HAVING FUN AT WORK MATTERS
Did you know that April 1 was not only April Fool’s Day but was also International Fun at Work Day?
When people are having fun they’re going to work harder, stay longer, maintain their composure in a crisis, and take better care of your clients and candidates. That’s why it’s so important to balance out the daily rejection, frustrations, and disappointments of our Profession with “wins” and fun.
For years, every summer I ran a contest that set very high goals for our office. Everyone who qualified left the office at 11:30 on a Friday to go to Harry Carey’s for lunch, then to a Cubs Game, followed by dinner and drinks. If individuals didn’t qualify, but our office hit the goal set, everyone still attended. Our receptionist, accounting team, and support staff did whatever they could to help our team hit goals set. As a result, 100% of the time – everyone attended!
I was often asked how I could afford to have everyone out of the office. My answer was simple, I couldn’t afford not to reward such great performance. In fact, my team had so much fun, they convinced me to run this contest twice every summer!
When is the last time you heard laughter in your office? Are your employees bringing their personalities to work, or do they check them at the door when they arrive? Each day is “bring your personality to work day” because enjoyable conversations lead to attracting more candidates and clients, which improved sales.
So often very simple fun things like a sundae bar at the end of a great week, popcorn passed out because “sales are popping”, a picnic lunch with kites celebrating new heights in sales all brings fun into your company culture. When your team equates achieving goals to fun rewards, it has a very positive impact on morale and productivity.
If space allows, bring in fun things to do during lunch like darts, air hockey, ping pong, billiards, foosball or arcade basketball. This kind of playful, break-the-tension fun is taking place all around the world in companies that care about performance, retention and profitability. Motivated by the opportunity to have a little fun at work balances the stressful situations that often occur in the Staffing and Recruiting Profession.
Last year, I trained for a technical contract staffing firm in San Jose who has Star Wars as the theme throughout the office. Of course, there were also games in the employee lounge. I referred to their office as the “Google” of Staffing Firms. They were fun, but also extremely successful.
Big data has demonstrated that when leaders lighten up and create a fun workplace, there is a significant increase in the level of employee trust, creativity and communication -- leading to lower turnover, higher morale, and a stronger bottom line.
The research also shows that managers who have taught themselves to be funnier are more effective communicators, better salespeople, have more engaged employees, and earn more than their peers.
Each year, the Great Place to Work Institute asks tens of thousands of employees to rate their experience of workplace factors, including, “This is a fun place to work.” On Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list, produced by the Great Place to Work Institute, employees in companies that are denoted as “great” responded overwhelmingly -- an average of 81 percent -- that they are working in a “fun” environment.
That’s a compelling statistic: Employees at the best companies are also having the best time. It would be rare to be one of Fortune’s "100 Best Companies to Work For" and not score well on the fun question.
There is a proven correlation between fun and improved camaraderie, reduced turnover, and employees who are genuinely engaged. Bottom Line – having fun is great for your bottom line!
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