Anyone who runs a business worries about employee retention. Bringing in new people is a hassle – there’s interviewing, training, paperwork, and so on. If you have someone who’s doing a good job, you want to keep them. That doesn’t just mean paying them well and offering good benefits. People like to feel appreciated, and Thanksgiving is a great time to show your appreciation to your employees.
When I started at JKS in 1989, we only had about ten people, and I had the idea of having a Thanksgiving potluck. It was a great chance for everyone to gather, enjoy some good food, and let Will tell everyone how we were doing as a company and the important part they all played in our success. It was a fun event, and everyone enjoyed it.
As we grew as a company, a potluck meal made less and less sense. We started having a big catered Thanksgiving meal, with fancy tables and lots of great food. Recently, however, the caterer we used retired, so I was tasked to find a new one. Then I had a brainstorm – food trucks! We recently had an event at the Winston Cup Museum that featured food trucks, and it was a big success. So, I contacted a couple of the food trucks who were at that event and booked them for our company Thanksgiving feast here at our headquarters on Monday, November 20.
As you can see from the photos, it was a big hit! Everyone enjoyed the food and the food trucks made for a more casual atmosphere than our past catered lunches. We used two local food trucks – Boone Doggies, which serves 100% beef hot dogs with anything you want on top, and Camel City Grill, a multiple award-winning food truck that offers craft burgers, artisan sandwiches, and wraps. If you’re in the Winston-Salem area and you’re looking for a great food truck, I highly recommend both of them!(And if you’re wondering, I always make a point of serving non-Thanksgiving foods at these affairs. We all get plenty of turkey and mashed potatoes while celebrating the holiday with our families, so I like for our Thanksgiving meals to be something different.)
We had great food and enjoyed some good fellowship and conversation, which is often hard to do during the busy workday. We think it’s important that everyone at JKS knows how much we sincerely appreciate all they do, and a holiday like Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to show them. If you feel the same way about your employees, do something to make sure they know it.