Research shows that 53% of employees are currently unhappy at work.
What would your workforce say about your office?
Business leaders around the world are constantly looking for ways to inject more fun into their business. Is it time you joined their ranks?
If you have even the slightest suspicion that morale is low, read on. Today, we’re sharing a few easy ways you can make your workplace a fun, productive and rewarding place to work every day.
The Role of Fun in Corporate Culture
Sure, you want to build your bottom line, impress your clients and retain your best employees.
Yet, the route to get there might surprise you. Rather than insisting that your team members work until they’re exhausted, what if you allowed them the opportunity to let off a little steam, connect with their colleagues, and let loose every once in a while?
It’s common to think that all work and no play will maximize productivity. Yet, myriad studies point to a direct link between employee happiness and productivity, citing that happy workers get 13% more work accomplished. At the same time, they’re also more engaged and even safer.
In fact, industry research shows that disengaged workers have 37% higher rates of absenteeism, along with 49% more workplace accidents and 60% more role-specific errors and defects. Want to keep your workplace as safe, secure and productive as possible? Find and keep happy employees!
One of the quickest ways to generate and encourage that happiness? Make your office fun. While you don’t have to hold daily chair races, taking a break from everyday work every so often can give your entire team the boost they need to do their best.
In addition to improved throughput, a few of the other benefits you can expect to see when you prioritize business fun include:
- Higher motivation levels
- Lower stress levels
- Higher job satisfaction rates
- Less employee turnover
Not sure how to shake up the status quo and make your work environment a little more jovial? Let’s review five simple steps you can take today!
1. Host Friendly Competitions
While gamification is a great way to train employees on new concepts and make mundane tasks more enjoyable, you don’t have to tie every game to a corporate initiative. You can simply set up an obstacle course in your copy room, set a timer, and see who gets through it the quickest!
Lighthearted, friendly competitions that pin departments or individual employees against each other are a great way to blow off steam and recharge in the middle of a never-ending afternoon. You can also create simple competitions that allow your team members to learn more about one another.
Consider a variation of Pictionary or Head’s Up, wherein the person in charge has to give clues that relate to his role at the company. Or, try a quick and easy board game that encourages eye-to-eye interaction, no screens allowed! Let the winner have one afternoon off, or a similar reward.
2. Create Colleague Traditions
Have you noticed that Bill from Accounting always comes to work with a large coffee cup in hand? Bring him a drive-through Cappucino one day, along with a note of gratitude for all that he does. Coming from a superior, this gesture can make an incredible impression and go a long way toward boosting his morale.
The best part? It can encourage other team members to pass on the chain of generosity!
After a while, these exchanges can become traditions that your employees begin to look forward to. From Mocha Monday to Fiesta Lunch Friday, it’s nice to have something to circle on the calendar besides deadlines! While these bonding moments might momentarily pull employees away from their mission-critical duties, the connections they’ll make are worth it.
Plus, they’ll return back to their desks ready to work even harder before the next tradition takes place! A healthy work/life balance hinges on allowing your employees the opportunity to enjoy themselves both within and outside of work.
3. Volunteer Together
Studies reveal that nearly 65% of employees who volunteer say that doing so with their colleagues has strengthened those relationships.
At the end of the day, employees want to work for a company that cares. When you take the time to meet outside of work and give back to a great cause together, you’re making emotional memories that last. Meet as a group and decide on a few local or national non-profits or charities to support, prioritizing ones that align with your company goals and vision.
Of course, you can take up a monetary donation at the office, but few things beat putting feet on the ground and making a difference with your work crew.
If you do decide to go the monetary route, you can still turn it into a bonding experience. Consider giving each employee a “giving budget” every year to be used toward charities and causes of their choice. In December, give them all a chance to share where they spent their dollars and why.
4. Encourage Workspace Decor
No, you don’t want strobe lights and geometric wallpaper in the cubicles. However, looking at bland, colorless walls isn’t exactly a recipe for motivation.
Within limit, allow your employees to make their workspace their own, whether it’s a sprawling corner office or a shared community workroom. From family pictures and vacation mementos to special tchotchkes and fresh-cut flowers, there are myriad decorations that are tasteful and playful, all at the same time.
This way, they can share their personality and heart with those around them. It’s also a great way for you to get to know a little about the person behind the nametag.
As a business leader, you can follow suit. Any time you receive a card, email or thank-you note from a co-worker or client that brought a smile to your face, tack it up on your office door. This is an understated way to pay homage to the sender and join the fun yourself!
Every season, take this one step further and host a friendly door-decorating contest! See who can make theirs the spookiest on Halloween and take votes on the best Christmas tree designs in December. You can even use this as an excuse to celebrate fun and obscure holidays, such as Puppy Day in March and Book Lovers Day in August!
5. Recognize Achievement
One survey of 2,363 office workers found that 89% of employees who feel appreciated also report feeling satisfied with their job. On the other hand, only 51% of employees who don’t feel appreciated claim to feel that same satisfaction.
Recognizing your employees doesn’t just encourage them to work harder at their current task. It also motivates them to stay with your company.
If you prioritize employee retention, it’s critical to recognize achievement. While you might be doing this already, it’s time to take a more visible approach. Let others in your office know when someone has exceeded an expectation, delivered an assignment early, or impressed a major client.
- You can do this in a variety of ways, including:
- Employee spotlights on company-wide newsletters and emails
- Company leaderboards that reveal employee growth and momentum
- Weekly recap meetings celebrating individuals who excelled that week
While this kind of recognition program is incredibly constructive, there’s always the chance that the same small handful of high performers will always grab the spotlight. To remedy this and ensure that everyone feels appreciated, you can create some fun and wacky awards!
Try going the “Most Likely” or superlative route and keep it fun, clean and positive. A few of your options include:
- Most Likely to Help Out a Coworker at Closing Time
- Most Likely to Get Five PhDs
- Best Dressed
- Best Jokester
- Best Breakroom Lunches
Bring your entire team in on the fun and encourage co-workers to vote on the winners!
Add More Fun Into Their Business Day
As an astute business leader, you know that working your team’s ragged is counter-productive. Instead of tacking tasks and hours onto their schedule, it’s time to start adding more fun into their business day!
Whether you choose a board game, volunteer experience, reward competition, awards ceremony or any other idea listed herein, brainstorming is the first step. From there, you can create programs and initiatives that your workforce will love and look forward to.
Need a little HR help as you navigate these new changes? That’s why we’re here.
We provide a range of HR services for companies just like yours. From outsourcing and consulting to payroll generation and benefits, we do it all. Click here to get a free consultation and let’s connect.