Reasons to Execute Best Practices for a Soda Free Workplace

The business implications of employees hooked on soda.


Editor’s note this is the second of a two part series. Part 1: Should Your Small Business Consider Banning Soda?

How many CEOs and business owners read about Reebok banning soda machines at their U.S. headquarters and rolled their eyes over the challenge of attempting such an action at their business?

There is a very justifiable reason for CEOs and business owners to avoid this type of action. 30% of surveyed Americans say they would rather cut off their pinky than do without soda. Soda drinkers are so addicted to soda that they are wiling to suffer public embarrass to drink their sodas as evidenced by 3 out of 5 Americans admitting to belching or farting in public after drinking a soda.

The realty is that your work associates, and maybe you, are addicted to soda and will fight like an addict to protect this addiction.

That was definitely my personal situation.

I drank Diet Coke to maintain my energy during 80+ hour work weeks. I drank Diet Coke out of pride that it was an American product from my home city of Atlanta.

I fought and fought my millennial generation kids who lovingly kept telling me that soda was bad for my health. I still drank soda after receiving a handicap parking permit from my doctor because I was so overweight it hurt to walk.

It was when I finally admitted I was addicted to soda, and kicked my addiction to Diet Coke, that I lost 30 pounds.

The business implications from accepting that drinking soda is an addiction

That drinking soda is an addiction is the number one lesson learned from Reebok and my personal experience.

Attempting to handle soda addiction as a business issue is a huge mistake. It is a health issue, not a business issue. The question confronting CEOs and business owners is whether attempting to address this addiction is a fight they want to take on.

The business cost realty is that CEOs and business owners have no choice but address their work associate’s addiction to soda. The first article in this two-part series focused on the business case for doing so. We are in a health care crisis created through a weight crisis.

The amount of sugar we ingest is DOUBLING our risk of heart disease and increasing our diabetes risk by FIVE TIMES! And soda is the number one source of America’s added sugar.

The bottom line is that businesses can no longer turn a blind eye to the soda machine. Your work associates, and possibly you, are addicted to soda. This addiction is driving up your health care costs and reducing work associate productivity due to loss work time tied to weight related health issues.

Best practices for banning soda at your workplace

The path to removing the soda machine is based on dealing with addiction.

Four key steps are:

1.  Acceptance.

Starting with a ban on soda machines is the recipe for a human resources rebellion.

Change cannot happen until an addict admits they are addicted. The starting point is engaging work associates on an awareness path that leads to their self-discovery that they are addicted to sugar and most especially soda. A milestone event is when work associates begin to post their quitting statement for themselves and others to read.

Next- 3 more key steps

Bill Roth
Bill Roth
Bill Roth is a nationally-recognized business coach that has successfully worked with hundreds of business owners and leaders on proven green best practices that win new customers, grow product revenues and cut costs. He brings to this coaching his past experience as a senior officer leading teams that developed the first hydrogen fueled Prius and the development of utility scale solar power plants. His best selling book The Secret Green Sauce, available on Amazon, profiles actual businesses using best practices in pricing, marketing, cost management and branding to make money and a difference. In 2020 Roth is conducting the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Green Builds Business program, sponsored by Toyota, where he will be providing free coaching to business leaders on how to use today’s exciting new clean technologies to win customers and cut costs.