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.

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