Our organisation has always provided lunch to delegates on our internal training courses, which are held at our own offices. Usually about half the delegates are actually based at that office, the other half travelling in from across the UK, often the day before. The lunches are ordered by our Admin team and are supplied by local sandwich shops/small caterers. Lunches cost on average £6.50 per person (they used to average £5).
It has been suggested that due to the rising cost of lunches and the admin work involved (and in anticipation of a smaller admin team) that we no longer supply lunches, and we ask delegates to bring their own.
I can see the 'black & white' rationale for doing this, but am concerned about the perception that this will create about the organisation and the training team in the minds of our employees, and the subsequent impact on the quality of their learning experience, and their motivation to learn.
In a previous (blue chip, multi million pound) organisation I witnessed an outcry from employees when free tea & coffee was stopped as the company was trying to save money. The perception created was that the company was penny pinching, 'sweating the small stuff' and didn't value it's employees sufficiently to stand them a few hot drinks a day. They also quickly identified other areas in the business where cost savings could be made. It had a negative effect on morale and damaged the psychological contract between employer and employee.
I'd be very grateful if you could share your experience, observations or opinions about organisations stopping providing lunches on internal training courses with me. It will help to inform our debate.