Doughnuts aren’t Doing it Anymore!


There was a time that providing employees with free donuts was enough to make them happy (if not healthy) and therefore harder-working and more loyal.  Paul Feldman a successful economist in Washington made a business out of bringing in bagels and cream cheese to his team as a Friday bonus. He started leaving out a money basket to encourage them to contribute and ultimately left his job set up Bagel Day: the company which delivers the bagels:

Employers nowadays are very aware of the benefits of non-monetary rewards and upskilling support for their employees.  Developing new ways to keep staff loyal and motivated are an essential part of modern business culture. Companies have to work hard and smart to stem lightning fast and costly staff turnover. One solution is ‘the boomerang’ employee whereby companies can save retraining and ‘onboarding’ time and money by rehiring ex-employees who are tried and tested and already know the score.

And while many employees in the SME sector are jealous of their friends working in the modern multinationals, who can eat for free all day long at ice-cream nooks and salad bars, and then work off the calories at the on-site gym, even SMEs understand that employee engagement is a top priority, which includes a focus on the well-being and resilience of employees and developing the human side of the business. In 2015, British Petroleum distributed 24,500 fitbits to track employees’ health and wellness. According to the wearable technology report, around 2000 companies worldwide will offer their employees fitness trackers in 2016. (…/2015…/wearable-technology-creeps-into-the-workplace)

The kinds of offerings to keep employees engaged and effective are the bonding activities: such as team-building weekends, Paintballing, and to ‘To Hell and Back’ style challenges;  health and wellness offerings: like Yoga, Tai Kwando, Zumba. Then there is the upskilling support that companies can provide or subsidise:  everything from MBAs for top managers, to language lessons, presentation and speaking skills, to health and safety, IT training and so on; all in an attempt to keep the skills of your workforce up to date. And to keep your workforce.

Are your employees spending their working time sneaking onto social media? Checking their Facebook likes? Instagramming the antics of their co-workers?  Forward thinking companies are turning this to their advantage and offering ‘Employee social advocacy programs.’

Many of these courses and supports can be provided (and received) tax-free if they are deemed relevant to the business i.e. ‘directly related to increasing the effectiveness of the performance of the director’s or employee’s present or prospective duties in the office or employment’ (

To see how your company is doing in 2016 Check out Deloitte’s Human Capital Dashboard:

Written by Andrea Goldman

Much More Than Words is running an early morning Breakfast Event for HR Professionals. Join in the conversation with our key note speaker Dr. Annette Clancy, organisational behavioural specialist  from UCD – 18 January 2017 at the Bank of Ireland, Montrose Centre.


For more details contact: janie


Author: janie lazar

Janie Lazar is at heart a ChangeMaker. As a qualified Executive and Personal Coach, Trainer, Facilitator, Speaker and Writer, her work with professionals has a focus on Communication, specialising in working with senior management and in particular with those whose first language is NOT English. With Andrea Goldman in 2016, Janie piloted workshops to evaluate the needs of international professionals working in Ireland, resulting in an Integrated Approach to Professional Development for non-native English Speakers in the Workplace.

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