Fluffy Bunnies and Cocktails…


If you could make one change……

It was with a large smile on my face that I read the recent article in People Management magazine ‘Fantasy Workplaces – Free cocktails every Friday’ ( People Management – Feb 2016) Among some of the suggestions for how to improve employee experience were;

  1. A cocktail trolley every Friday.
  2. A large bunny rabbit to cuddle.
  3. Nap rooms.
  4. A boxing ring to solve disputes.

Also within the madness and excitement I saw a variety of actually quite sensible suggestions;

  1. Holding meetings outside to stimulate creativity and fresh ideas.
  2. Limiting meetings to 30 minutes in length
  3. Creating a learning environment for all with art tuition, guitar lessons and a large library and exercise space.

With this in mind I thought I’d reach out to my network of PAYE friends and see what their reactions to this question would be and to be brutally honest I was expecting limited sensible suggestions with an onus on a pay rise and greater flexible working patterns, even with a ‘sack the boss’ thrown in for good measure!

My first friend to reply told me of a company she worked for who provided 10 minute chair massages, once a month for all employees and all expenses paid trips to Barbados for all those who exceeded their targets. Now, we all know that the pre-credit crunch days of hedonism in business are long gone for the majority of us mere mortals. However, I was pleasantly surprised that many more employees buy in to the improvement of their company on a much deeper level – even those who aren’t in HR! We had suggestions of wellbeing options for compulsory training hours (I’ve trialled this and we had great uptake). A meditation and calming room, with pets to cuddle was a fab suggestion beating the problem of leaving your fluffy ones at home all day alone.

This article is a bit of fun but highlights 2 very important things to me:

  1. The carrot approach to increasing productivity really gets people excited.
  2. Employees when aroused by an idea are really creative, forward thinking people who do want to improve not only their work lives but the business that they work in also.

Although we won’t be seeing widespread petting zoos in corporate offices maybe we will see an increase in how leaders see the importance of improving employee experience especially as the spread of technology makes us all contactable 24-7-365.

Please do let me know how your organisation improves employee experience. Are there wellbeing zones and quiet rooms out there? I look forward to hearing some fun suggestions also. Namaste!

Thank you for reading – Natalie


8 thoughts on “Fluffy Bunnies and Cocktails…

  1. Vicky says:

    I work in a very different environment in a region of sand(my www name, may offer a clue). It’s probably not a career-enhancing idea to expand on it but it brought a smile to my face as I read through your post!
    I suspect it will be many moons before we are encouraged down any of your three sensible suggestions 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mimi45rog says:

    I think the majority of employees really wouldn´t ask for anything too extravagant, Far more important would be to feel apreciated and treated like a human being. Only a small part of that is fair payment even though it is important as well, It is widely known that workers who think their boss acknowledges their achievements work a lot harder than people who are just afraid of being scolded all the time for things they didn´t do right. Positive affirmation works not only for children but for adults as well 🙂 It would be a good idea for managers to take that to mind.
    I see you´ve run your own businesses, isn´t that something you experienced as well?

    Liked by 2 people

    • nharris1612 says:

      Yes Mimi, from my experience employees are (in the vast majority) a very sensible group and in the main want their company to succeed and to know that they are the reason for that growth. During my entrepreneurial stage I did not have any employees but I hope that in my next entrepreneurial age I will be able to be in that position. Thank you for your comment! Happy Wednesday! Natalie

      Liked by 1 person

  3. weebluemixer says:

    The organisation I work for ( or soon to be ex employment at end of month) has no incentives for working well, in fact it is quite a demoralising environment that has meant we have lost a lot of young, enthusiastic talent. We are not even allowed to leave coffee mugs on our desk or have pen holders out on our desk overnight! They just don’t seem to have got their priorities right and in an already stressful busy environment petty nit picking is the last thing we need. Relaxing this nit picking who give people a bit of relief! Definitely more options for wellbeing and good mental health would be great. Even having and encouraging coffee breaks ( which seem to be frowned upon) would help.

    Liked by 1 person

    • nharris1612 says:

      Thank you for your comment. It is a hard lesson to learn when an organisation loses talent in this way. HR and leaders have a vital job; to nurture a positive culture that fosters creative minds which is ultimately good for the bottom line. The hardest step I think is for an organisation however large or small to relinquish a little ‘control’. I wish you all the best in your new career. Best wishes Natalie

      Liked by 1 person

      • weebluemixer says:

        Thanks Natalie. I don’t have a new job yet, but I’m studying for a Masters, so I’ll have more free time to dedicate to this and to my dissertation. I think you are right about the control aspect, I think the organisation doesn’t trust enough to relinquish this control and the lack of trust in employees is so detrimental itself. I think they think that by having so much control they can control the bottom line so tightly, but the revolving door of unhappy employees actually increases financial outlay.

        Liked by 1 person

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