Robert Heinlein’s once said, “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” Providing good quality meals to your employees is a huge investment to make. Will your employees appreciate you more? Is it really a good return on investment? Does it really improve your employee’s productivity? These are the questions we are going to take a look at.
1) Will your employees appreciate you more?
A massive issue in business today is the turnover of employees. With the time and effort that goes into training or finding employees with the experience and expertise you need, and the competition within your industry, keeping them around is not an easy task.
This is where the “PERKS” system comes into play. Additional perks beyond a salary can go a long way with employees, a recent study indicates that food is a favourite within multiple industries. Employees with the perk of a free meal are 54% more likely to remain in a company that they feel more appreciated by, which intern increases their productivity.
60 % of employees said that they would be happier at work, if the company provided them with lunch. It is also important to note that companies that already have this perk in place have seen a 70% increase in employee recommendations as a great place to work. I’m sure you will agree that this sounds like a pretty good deal so far.
2) Does it really improve your employee’s productivity?
During this study, they also looked into whether free and regular foods makes employee work better or not. Apart from already making employees happier, there are many more reasons why this is true.
Taking sick days because of illness, low sugar levels and a lack of available food and nutrition can have negative effects on your employee’s productivity. Employees spend less time fetching and organising food when it is easily accessible, which means they have regular energy and a 46& increase in focusing on projects.
With increased time and improved focus, companies that have a meal plan have a lot more productive employees than ones without. Workers who skipped meals or were providing their own meals showed a 49% increase in productivity once their employer added a meal plan with free lunch as one of their perks.
3) Is it really a good return on investment?
So what does all of this mean? It goes without saying that organising one or more meals on the companies account everyday, is going to be a costly affair. Happiness, increased productivity and retention rate is great, but this can cost more than it brings in, right? Well not quite.
At the end of the study, the researches looked at what the result of all the accumulated perks was, and it came to a 150% return on investment (ROI). That is huge and definitely not a number that should be ignored. It changes the way companies might look at implementing perks like this.
While each and every business is different and has their own individual niche, everyone needs to eat. There is no reason what so ever that you can’t capitalise on this basic human need, while making everyone just a tad happier.