After delivering a full day workshop with a client Vancouver, I was invited to join their group dinner and team building activity. It was a great evening, filled with team competition, laugher, dancing, silly obstacles and a lot of fun. It reminded me of other fun team events that I have been able to participate in and the value they play in increasing team collaboration and performance.
Why Don’t We Have More Fun?
There are countless ways we can incorporate more fun into our daily lives, but often we don’t bother because we are too busy, too stressed, too tired or have forgotten the value of fun. This TEDx talk by a middle school child reminds of how fun can make our lives better.
Having fun at work can seem frivolous and a waste of time when we have more important things to deal with, but the reality is if we can break up our day, week or month up with small doses of fun at work, we are more likely to be productive when we re-focus on work. And if you’re having fun with your colleagues, you will strengthen your relationships. It might be said, ‘teams that play together, stay together’.
Benefits of Having Fun
There are several benefits of creating a fun environment that will improve your business operations, they include:
Any activity that brings employees together will help in building connections; it is for this reason that organizations still have off-site events. Going bowling, play softball together; having weekly luncheons or participating in contests that include prizes can be very helpful in boosting a team’s spirits. Building an effective team requires an atmosphere of positivity, fun, and ease. Getting teams together to do something entertaining can promote this even further. The client group at this week’s offsite had a ton of fun as they competed in small groups to win top prize in a “Name that Tune” competition. The laughter, enthusiasm, encouragement of their peers and overall joking around was so amazing to witness.
Since fun team-building activities provide a natural change to the day-to-day grind, employees may feel more refreshed when they come back to the office. Upbeat and rewarding breaks can be an essential way for clearing one’s mind and producing a stronger focus on work; thus, team-building activities play a large role in increasing productivity if scheduled regularly and strategically during high stress times of the year.
Employees who feel they have the support of their organization and colleagues have higher levels of both rational and emotional engagement, which translates into a sense of pride and passion in their work. Building a high performing team requires engaging with team members, and this often correlates with a low turnover rate. By reducing turnover, recruiting and training costs are also reduced, which can be directed into other fun team bonding experiences.
Every employee today is seeking some form of a work-life balance. An excessive workload can be a deterrent to performance and negatively impact engagement levels. Providing opportunities for flexibility, scheduled ‘down time’, and changing where and how team members work together can improve employees’ sense of wellbeing. If the work environment incorporates fun into the daily routine, this can reduce stress and create a healthy distraction from work for a short period of time.
One of our clients, who’s work environment is very traditionalists in nature, decided to incorporate more laughter into their day-to-day by providing ‘unstructured’ time at the beginning of meetings for colleagues to banter and joke around. They loosened up their leadership style and had senior leaders participate in more fun team events and incorporated humours skits and lip-sync competitions to their company offsite meetings. All of this was done with the intention of creating a more fun, collaborative and engaging environment that would improve employee morale and increase performance. So far the results have been positive and the work culture is evolving into a more desirable place to work.
As president and co-founder of n-gen People Performance Inc., Giselle is dedicated to building strategies and programs that target, motivate and engage a multigenerational workforce. She is a sought after resource to industry leaders, having worked with 18 of the top Fortune 500 companies. Over 60,000 people globally have experienced an n-gen workshop or presentation. She has devoted more than fifteen years to researching the impact that generational differences have on organizational performance. Giselle has co-authored two books: Loyalty Unplugged: How to Get, Keep & Grow All Four Generations and Upgrade Now: 9 Advanced Leadership Skills. She has a Master’s degree in communication studies from the University of Windsor.