A fun workplace can often be defined as a relaxed, supportive atmosphere that incorporates a variety of activities to improve morale by reminding employees of their value to colleagues, supervisors and the organization. A sense of fun helps people have a more positive mindset, enjoy higher levels of wellbeing, and improves employee engagement. It has also shown to lower stress, absenteeism and work-related errors.
There are several easy ways to incorporate fun into your workplace.
Personalize the Workspace
Offer employees the opportunity to personalize their workspace with photos, décor, collectibles, sports memorabilia, favorite team, or other mementos. Such items are interesting, encourage conversations and can work into seasonal and holiday themes too. Adding a personal touch also creates a sense of ownership and pride.
Recognize excellence and show appreciation often…in writing. A “Thank You” in passing is always nice. However, when a note of appreciation and thanks is shared in writing, the impact is significantly higher. Use thank you notes, company stationary or even an email. Look for opportunities to acknowledge someone as part of your everyday commitment to running your organization.
Take Light Breaks
As a business leader, make sure to take small breaks, walk around and check in with your employees. Encourage supervisors on your team to do the same. When you lead by example you set the tone for others to follow. Light breaks also make leaders easier to approach when business challenges arise, offers a chance to check-in on any current happenings and creates non-work related chat.
Smile and laughter are contagious! Consider creating a place like a company chat room or a bulletin board in the staff room where employees can share work-appropriate funny stories, jokes or memes. This also encourages interaction between team members who may not talk on a regular basis.
Form Office Clubs
Connecting with fellow team members on levels that are not work-related creates stronger bonds. Book clubs, bowling teams, walk-at-lunch, cooking, crafts…the list is unlimited! Simply encourage this team-building initiative and recruit employees to take charge of organizing.
Create Happy Traditions
Holidays are a great way to incorporate regular traditions into the workplace such as a patriotic potluck for Independence Day or dressing-up for Halloween. There are all kinds of fun ways to create traditions! Consider building a team-spirit event on the anniversary of the organization’s opening every year or capturing photos for an annual video year-in-review.
Surprise Your Team
Everyone like a good surprise! The gesture breaks-up the workday and also lets your team know you appreciate them. Make popcorn in the afternoon, host an ice cream social on a Friday or present a small gift like a company-branded SWAG item, gift card or an hour off of work! These gestures are sure to put a smile on everyone’s face.
Town Hall Meetings
Regularly scheduled meetings that include a focus on the good things that happen in the workplace are a great way to boost morale and also provide recognition to those who contribute. Be sure to incorporate details as to why individuals are being honored as to convey to the entire team what it takes to earn acknowledgement. This is a great way to motivate for performance, especially if there is an award associated with the recognition.
Host an Annual Event
Whether it’s a company holiday party, picnic or other gathering of some sort, encourage your team to leave work behind and attend an after-hours event. If it’s not possible, try to carve-out a time during traditional hours to gather everyone for a common celebration.
Sometimes it is very hard to disengage from the workday. Encourage your team to leave work behind and make time for family, friends, hobbies and activities.
Source: Monster.com; “10 Ways to Make Your Workplace More Fun”
*Southland Data Processing, Inc. (“SDP”) is not a law firm. This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon in reaching a conclusion in a particular area of law. Applicability of the legal principles discussed may differ substantially in individual situations. Receipt of this or any other SDP materials does not create an attorney-client relationship. SDP is not responsible for any inadvertent errors that may occur in the publishing process.