Increasingly, millennial and Generation Z employees crave workplace experiences and amenities that align with their values. These values may include social causes, sustainable practices, diverse and inclusive environments, and resources that allow them to care for their personal health.
In short, they’re seeking mindfulness.
“Mindfulness reflects a new consumer attitude, mostly led by millennials, to truly understand everything possible about a particular food or beverage and then support the company, whether it be a brand or a retailer, by aligning with its values and supporting it with purchases,” Phil Lempert writes in Forbes. And practicing mindfulness in your workplace could help attract and retain talent.
It’s never too early to incorporate mindfulness into your employee dining experience. Simply ask yourself a few questions to see if your facility is on the right path.
1. Are we offering healthy meals that energize?
Healthy meals and snacks are not just important to millennials, but also to Generation X and baby boomers. Let’s face it – we all need to make healthy choices when it comes to what we eat.
Delicious and healthy food leads to a healthier, happier and more productive workforce. Using the best ingredients and products to meet healthy living goals will increase your employees’ interest in your dining program.
“When you eat mindfully, by paying attention to what you eat, you get more pleasure with fewer calories,” Dr. Dean Ornish told the Los Angeles Times.
2. What are we doing to protect our environment?
Your dedication to sustainability is contagious. When you show that your company is mindful of how dining affects our planet, your employees will take notice. Make it a common goal for everyone to recycle and limit food waste. And don’t forget to celebrate with your team when sustainability goals are met – people enjoy hearing when they’re doing something right.
3. Do our employees know where the food is coming from?
People want to know the story behind their food. Your enlightened team members want to know if it’s locally-grown or sourced. Consider adding signage to your dining space showcasing local products and giving a shoutout to local farms.
More and more people also want to know if proteins have been ethically handled and raised. Grocery stores, cafes and restaurants are labeling foods as such so people can make informed decisions about what they decide to purchase and eat.
4. Are we creating an environment that supports the well-being of our employees?
“Food is not just eating energy,” Guy Fieri said. “It’s an experience.”
With this in mind, it is critical that your dining experience appeals to all senses, specifically sight, smell and taste.
When it comes to sight, make sure your offerings are visually appealing, explosive in color and texture. Foods should look enticing. Your dining area should also be visually attractive, organized, collaborative and welcoming – a place where people want to spend time.
Fresh food smells amazing and makes your mouth water. Ensuring that you have the enticing smell of locally-sourced foods – from entrees on the grill to baked goods for dessert – is another way to welcome your guests into their gathering space.
Sight and smell lead directly to taste. Delicious food makes us happy, and having a tasty and satisfying meal can energize, rejuvenate and prep you for a productive workday.
If you want to foster the most motivated and talented workforce in the marketplace, it’s important to be mindful of what your food program provides and help people feel good about what they are putting into their bodies. This can make a difference in the lives of your team every day.
For more information about how we help companies practice mindfulness in their dining program, contact us here.