Friday, August 28, 2009

New motivation trend: Plant a garden

Really, plant a garden. It turns out that along with nutrition, peas and carrots also have the power to motivate.

Corporate gardening is one of the latest trends in employee motivation, and for many companies it’s proven to pay off in the hearts (and stomachs) of employees.

“Some small companies seeking an extra benefit for their employees are turning to their backyard for inspiration: a vegetable garden.

After laying off an employee, cutting hours and discontinuing raises, Sheryl Woodhouse-Keese, owner of Twisted Limb Paperworks LLC in Bloomington, Ind., invested $600 last fall to create a 1,500-square-foot garden outside the recycled paper-products company's office. Now, her four employees can take home their pick of 10 herbs and 22 vegetables.

"The garden really is a nice benefit, saving them on their food bills," said Ms. Woodhouse-Keese, who estimates the garden has meted out $2,400 in produce this season, from tomatoes to potatoes.” (

Gardening at work can be an affordable and simple way to boost employees’ morale and give a ground-up boost to the company’s wellness program.

It’s also a great way to build employee camaraderie without ever leaving company grounds – no retreats, seminars or off-site meetings needed. All this retreat needs is a pair of gloves and a garden hoe.

If you’re a small business looking to attract new employees, access to a flourishing vegetable garden can be an attractive asset. So whether you have a spacious rooftop or a grassy patch of land behind the building, plant a few seeds and see what grows...

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