Merge's Blog

How to keep your best people? – create a fun workplace filled with laughter

Cheerful colleagues around laptop working together in bright offContinuing with our series on how to stop your best people from walking on the door, today’s suggestion is to create a fun workplace filled with laughter. The research shows that there is a direct correlation between workplace fun, productivity and employee retention. People who have fun at work want to come to work and want to stay at work. So as a leader, consciously plan to create opportunities for fun. When things get busy, fun falls by the wayside, so it’s important to keep it front and centre in your mind. When you look at the research as to what constitutes “fun”, (not surprisingly perhaps) food tends to top the list. Whether it’s going out for a meal; having a potluck lunch or dinner; celebrating employees’ birthdays by bringing in cake and ice cream; bringing in pizza, sandwiches or donuts, the research shows that culinary delights are clearly a way that people have fun and bond together. But it is more than just food that makes the top ten fun list! Fun contests, events and outings also rank high.

Laughter is an important component of fun. Sometimes, I come across supervisors or managers who have a (legitimate) concern that too much laughter or fun will result in workplaces that are unprofessional. While they don’t disagree that all the potential benefits may be worth it, they are worried that it might come at the expense of professionalism and performance. “What if my employees start goofing off and lose productivity, or even worse, offend clients and customers,” they ask. The proven truth is that when employees look forward to coming to their jobs each day, they are more engaged in their responsibilities and they also perform better on the job. So … it’s okay to let people have fun at work. And the overriding benefit – you’ll give your best people yet another reason to stay!

What about your workplace? Do you have fun at work? What are some things that folks do in your organization to create fun workplaces? Do share.

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