everyone at larger tables, so that more employees can fit at one table. The Sociometric Solutions study also found that tables with seating for 12 encouraged post-lunch interaction more than smaller tables that seated four.

Finally, be mindful of dietary restrictions when providing food for employees. Someone might feel uncomfortable speaking out about their dietary restrictions, so if you aim for a diverse menu, people are less likely to be left out.

Looking for more employee engagement ideas? Check out 5 Guest Speaker Ideas to Motivate Employees