I’ve been reading a lot about keeping employees engaged and happy. I want to start having more fun in the workplace. How do I create a fun office environment without losing productivity?
--Just Wanna Have Fun
Dear Just Wanna Have Fun,
It’s refreshing that you’ve identified the need for a workplace culture that revolves around a little more than just work, work, work. All too often, managers and business owners forget that they must give their employees a break if they want them to continue to produce good work. I commend you for reaching out about building a happier work environment.
Everyone wants to work somewhere fun. We have to remember that although “fun” workplaces boast happier employees, at the end of the day, you’re running a business and you need to make sure your employees are also being productive. There are a few ways to do this.
- Get competitive. Challenge teams of employees to work toward a productive goal. For example, divide your marketing department into two teams and compete to see which team can generate the most leads over a set time period. Make it fun by offering the winning team a prize or reward.
- Let them socialize. Too many offices have developed a culture that encourages workers to work as long and as hard as possible. Encourage workers to take breaks and spend time socializing with each other. It will take their minds off their work for a few minutes and give them a chance to unwind. Take a few minutes to let the whole company have a break and schedule time in the week for a 30-minute team building game, or pass out snacks and coffee for them to enjoy.
- Celebrate achievement. Whenever a team or individual hits a major goal, or when the company reaches a major milestone, treat your team to a real celebration. You don’t have to spend a lot of money or take a lot of time, but hosting a mini gathering makes a big impact. It helps people reap the rewards of their hard work, spend time together and feel good about the progress your business has made.
Don’t let your employees get inundated with the day-to-day. It is easy to fall into a rut and begin feeling like your workplace isn’t fulfilling. No one wants to work in a boring environment. Find ways to excite your employees and keep them motivated. Implementing a few simple rewards and engagement activities is a proven way to boost productivity.
Here’s to building a fun and productive work culture,