Airlift Blog

Honoring the Honor System

The Airlift Team, February 17, 2016

Micro markets work well in today’s startup and small business offices because they offer so many benefits for such low overhead. By having an Airlift licensed vendor install a fresh food kiosk that functions as a vending machine, you can go beyond traditional candy bars and bags of chips to offer full meals, healthy snack alternatives, and a café-style dining experience under your own roof. Employees love them, employers get to offer a unique company perk, and everyone wins. Of course, because the goal of micro market vending is to keep costs low for everyone, they’re usually set up as open displays with an unattended kiosk. Your employees grab what they want, pay easily through the tablet kiosk at checkout, and go on their way. While efficient, these systems do open themselves up to potential theft and abuse.

The Micro Market Honor System

Ideally, your employees will value the micro market idea as much as you do, meaning they won’t abuse the system because they want to keep it around for as long as possible. However, human nature being what it is, we do understand that dishonesty can and does happen. Other micromarket vendors offer warning signs and video cameras to deter theft, and that’s effective—up to a point. The entire purpose behind micro vending is to create a corporate culture where employees are valued and the focus is on healthy, sustainable living. A visible warning every time you buy a sandwich isn’t exactly part of this great culture. That’s why Airlift markets emphasize the honor system of payment through positive messaging. By focusing on what’s great about a shared marketplace that everyone can enjoy, we see a much lower rate of missing items. Just as you use positive reinforcement to maximize your employees’ engagement, so too do we focus on what’s best for everyone.

The Micro Market Experience

No HR department likes being forced to reprimand an employee for suspected theft, even if there’s video evidence to back it up. That’s why we suggest looking to honor system alternatives, including:

  • Positive messaging
  • A shared responsibility for keeping the micro market area open to everyone
  • Bonuses and incentives in the form of micromarket credits
  • A busy and engaging break room area
  • Subsidies that lower the cost of micromarket goods
You’d be surprised how willing people are to act with honesty and honor when it comes to keeping healthy snacks on hand at work. When everyone is invested in the outcome and excited about what the workplace has to offer, you’re much more likely to see positive returns and a great experience for all.