Cooking Your Way To Employee Engagement

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A survey of 1,500 employees in Singapore by Kelly Services found that Singapore has the lowest employee engagement levels in the region, at around 20%.

Astonishingly we are behind China (27%), Malaysia (28%) and Indonesia (41%). The local figures are also the lowest reported since 2010, where 38% of employees felt they were engaged at work.

Most business owners know that unhappy employees cost them money, but you’ll be shocked at how high that cost actually is.

Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace reported on employee engagement in more than 140 countries and divided employees into three categories:

  • Engaged employees work with passion and feel a profound connection to their company. They drive innovation and move the organization forward.
  • Not Engaged employees are essentially “checked out.” They’re sleepwalking through their workday, putting time–but not energy or passion–into their work.
  • Actively Disengaged employees aren’t just unhappy at work; they’re busy acting out their unhappiness. Every day, these workers undermine what their engaged co-workers accomplish.

Gallup found that actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. $450 billion to $550 billion per year. And that number doesn’t even take into account the “not engaged” employees.

Employee Engagement At Work

I had spent a significant amount of time and money to engage my staffs.

We went on holidays, paint balls, archery classes, yoga classes, gym memberships, drinking session… You name it, I should have done it.

But the one that left the most memorable impression was a cooking class.

We learned how to make Hainanese Pork Chop almost from scratch and had great fun fumbling our way through. Many of us even went on to buy the necessary ingredients and equipment to replicate the recipe at home.

Which is why I was so excited to attend a cooking trial at the newly opened CulinaryOn.

The Largest European Cooking Studio In Singapore

You would be amazed by the amount of space they have.

They occupy more than 7,000 square feet on the 4th level of Raffles Tower 2. The space allows them to conduct master classes, private parties, team bonding and kid’s party all at the same time.

The bar is also enormous and adds a different dimension to a typical cooking studio

The Bar at CulinaryOn

They provided us with some really fantastic finger food before we got going. Just nice since we didn’t have our dinner beforehand.

Amazing cheese collection at CulinaryOn

Before long, we went straight into the prep work and begin to do up the ingredients for the two dishes of the day.

Let me walk through with you what we did there. First, the dishes:

  1. Pasta with Shrimps & Ruccola
  2. Fruit salad with Ice Cream

Chef Daniel started the ball rolling and began to guide us in our preparation.

Chef Daniel

Pasta with Shrimps & Ruccola

Now this isn’t the kind of workshop that simply get you to combine all the pre-made stuffs together.

For our pasta, it started from flour and eggs.

employee engagement - learning to make pasta from flour and eggs together

Once it starts to solid, it took some muscles to knead that into a dough.

Engene kneading the dough

It then goes into the machine to be flattened and sliced up to become our pasta.

Making the sauce is even more fun. With a mixture of the tomatoes, garlic, onions, prawns and tomato sauce, we went into flamebe mode and fired up the cooking pan.

Mix it up with the cooked pasta and serve with Ruccola.

Pasta with Shrimps & Ruccola

The pasta was absolutely heavenly. You can taste the freshness of the ingredients that is created from scratch and not pulled out from a packaging.

Fruit salad with Ice Cream

Just like the pasta, we learned how to make ice cream from scratch.

It was fairly easy since no cooking was involved. Mixture of egg whites, cream, mango and sugar.

All these get blended before the magic of the show starts.

To quickly freeze up the mixture, Chef Daniel uses liquid nitrogen to turn the paste into ice cold cream.

The end result:
Fruit Salad with Mango Ice Cream

Get Your Cooking Demo

I learned so much from the lesson and made many great friends.

It brought me back to the time we had cooking classes for the staffs that everyone thoroughly enjoyed. Employee engagement can’t get easier than this.

I also managed to convince the Relationship Manager at CulinaryOn to provide a complimentary cooking class for my readers.

Simply drop her an email at [email protected] and let her know you got to know about this via my blog.

But be warned. Once you learned to cook, you won’t want to eat instant noodle anymore.

Now excuse me while I go and knead some dough for my pizza.

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