Free Donuts

We wondered if employees read the company newsletter and how they shared that information.

We decided to find out. With donuts.

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But you're going to get the best experience when you use a computer. So grab yourself a donut and visit us again from a laptop or desktop.

At 9 AM on a Friday, we emailed...

the weekly company newsletter to 44 unassuming Walker Sands employees. The email contained uncommon and important information: There were donuts located inside the small conference room we call Hyde Park.

Donut Reward In Hyde Park

For completing a great first half of the year, Ellen has kindly purchased Glazed & Infused donuts. You can come pick up your donut in Hyde Park. Hurry and get yours while they last!

By the end of the day, we had surveyed every employee.

Here’s what we found...

The newsletter was sent out at 9 AM. Within 90 minutes, 40 of the 44 eligible employees (91%) were aware of the donuts.

19 of the 40 employees heard about the donuts from a colleague (47.5%).

12 of those 19 who learned from a friend, learned from the friend sitting right next to them.

...So, What?

The biggest takeaway from this experiment was to never take donuts away. They are the closest thing we have to magic in this world.

Other important takeaways include:

Internal company newsletters effectively share news.

Within 90 minutes, 91% of employees had the information we shared. Whether directly from the newsletter, or by hearing from a friend, the information was effectively spread.

but your news may get filtered.

Because roughly half of your employees could first hear about your message from an employee rather than reading it in the newsletter, you must get the point across clearly and succinctly to avoid confusion. If you are announcing highly sharable information such as an acquisition, bonus plan or high-level personnel change through your internal newsletter, leave as little room for interpretation and speculation as possible.

Physical isolation could lead to information isolation.

Nobody shared the donut news with more than two people, and when they did it was usually with a neighbor. While news traveled fast in the open office area, employees in New York, San Francisco, and even more remote parts of the Chicago office were left out of the loop. This underscores the need to follow up with people who happen to be working remotely or are based in a satellite office, to ensure that they received the necessary information.

download the study

For more findings and insights, download the full Free Donuts data study below.

Donuts Are Best Shared!

Give us a call or shoot us an email to check out some examples of how we’ve collected, presented and distributed research data to generate strong business results for our clients. And if you liked this donut journey share it with your friends!

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