Our UOP Candy Basket on KPCW Radio
March 28, 2011 Leave a comment
Below is the article:
“I admit it, I am a sugar fiend. I’m one of those people who can never have cookies or candy around or that’s all I will eat….until it’s gone. I even eat my kids’ Halloween candy while they are at school. So when I started my new job a few months ago and was shown to my office – to my outward horror and hidden delight, I saw the candy basket. It was the first thing I saw when I walked in the room, as my new boss was saying, “..and here’s the printer and here’s the human resource office, and meet your new co-workers..”
Not only was it huge, but it was brimming with all of my favorite mini-chocolate candy bars. I am not kidding, it was terrible and wonderful all at the same time. I had to pass by the candy basket on my way to the copy machine, the water cooler, the restroom, even other employees. I came up with varying rules for myself, “no candy until after I’ve replied to all the emails,” “No candy until after 10:30am” “If had a hard day… all the candy I want,” But at the same time I was loving it, I was hating it. Trying to blame anyone but my own absence of willpower, I was secretly disgusted that a candy basket would be placed at the epicenter of this business.
I had been there about a week when I noticed that employees from the far reaches of this property which stretches over mountains, hills and ravines all came to the candy basket, which, by no accident was adjacent to the human resource office. I watched with growing interest, this time not at the almond joys and mini-twix’ss going by, but at the bonding that grew out of the candy basket. The human resources manager would greet all who arrived at the candy basket with a smile, a greeting, and some sincere question to find out how they were doing. How is your daughter, or how was your trip, or are you feeling better, I got your favorite candy at Costco. I met nearly all the employees there my first week and conversations ensued around the candy basket. I immediately felt part of the whole.
“Delivering Happiness,” is a book by the CEO of Zappos, the online shoe company worth many billions, that talks about creating culture in an organization. At Zappos, there is an extraordinarily low turnover rate and part of their philosophy is the notion of creating culture among their employees. They do it in a variety of ways – creating opportunity for employees to meet by limiting the number of walkways inside the building or creating a name the employee quiz that pops up every time you log on to your computer.
Like the candy basket – genius in it’s simplicity. To make people feel part of a culture, part of a community. How does your organization create community?
Could the candy basket be part creating this culture in my workplace? And is that part of why employees stick around for an amazingly long time in this otherwise transient resort community? Let me unwrap another mini-snickers and think about it.
This is Lynn Ware Peek with Tales from the Wasatch Back.”