Why Having Fun at Work is Important & How to Start Having it Now

July 20, 2017 Abby Oberholtzer

“Happy wife, happy life.” We all know keeping your spouse’s overall happiness top of mind strengthens your bond as a couple. But the same idea goes for your employees. Create a culture of fun in your workplace and you will see employee retention and engagement rates skyrocket and resumes flood your inbox. A fun facelift to your company culture is good for business.  

Why Fun is Important

Simply put, fun sells. Job candidates (especially millennials) don’t typically leave a job interview jumping for joy when the organization is filled with uninspired employees who speak to one another in a 6-inch whisper. The standard “we work hard and play hard” motto isn’t enough. Nearly every employer touts it when recruiting new talent and only a few actually mean it.  Break down the cliché dichotomy to incorporate fun during work hours.  This will make your company culture infinitely more attractive to new talent.

 

Fun breeds loyalty. What’s better than attracting new talent? Retaining your starting lineup.  Research shows that workplace stress leads to an increase of almost 50% in voluntary turnover. When employees feel free to take a break from their tasks and blow off steam with their team, relationships deepen and company loyalty ensues. Your culture should create space where employees can flourish relationally and professionally. 

 

How to Have More of It

Here’s how you can start having more fun at work (no ball pit or nap pods required)!

  • Give Your Office a Facelift – Before you immediately scoff and make a beeline for the “x” in the corner of your web page, know that you can make slight and inexpensive modifications to your office to make it more fun! Hang a dart board in a common area. Purchase an inexpensive couch and coffee table to create a casual meeting area for brainstorm sessions. Look at your office surroundings and consider all the ways you can foster innovation, collaboration and most importantly, fun at work!
  • Create Challenges – There will be smiles for miles when you instill some friendly competition in the work week! Put on a chili cookoff, ping pong tournament, or office talent show to boost team morale and further the fun spirit!
  • Celebrate Accomplishments – Whether they earned their MBA or just made their first big sale - celebrate! Introduce a culture of excitement by placing a gong or cowbell in a central location. When someone achieves something great, let them start the celebration by making the noise and everyone can join in with a “whoop whoop,” and applause!
  • Get Out of the Office – Don’t wait until team mojo is waning to go offsite with your team. Plan regular team outings: team-building, community service, or offsite meetings will help break up the monotony of everyday routines and refresh your employees.
  • Foster Friendships –  Full-time employees spend more of their waking hours with their colleagues than with their own families. Healthy workplace friendships are a huge part of what makes work fun! Encourage employees to make personal connections with one another and, of course, keep peer-to-peer recognition top of mind!
  • Make Traditions and Celebrate Holidays – Unique traditions make a company stand out to new employees. Think of a fun annual event that your entire organization can get behind. Host a food truck festival. Have your executive team make their way to each department on the first day of each quarter to serve everyone a seasonal treat! Throw a company prom. Have every first Friday of every month be Bring Your Dog to Work Day. You get the gist. Be unique, be fun, and do it regularly!

Think your organization is winning in the fun department? Tell us about what makes your company unique in the comments below!

 

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