Soup’s On! …for Employee Engagement

Who doesn’t like a good bowl of steaming, home-made soup? Especially during the cold winter months – soup can really warm up the soul.

(My own home-made beet borscht!)

Well  – turns out soup can also warm up the ‘soul’ of a company according to internationally acclaimed Diamond + Schmitt Architects. Featured in the Toronto Star, this company has “soup day” every Thursday in the third floor kitchen of their office. But this isn’t soup to order: each week a different employee dons the chef’s hat and is responsible for brewing up the batch – from scratch.

Selected as one of Canada’s best-managed companies, Diamond refers to this initiative “a culinary project on workplace convergence.” And according to Jack Diamond, head of the firm, “..activities like this create a sense of community at a time of day the staff might otherwise be stepping out to a cafe or stressfully hunched over their desk with a sandwich.”

 Now that’s a recipe for collegiality and inspiration!

Is there something about builders? They seem to get it. Another builder who gets it is Tribute Communities – they earned an International Coach Federation Prism award for their Engagement at Work initiative. Disclaimer: I was involved in coaching and leading that project. 

Soup is one (great!) idea. There are so many more. One of my clients in the financial services industry was out last week with her co-workers building a house with Habitat.

So how about you? What are your experiences with activities that are meant to rally the troupes and build more ‘community’ at work? What’s working? What’s missing that may offer an opportunity to address?

I was interviewed for an article on this topic that was published in the Canadian HR Reporter. You can read it here.

In the meantime, to soup and other strategies to foster that TGIM work-life!

Eileen

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