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The trick Ocean Basket uses to help employees connect

By 22 Jun 2022Human Resources2 min read

  • Ocean Basket’s Global People Leader Stiaan Pienaar believes that bringing employees together shouldn’t be complicated. 
  • Don’t overthink it, he said, and simply bring people physically together. 
  • Ocean Basket calls its head office ‘home’ to emphasise the need to spend time together. 

When it comes to creating connection and bringing people together, it should not be complicated as people should just physically be together, Ocean Basket’s Global People Leader Stiaan Pienaar believes.

“I think, if we overthink it, if we overcomplicate it, we’re gonna lose each other. We’re going to try and get initiative that is too thought through to; it too complicated,” Pienaar said.

“Just bring everybody together physically in their being.”

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This is one of the reasons why, Pienaar said, the restaurant group chooses to refer to it’s head office in Midrand, Johannesburg, as ‘home’.

“Our home is who we are. None of us as an office – nobody’s got an office. Our CEO Grace Harding does not have an office where she goes and sits every day. It’s a shared space.”

“We have big open tables in the middle of our office where we could sit and be together and eat together.”

Pienaar said as a company that operates in the food industry, it was important to bring that same hospitality to their offices.

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An example of this is that all visitors to the head office are offered a snack.

“We love eating together, we love sharing, and we love being together. So there is space at our office to be together. Some will go to a corner, someone will be on the earphones and some will just sit randomly in the middle because they love the energy they love people talk,” he said.

“And there’s music in the back. The fact that we will be together will force us to see each other and talk to each other.”

Francois de Wet