ou pull up to your regular parking space at work. What’s the first thought that crosses your mind as you shut the car door behind you and make your way into the office? Is it dread? Is it stress? Or do you get a little rush of happiness or joy at the thought of all the fun you’re about to have?
That last scenario is unfortunately not the norm at most companies, which is probably hurting employee performance.
Too often business owners and managers think that all work and no play is the best way to maximize productivity. It’s a good thing that researchers don’t prescribe to this notion. Studies have revealed when workplaces make fun a factor it creates happier employees that feel more satisfied and that happy employees are all-around better at their jobs.
At Neslo we value being fun and being a little weird. Our company culture is what makes us successful, and in our culture, we celebrate and embrace our diversity and each person's individuality. We want people to express their personality in their work. We don't want to become one of those big companies that feels corporate and boring. We want to be able to laugh at ourselves. We look for both fun and humor in our daily work. We want the company to have a unique and memorable personality.
To outsiders, that might come across as inconsistent or weird. But the consistency is in our belief that we function best when we can be ourselves. We want the weirdness in each of us to be expressed in our interactions with each other and in our work. Having fun is one way of effectively managing and improving employees’ emotions. It also improves teamwork, builds trusting relationships, and increases employee retention.
One of the other side effects of encouraging weirdness is that it motivates employees to think outside the box and be more innovative. When you combine a little weirdness with making sure everyone is also having fun at work, it ends up being a win-win for everyone: Employees are more engaged in the work that they do, and the company as a whole becomes more innovative.
Easy Ways to Create a Fun Workplace:
Super Casual Friday
Take casual Friday beyond getting to wear jeans to work. Incorporate an added sweetener like a company provided, in-office lunch break, or a happy hour at 4 pm. Not only is this creating a more relaxing environment, but it also encourages interaction between colleagues, which is proven to boost happiness
It’s amazing how a little friendly competition lightens the mood. Coming up with weekly or monthly challenges that employees can participate in is a fun motivator. Sweeten the pot with an award for the winner(s), and people will really enjoy coming to work.
Take Time to Celebrate Wins
Create milestones that the whole company can celebrate together. Better yet, start an initiative to set aside a small percentage of the profits for employee parties and events. Employees will work harder knowing that they’ll be rewarded for their efforts and acknowledged for their contributions. Not sure what type of celebration appeals to your employees? Go a step further toward improving motivation by letting them choose the events.
Plan out a whole day of team building games, movies, and fun pet projects. Have lunch catered and keep snacks on hand – well-fed people are happy people. Some managers may look at this as wasting a day of work, but in the end, the boost in productivity levels will more than make up for it.
As humans, we are social creatures that need a little fun to cope with the daily stressors that we encounter. At the end of the day, it’s all about ONE Thing– the company culture that you want to create, and more importantly, that people want to work in.