The secret driver of employee engagement: chocolate!

Chocolate in the mailbox

Yesterday a friend came along (let’s call her Sandra), and she gave me a bar of chocolate. She had received the bar from her employer, but as she is one of the few people that hates chocolate, she gave it to me. The bar was had a special company wrap, that was used to promote the introduction of the new purpose statement in the company where she worked. I won’t reveal the company and the slogan, but the slogan was something like “By raising the bar together, our future will be sweet!”.

Let’s motivate our people and send them chocolate!

Sandra told me that several of her friends, working in different organisations, had received a bar of chocolate from their employer as well. Often the brand is “Tony Chocolony”, who apparently do a good job in marketing their product as motivational material.


I’m puzzled by these actions. I’ve seen more examples of organisations that have mailed small presents, as chocolate, a Friday afternoon drink box, special cookies and what have you. With printed messages. as “Thank you for your contribution in these difficult times”. Does this really work? Do organisations really think that their people become more engaged and motivated if the receive a bar of chocolate, without e personal message, in the Friday mail?

There are alternatives; show that you really care

I perceive it as somewhat lazy and not original at all, if an organisation gives an external agency the order to mail a bar of chocolate to all the employees at their home. If this is the best idea that came out of the brainstorm of the HR- and Communications team, I would worry about the organisation.

I’m not going to brainstorm long with myself, but I’m sure there are many simple things that can be done, for less cost, maybe a little bit more effort and hopefully more positive effects. There are ways to show that you really care about your people. Like:

  • Call them and ask them how they are doing, and how you can help them. Not one, but regularly.
  • If you want to use the mail, send a card with a personal message. Maybe even include a chocolate bar!

I’m sure you can think of many more, even without the help of HR or Communications.

Have a look at "Talking HR Trends with Natal & Tom"

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