Want to improve your staff’s performance? Eat with them

Want to lead a company as successful as Apple? Or be as inspiring as the CEO of Japan Airlines? Eat with your employees.

Research has consistently shown that professionals who eat together perform better together.

The logic behind this conclusion is simple. If social bonds and friendships are key to a positive work environment, then office meals simply provide the opportunity for those bonds to form or strengthen.

“Eating together is a more intimate act than looking over an Excel spreadsheet together. That intimacy spills back over into work,” said Kevin Kniffin, visiting assistant professor in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University.

“From an evolutionary anthropology perspective, eating together has a long, primal tradition as a kind of social glue. That seems to continue in today’s workplaces.”

In a new study by Cornell University, Kniffin and his team conducted interviews and surveys in a large city’s fire department, which included more than 50 firehouses.

The researchers asked the department’s 395 supervisors to rate on a scale of zero to 10 the performance of their platoon compared to other fire companies in which they’ve served.

The supervisors were also asked how often the platoon eats together in a typical four-day work week.

Want to lead a company as successful as Apple? Or be as inspiring as the CEO of Japan Airlines? Eat with your employees.

Research has consistently shown that professionals who eat together perform better together.

The logic behind this conclusion is simple. If social bonds and friendships are key to a positive work environment, then office meals simply provide the opportunity for those bonds to form or strengthen.

“Eating together is a more intimate act than looking over an Excel spreadsheet together. That intimacy spills back over into work,” said Kevin Kniffin, visiting assistant professor in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University.

“From an evolutionary anthropology perspective, eating together has a long, primal tradition as a kind of social glue. That seems to continue in today’s workplaces.”

In a new study by Cornell University, Kniffin and his team conducted interviews and surveys in a large city’s fire department, which included more than 50 firehouses.

The researchers asked the department’s 395 supervisors to rate on a scale of zero to 10 the performance of their platoon compared to other fire companies in which they’ve served.

The supervisors were also asked how often the platoon eats together in a typical four-day work week.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.