Employer Branding

5 “Brown Bag” Lunch Topics for New Employees

Short on time, but have a lot of information to cover for your new hires? The woe of bosses after a hiring spree is how they’re going to impart all the relevant information without losing valuable time.

That’s where this fun, yet valuable, idea comes into play. A “Brown Bag” lunch is an informal meeting where employees can eat while learning something new—from a fellow employee, a speaker or company leader. This makes it an effective way of sharing new information with employees without taking away from their hands-on training time.

Connect with your new hires, while giving them all the details they need to know, with these “brown bag” lunch ideas.

1. Career growth opportunities in your company

The best way to encourage your employees to stay in your company is to show them what happens if they do. This talk is best given by someone who’s worked their way up internally, or just got a promotion. Ask the person to tell a compelling story first, and then give more examples of new positions that are being created.

Don’t forget to have your speaker touch on some of the attributes that led to their promotion, (initiative, diligence, etc.) and let employees ask questions.

2. Take advantage of mental health benefits

Physical health benefits are often referred to when sharing information about the company health plan, but all too often, mental health benefits are left out. A brown bag lunch is a great way to discuss the company’s ability to help employees with mental health issues.

Be sure to include information about what mental health resources are available with their health insurance. The survey Fighting Fear: The 7 Billion-Dollar Price Tag found that people treat common mental health issues, like fear of failure, with a variety of treatments, such as counseling, hydrotherapy and exposure therapy. Knowing that the company health coverage pays for or financially assists with treatments like this will be hugely helpful.

3. Company health initiatives: How to get involved

If your company has health initiatives, now is the time to tell your new hires exactly how to get involved—especially if the initiatives involve rewards for hitting specific goals. If your company doesn’t have any health initiatives, use your brown bag lunch to brainstorm ideas.

New employees are a great resource because they may have had experiences with this at the job they came from or at another company.

4. How their job affects the company

According to a recent study, 53 percent of employees want more insight into the way their position affects their company. During your Brown Bag lunch, start by talking about how the company works, introducing new hires to different departments and leaders.

Then discuss how various positions work together or independently to hit company goals. Don’t forget to share some of the organizations’ top-level priorities, which will also give them greater insight into how they can help in the future.

5. How to suggest an improvement

This seems like a no-brainer, but you as the boss are intimidating, and your new hires may not know who to go to if they’ve got a great idea, but are too nervous to tell you. Treat this session like a verbal “contact list” run-down. For ideas pertaining to product, go to this person; for ideas in marketing, talk to this person; etc.

Print and handout a list of these people as well, so your new employees can refer back to it, rather than having to ask you or another manager.

Once you’ve established the kind of topics you’re looking for at the first few sessions, offer the planning of the next session to a younger manager. This gives them plenty of opportunities to grow and reiterates that you invest in your employees.

About the author: Caroline Davis is a professional blogger, focused on business, culture and health. She uses her experience working in a startup environment to provide tips and advice for small businesses. She regularly writes for in addition to other industry blogs.

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