Internet Mocks Company’s ‘Insulting’ Employee Retention Strategy

A company has drawn ire for the “potluck” it put together as a sign of employee “appreciation.”

A photo of the potluck was posted in Reddit’s “Antiwork” forum by an employee under the username u/Canadatrustfund, who wrote: “To combat staff mass leaving, management put out this potluck!!” It has garnered over 26,000 upvotes and more than 2,000 comments slamming the “pathetic” gesture.

Employee Retention

Last year, over 47 million Americans quit their jobs in an exodus dubbed the Great Resignation. A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center revealed that low pay, few opportunities for advancement, feeling disrespected at work and poor benefits were among the leading drivers of the movement.

Of those who quit, 33 percent said it was “very easy” to find a new job, and 61 percent said it was “somewhat easy.” Of those who found employment, 56 said they received a pay increase, 53 percent reported having more opportunities for advancement and 53 percent said they had a better work-life balance.

Awkward office party
A company has drawn ire for the “potluck” it put together as a sign of employee “appreciation.”
diane39/istock

With this information in mind, management services company ADP said it’s essential for companies to offer flexible salaries, flexible work arrangements and “professional development” opportunities if they want to retain employees.

Instead, the company for which u/Canadatrustfund works threw together an employee appreciation potluck that many Redditors deemed “insulting.”

‘Antiwork’

Per the photo, the “potluck” consisted of mints, starbursts, kit kat bars and stickers. The items were placed on a table with a sign that read, “Happy team member appreciation week,” along with several smaller signs with punny messages, likely meant to boost morale.

“You’re a STAR, and we are BURSTING to tell you how great you are,” read the placard sitting beside two bowls of starbursts. The sign placed behind the bowl of mints read: “Thank you for your com-MINT-ment and for being our LIFESAVERS!!”

Redditor u/Canadatrustfund told Newsweek that people are leaving the company for various reasons.

“There have been a lot of terrible experiences…and people are tired of it. We are dealing with rude customers [every day] and while our managers are supposed to have our backs, we are fighting with them on another front,” they said. “Anyway, people are leaving and this was their solution…as if we’d be enticed [to stay] by a couple of mints and some stickers.”

Redditors React

Many Redditors thought the display was “cringy” and some even compared it to a kindergarten classroom.

“If I saw this at work I would just have to quit on the spot. Somehow looking at that pathetic and insulting table of random cheap s**t just makes me deeply depressed,”u/SunnySide1066 said.

“This is cringe and insulting, better off with nothing at all if this is the best they can do,” u/GSPandas said.

“Want to appreciate me? Pay me more money. I don’t need nor want your candy or stickers. I’m not a child. Someone should take a shit on management’s desk and put a sign saying, ‘Happy Management Appreciation Week,'” u/zerkrazus commented.

u/sukequto added: “They really don’t get it, do they? What you need is a conversation with your staff, leaving and not leaving. Find out why they are leaving, be open to their criticisms and grievances and ACT on it. Not some stupid s**t table full of candies. This isn’t a kindergarten.”

Other Viral Posts

Last week, Redditors applauded a boss who treated his entire team to a $15,000 dinner after their CEO uninvited them from a major company event.

And earlier this month, commenters praised a worker for his “beautiful” response to his manager’s “no overtime” policy.

Updated 08/32/2022, 4:58 p.m. ET: This story has been updated with comments from u/Canadatrustfund.

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