Last week I gave you Tip #2 in my new ongoing series on specific tips and strategies to motivate employees – cut out the red tape. Here now is idea #3: organize fun.
The key word here is “organize”. Fun workplaces can be powerful motivators, but many managers and supervisors I work with assume that fun workplaces just magically occur. You can’t just assume that it will just happen, creating a fun workplace actually takes effort. It’s worth it – it’s a powerful way to motivate employees – but you have to consciously and deliberately plan and organize for it.
Here’s one practical idea!
One of the easiest ways to organize fun is to appoint a rotating Fun Committee (or what I used to call a rotating Vice President of Fun). In one of my past supervisory roles, I was the manager of a large team of 28 employees. So I divided them up into four groups. Each group was assigned one quarter of the year during which it was their responsibility to plan our fun. I gave them a small budget to work with – $200 a quarter – and other than requiring that whatever they planned was legal and respectful, I let them get at it. They loved it! They held hallway bowling contests, dress-up and dress-down days, international potluck lunches, Bermuda shorts days, guess the baby picture contests, the list went on and on! Best of all, I didn’t have to do any of the work, the effort was all theirs.
But perhaps most importantly, creating a fun workplace is a very effective way to motivate employees. The key here is that you have plan and organize for it. You can’t just wait for chance to make it happen! Organize fun.
I’ve come across organizations and departments that worry that “too much fun” can be unprofessional. It has certainly not been my experience; and anyway, in my opinion the benefits far outweigh any disadvantages. But I’d love to hear what you’ve observed and experienced. Fun at work – worth it, or more trouble than it’s worth? Please share your perspectives below.