Food! Glorious Food! The Power of Edible Incentives

Finishing off another piece of chocolate cake during a company potluck the other day, it suddenly hit me on yet another non-cash, morale and engagement booster in the workplace:


It's amazing how the power of food motivates people and brings them together. Just look at Thanksgiving. What other device could motivate some individuals to spend a day with those they may not even be able to stand to be in the same area code as?


Just from casual observation, it's awesome to see how a person's day can be transformed by it. I've seen someone (including myself) who appeared to be having a horrible day hear about a potluck or some other edible delight in the breakroom and then immediately go through a transformation.

A huge component of a successful incentive plan is the experience or memory associated with it (Paul Hebert discusses this in a post). Merchandise has the ability to capture this "experiential" effect. For example, it's not the new grill you received but the great cookout with family you were able to experience as a result of having it. Food also provides the centerpiece to a great experiential motivator for employees. They won't (hopefully anyway) be able to have a tangible reminder of that meal. However, they will have the memories associated with that experience, whether it be at a lunchtime potluck or a company-wide recognition dinner.

Food: engaging and bringing employees together one potluck at a time.