Make them make cake

Why the hell is cake so good? What is about this thing that get’s us so excited. It’s flour, sugar, eggs (and some other stuff). Cake has fueled “The Great British Bake-Off” – it’s the biggest show on British TV and had the nation in tears. Cake rules!

When I look back on my career, I can see how cake has played a huge part: from judging company baking competitions to persuading people to join my business, by telling them that we still make cake on people’s birthdays.

Even with all that, I still had enough cake-love to spare to make new employees bake a cake when they joined one of my previous companies.

Actually, it was brownies that we insisted on, but that’s a kind of cake, so it still counts. Right?

How it happened

Years ago, at my last company, I made a passing comment that I wanted all new employees to make brownies for the team as part of their induction to the business.

I didn’t really think about it at the time. Maybe I was just hungry and I thought I could get some free brownies every now and again.

To be honest, I did meet a bit of resistance from the Management Team (shame on them!), but we did it and next next person who joined made brownies. And the next, and the next, and five years later many brownies had been made in the pursuit of a perfect employee onboarding process for us.

Did it work?

So what happened? Well, it’s pretty simple: if you make cake, people like you.

If you make lots of cake (enough to go round the whole team), then lots of people will like you, and maybe even know your name.

There’s no rulebook that says your onboarding process has to be all about form-filling or standard HR processes. So, step one from the Onboarding Strategic Council at bob is: Make Them Make Cake!

…and of course if it tastes horrible, then it’s not too late!

P.S. Here’s a great place to go to for some cakespiration from She Who Bakes.

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