Ping Pong Tables Aren’t Enough

by Jul 11, 2018

Rebecca here, Catherine’s account manager at Civility Partners. I hijacked her blog because I absolutely HAVE to get something off my chest… As an employee, I wanted to share some lessons learned about employee engagement.

To give you some background, my roommate, Cristina, and I both entered the workforce this past year. I started here at Civility Partners as an intern and quickly became a full-time employee, Cristina got an internship in her field and is still an intern.

When she started she fell in love with the company. She had work-out Fridays, drank beer on tap, and played ping pong. (Admittedly, back then I was a little jealous because we don’t have that here at Civility Partners.)

In return, she was going the extra mile, working weekends if necessary, and ultimately was a happy and engaged employee… or so I thought.

It’s been almost a year since she started. Her engagement’s done a 180 degree turn and she’s looking for a new job.

Her job has become stagnant; nobody has taken the time to discuss her future at the organization. Not to mention, her boss fails to recognize her hard work and often takes credit for her ideas.

It seems like many organizations are relying on the Google-inspired office to engage employees, much like my roommate’s employer. It may attract employees, and build excitement at first, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned through our simultaneous journey’s, it surely isn’t enough to engage employees in the long term.

While we don’t have ping pong tables, I know my employer cares about my opportunities to learn and grow. And now, Cristina’s the one who’s jealous.

It all comes down to how you treat your employees – every single day.

Employees want to feel valued, so instead of giving them beer on tap, send them a thank you note or give them a shout out in an email to the entire office. This act of recognition will go a lot further than you think.

Employees also want to know where they are going with the company and how their work links to the organizational mission.

And start career mapping with new employees early on, to be sure they see a clear vision of their future with you.

If you don’t, odds are they will leave, especially us “darn Millennials” who are constantly looking to learn and grow.

In the interest of getting off my soap box, I’ll just end with this last statement: Don’t depend on a Google-y environment to retain employees and maximize productivity. Just treat your employees like the people they are.

Oh, and don’t tell Catherine I took over her blog. It’ll be our little secret.



About Catherine Mattice

Catherine Mattice, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is President of consulting and training firm, Civility Partners, and has been successfully providing programs in workplace bullying and building positive workplaces since 2007. Her clients include Fortune 500’s, the military, several universities and hospitals, government agencies, small businesses and nonprofits. She has published in a variety of trade magazines and has appeared several times on NPR, FOX, NBC, and ABC as an expert, as well as in USA Today, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more. Catherine is Past-President of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), San Diego Chapter and teaches at National University. In his book foreword, Ken Blanchard called her book, BACK OFF! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work, “the most comprehensive and valuable handbook on the topic.” She recently released a second book entitled, SEEKING CIVILITY: How Leaders, Managers and HR Can Create a Workplace Free of Bullying.

Microaggressions Can Become Part of an Organization’s Culture. Here’s Why

We're talking a lot about making sure everyone feels included and respected in the workplace. But sometimes, it's not the big, obvious stuff that makes people feel excluded and disrespected - it's the little things. We have likely all experienced situations where...

5 Unfair and Discriminatory Hiring Practices That Go Unnoticed

Businesses that prioritize diversity in their workforce significantly increase the likelihood of fostering creative and innovative thinking among their employees by 150%. Also, companies with a lot of different ethnicities and races in their management team are 35%...

How the Lack of Training Affects your Organization

The workforce is the heart of any thriving company. However, without proper training, employees may find themselves ill-equipped to meet the demands of their roles effectively.  Millennials think learning and growing are important reasons for joining a new company....

Why it’s Getting Harder for Some Women to Report Harassment

The United Nations Women found that about 1 in every 3 women has been sexually harassed at work. 3 out of 4 of them never report it to a manager, HR or anyone else. Imagine a world where every woman is treated with the respect and dignity she deserves. Unfortunately,...

How Companies Can Support Single Parents

Single parents face increased pressure as they balance full-time employment with the responsibility of caring for their children. This heightened pressure comes from various factors, such as economic challenges, limited support systems, and the need to provide for...

Why Your Reward System For Employees Can Fail Badly

Last week marked the celebration of Employee Appreciation Day! During this special time, many companies express their gratitude to their workforce, and one common way they do it is by giving out rewards.  Reward systems are a crucial aspect of employee motivation and...

Can a Wage Increase Make Employees More Productive?

In California, the upcoming minimum wage boost for fast food workers to $20 starting April 1st has ignited discussions about its potential influence on worker productivity.  Currently, the median hourly wage for fast-food workers in the U.S. is $13.43, while in...

Why Every Leader Needs to Worry About Toxic Work Culture

Employees quit their jobs for different reasons, and a major one is because of a toxic workplace environment. In fact, researchers discovered that between April and September 2021, toxic culture was the main reason why employees decided to leave their jobs. A toxic...

Civility Partners at 15 Years!

2024 marks an incredible milestone for us—our 15th-anniversary celebration! Yes, you read that right—15 years of making a positive impact on over 270 organizations served, thousands of employees, and millions of people worldwide! Thanks to the vision of our founder...

Driving Organizational Success Through Behavior Change

How can you make your workplace more exciting and successful?  Organizational success is not solely dependent on strategies or cutting-edge technologies. Instead, the key driver of success lies within the organization itself—specifically, within the collective...