Engaging Employees with Fun
For some people, the words “fun” and “work” just don’t go together. However, many of the world’s most successful companies (such as Google and Zappos) attribute their success to creating a fun work environment. By combining a focus on results, flexibility and fun, leaders within these organizations ensure that cross-functional collaboration, creativity and team bonding flourish.
In this type of environment, fun is integrated into the work day. In fact, in many ways, the work itself is fun. This results in employees who work more enthusiastically and enjoy the process of being at work.
Injecting Fun into Work
Regardless of your industry or department, there is always an opportunity to inject some fun into the work environment.
To create some fun and to encourage other leaders to follow your lead, you should:
- Celebrate hard work on the spot and in the moment by giving colleagues a standing ovation
- Be spontaneous by interrupting work with a fun activity
- Encourage humour and laughter – be light-hearted
- Don’t control fun or make rules – expand what it means to have fun at work
- Ask employees what is fun for them and let them do it
- Empower employees to plan and implement fun events, such as a “comedian of the month” who shares his or her all-time most humourous stories
Engaging All Generations at Work
Despite the evidence that supports the positive effects of a fun work environment, many leaders still believe that fun is something that should happen after work and that it’s a distraction from productivity. This means that you may need to overcome resistance from other leaders who don’t support your desire to inject fun into the workplace.
In addition, since your team is likely comprised of several different generations, some of your more experienced employees may struggle with changes to a rigid work environment. They may either prefer the current culture or feel that their desires for a more formal and structured work culture are no longer being respected. They may feel that the “young” are changing things too quickly. By being transparent and employing change management techniques to help all employees transition to a more dynamic environment, you will be able to engage everyone more quickly and ensure your workplace is a fun place to be
For more details on creating an engaging work environment, please see chapter 1 in Upgrade Now: 9 Advanced Leadership Skills available at www.ngenperformance.com/book.