Forget Trust Falls - Why Food Is the Ultimate Teambuilding Tool
Aug 12, 2021 04:39 PM EDT | By Ernest Hamilton
If you've ever been in charge of organizing a teambuilding event, you know how challenging it can be to balance everyone's happiness with the company's greater goals. How do you make everyone feel happy and welcome while cultivating a social, communal and goal-oriented atmosphere? How do you boost morale as you try to encourage increased productivity? And crucially, how do you bring everyone together as a team?
Here's how you don't do it: You don't rely on those outmoded teambuilding exercises. Trust falls, icebreaker games, and share circles may have worked in a bygone era (though even that's debatable), but today's workforce - largely millennial, largely wary of corporate line-towing - rarely click with these teambuilding tools.
Instead, look to that time-tested adage, "the way to someone's heart is through their stomach." If you want to promote community, please everyone, boost morale and increase productivity, forget shelling out for costly games. Hire an experienced, quality-focused, versatile catering company like McEwan Catering and let the food do the teambuilding.
Not sold? Here are a few reasons why food is the ultimate teambuilding tool.
Food Is Social
There's a reason why every political, diplomatic discussion - from the medieval roundtables to the present global summits - takes place around food. Sharing food with others creates an indelible bridge between different cultures, groups and ways of thinking. You can apply the same principles to your team.
Buffet-style catering, canapes and communal platters force people to congregate. They allow people to network, exchange ideas and air concerns. One of the central purposes of teambuilding is to allow your employees to forge meaningful connections with one another, and great food facilitates that process.
Food Is Flexible
In an era of increased diversity, you may find it challenging to organize an event that speaks to everyone. Luckily, food is as universal as it is versatile.
A fantastic caterer knows this and will work with you to provide a menu that accommodates various diets, dietary restrictions and inclinations. You can't say the same of a teambuilding game.
Food Adds Value
Networking may be the central goal of teambuilding, but the secondary purpose has to be to boost morale. You want to add value to your employees' experience to create a satisfying company culture. A high-morale company culture brings in better talent and wrings better work from its employees.
Luckily, great food adds value. It demonstrates to your employees that you value their efforts and reward their victories. But there's a caveat: a simple "pizza party" won't cut it. Several articles, Linkedin think pieces and viral memes have recently decried the pizza party as a cynical ploy to win workers over on the cheap. If you want food to add value, it has to be quality food from an experienced caterer.
Food Adds Fuel
On a final, practical note: food may increase productivity. If you offer a great breakfast buffet or healthy lunch platter, your employees are equipped with the fuel they need to work hard throughout the day. No one likes working on an empty stomach - but a happy, well-fed workforce will dive headfirst into meeting their goals.
In summary, a catered meal does everything a teambuilding exercise should. It reinforces bonds, displays gratitude, demonstrates inclusivity and provides much-needed fuel to a hard-working team.