Ice Cream as Employee Engagement

Make employee engagement fun in the summer with ice cream. It isn’t just a childhood treat. (Photo via Lovin’ Scoopful, Flickr)

Happy July — and National Ice Cream Month! This is the month to celebrate our love of all things ice cream. Today, July 1, is even National Creative Flavor Ice Cream Day.
Ice cream is a lot like a good employee engagement program: it brings people together, makes everyone feel happy and is endlessly creative.
That doesn’t mean you can drop off a tub of vanilla in the break room with a scoop and expect magic. But ice cream as a vehicle for employee engagement is powerful. Not only is it just plain fun and delicious, ice cream reminds us of happy memories that we share with other people — our parents, our kids, our siblings growing up, or maybe an early date night with our significant other. It’s special. It’s a treat.
Let’s look at how ice cream can be a great team-building activity, reward for hard work and overall boost to employee satisfaction.

1. Ice Cream Is An Equal-Opportunity Palate Pleaser
There aren’t many foods we can share communally these days without running up against dietary preferences or restrictions. Ice cream comes in so many fantastic variations that it really is possible to include everyone, even those with dairy/egg allergies. Consider the options:

  • Frozen yogurt
  • Frozen custard
  • Sorbet (bonus: good for those with allergies and easy to make at home!)
  • Gelato (a milkier, Italian variation on ice cream)
  • Frozen scoopable treats made with alternative milks like coconut, almond, soy, and even goat.
employee engagment bests - ice cream

Everyone’s inner-kid loves ice cream. (Photo via Jereme Rauckman, Flickr)

If you’re organizing an ice cream social, ask for input on everyone’s favorite ice cream variation. However people prefer their ‘scream, it’s hugely popular in the U.S. The average American consumes 48 pints of ice cream every year, more than any other country, according to’s. Leading the way nationally in ice cream consumption are the citizens of Portland, Ore., so the rest of us have some catching up to do!
2. Encourage Camaraderie and Creativity with a Flavor “Bake-Off”
Summer can be a pretty blah season at work, with large numbers out on vacation, watching the clock for the weekend or distracted by the World Cup. Spark some excitement by organizing a team contest for the best unique ice cream flavor. Get creative juices going with this list of incredible (and possibly disgusting) ice cream flavors curated by a foodie blogger at Joonbug. The flavor list includes lobster, pizza, balsamic strawberry, Red Hot banana and chocolate-covered bacon. Find even more recipe inspiration here, like Lemon Basil Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches.
Talking about food is an excellent ice-breaker or get-to-know-you activity for employees. Throwing in a competitive element will get people strategizing and working together — and laughing together.
(For more on keeping employees engaged in vacation season, check out our recent post “4 Strategies for Maintaining Employee Motivation During the Summer.”)

employee engagement ice cream thank you note

Share your gratitude with ice cream. (Image via Jon Ashcroft, Flickr)

3. Ice Cream Says ‘Thank You’
Taking someone out for ice cream is the classic way to reward him or her for a job well done. It isn’t a one-way token of gratitude that you simply give. It’s a shared experience.
If you handle an employee rewards program for a large company where taking each and every employee out together for ice cream is logistically impossible, you can still share the experience with a gThankYou Ice Cream Gift Certificate of Gratitude. Our gift certificates for ice cream — in any amount you like, even $5 — are a perfect way to share gratitude and share in our communal love of ice cream. They can be tucked in an envelope, shared with a handshake or used to accompany and augment a small wrapped gift.
Ice cream gift certificates are also good to keep on hand for those times when you want to share a performance-based reward individually or with a specific team, in keeping with the latest best practices. Spontaneous, performance-based rewards are a growing trend in employee recognition.
For more on building a culture of happiness and appreciation, download our FREE ebook, “Winning with Workplace Gratitude”. Click the image below and start sharing your gratitude today!
Download Free eBook, "Workplace Gratitude" by gThankYou!
About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.
gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime. gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.
gThankYou, LLC ( is based in Madison, Wisconsin. Contact: Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at or 888-484-1658.
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“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

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Gift Certificates

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How gThankYou Certificates Work

Step 1

Order Certificates

Choose the gThankYou Certificates you want and order them online or by telephone.

Step 2

Ship directly to your business

Your order is delivered by UPS. Nearly all orders ship the day received. Overnight shipping is available.

Step 3

Distribute to your employees

Personalize your gThankYou Certificates with Recipient and Giver names (optional) and give them to employees.

Step 4

Redeem at any grocery store

Recipients redeem Certificates at major U.S. grocery stores and select the items they want.