Culture Chat

And other musings on humanizing the workplace
Candy Everybody Wants: Quick and Easy Connections At Work

Candy Everybody Wants: Quick and Easy Connections At Work

April 26, 2016
Guest Post

THE FOLLOWING POST COMES FROM ONE OF OUR GREAT CLIENTS...DAXKO...AND THEIR VP OF PEOPLE, DAWN BURKE

Before we talk shop, let’s be clear.  Baby Ruth Bars are the GREATEST OF ALL THE CANDIES.  Don’t be afraid to admit it.  Don’t be a closet Ruth lover.  Be brave and show your Ruth love publically.

And I’m calling out all of you Butterfinger/ Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Lovers.  Lucifer created fake peanut butter.

So anyway….

I conducted training at our Daxko CSI Houston location.  In a fit of spontaneity, one of the Houston team members and I started coveting a jar of candy on her desk.  We got into a casual conversation about which candy we liked best:  my Baby Ruth vs. her Mr. Goodbar.  Both of us shocked that the other’s top choice was so awful, pulled out all the candies and ranked them from top to bottom.  Now it was starting to become interesting.

As people walked by, I pulled them into the conversation.  Food, a great equalizer only second to music, clearly intrigued the masses.  Soon a line formed and others wanted to check out the rankings and make very strong statements about why both of us were wrong (or right).   People made their own lists, talked about why certain candies were great (it reminds me of my brother….) and laughed.  A lot.

So what does this have to do with culture? Or engagement? Or Work?

Everything.

People crave connection, especially from leaders.  They want in on the conversation, the joke and the connection.  Why is this important?

Intimacy + Access = Trust.  

In this case Intimacy (being in on the candy conversation) + Access (getting some time to commiserate with a VP and other team members + laughing + having an opinion + talking about memories + actually eating the candy + talking about other things) builds trust

So I encourage all of you to find small ways to connect.  Pull lots of people in. Make the time to be stupid, silly, and laugh.  This breaks down barriers.  And the biggest killers and saboteurs of your business are barriers that destroy trust.

Also, this wasn’t a pre-planned, cheesy training activity.  Just a spontaneous, corny event that everyone organically became a part of. 

In case you are wondering, the winner of the candy ranking contest, was not me.  My extreme love of Baby Ruths was apparently not shared by the masses.  That’s OK; I’m true to my candy.

However all agreed that star peppermints suck.  But in their defense, they are a utility player, not a candy.

Viva la Baby Ruth!

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Dawn Burke is the VP of People for Daxko, a leading software provider for member-based organizations nation-wide.  As VP of People, Dawn has one primary job:  To provide all team members with a rewarding career experience.  It’s that simple. 

In addition to 20 years HR experience, she’s a speaker, writer for Fistful of Talent and DawnHBurke.com, serves on the HR Advisory Board for the University of Alabama, and gives back to her hometown by serving as President of her local SHRM chapter.  She’s also addicted to TV, loves to cry at movies, thinks wine and a wheel of brie makes a well balanced dinner, and sings in her car daily.  

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(photo credit)

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