‘Something’s Cooking Initiative’ – Bringing Employees Together Over Food

Khushboo Kaushik is Content Manager at CareerBuilder India. Her expertise of writing can be uncovered in areas- Employer Branding, Recruitment Trends, Employee Engagement, Tech in HR. Also, a lover of poetry & art. Reach out to her at n.linkedin.com/in/khushboo-kaushik-4b525a102

Nothing binds people more than a deliciously prepared meal. When it comes to workplace, no festival celebrations, success parties or award events end up without scrumptious food with cocktails being served on the table of corporates. From offering off site activities, fitness classes, to sports events in office, HR teams have been striving hard in the quest to keep employees engaged and happy. Owing to the challenges faced by organizations to keep an engaged workforce, Satish Venkatachaliah came up with a unique employee engagement initiative called, ‘Something’s Cooking’.

Bored of professional meetings and boardroom discussions, this HR expert established a new way of bringing people together in an exciting culinary setting. The idea of ‘Something’s Cooking’, a culinary studio emerged nearly 10 years ago when Satish attended a global meeting at Heidelberg where he witnessed a group of a corporates engaged in a group-cooking activity. The thought-process ultimately showed its face, when the cooking studio by Satish was launched in late 2012. The platform offers team bonding opportunities in a different way than conventional.

Group Cooking Initiatives – How do they help the HR world?

‘Something’s Cooking Initiative’ – Bringing Employees Together Over Food

Following the proverb, ‘Add laughter to taste”, Something’s Cooking was designed with a sole aim to keep the corporate workforce engaged in team bonding and experiential learning activities, that ultimately lead to higher productivity, lesser absenteeism and happier employees. Following the similar trend, HR leaders who are often in the quest for employee engagement can bring forth such ‘group cooking’ initiatives that are not just new, but also innovative, creative and engaging.  They can bring different teams together and allow them cook meals of their choice to celebrate any organizational success or festival.

The art of culinary indeed does not belong to every individual but can certainly restore the enthusiasm to participate, engage, and work as a team amongst workforce. In such a team-building initiative, employees are made to face each other that ensures they are interacting and having the sense of togetherness.

Often observed that new hires especially fresher level employees experience discomfort in adapting with senior or same level colleagues. Communication with other teams is a much tougher task for them. At this juncture, activities like culinary craft appear as ice-breakers for fresher to senior, new to existing employees allowing them to express themselves on a much personal way without any barrier of hesitancy, experience, or age for that matter.

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Just like two strangers become best friends over a cup of coffee, a house becomes a home over the mealtime with all the family members, colleagues and bosses can bridge every gap and foster an engaged workforce. Cooking has been the passion for many people, including those who do not bring it to their workplaces. With ‘group cooking’ initiatives, employees can not only put forth their personal passions but can also spread their taste of talent to the corporate world.

Another Innovative Employee Engagement Initiative

Engaged workforce, productive employees, what’s more?

Corporates looking out for a way to create brand awareness or working towards employer branding can put on hold their conventional strategies and take an innovative step to become a winning brand. Employees who are rewarded, motivated, and engaged in an encouraging environment are more willing to stay in the organization for a longer haul. Companies that aim to hire only the best talent can use this strategy to retain their best players by conducting group-cooking activities on special days or planned ones. The location to conduct this kind of team building activity can be in or out of the work site as well. Employees love adventure with work. Choosing a location and setting it up in a kitchen-like environment can revamp employees’ mood to bring out the talent, creativity and potential in them. With such as delightful way to engage employees, you indirectly create a sense of trust amongst your employees which in turn brings the desired results for your organization.

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Ultimately, the happiest employees are the most productive ones. Breaking the age-old models and keeping them engaged by bringing ‘cooking craft’ can enhance the headcount, clients, and ultimately the brand name of your organization.

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