Do you like your job? Is your small business a “fun” place to work?
It’s one of the most basic and often asked questions, and how you answer it says a lot about your life.
As we commemorate national “Have Fun at Work Day” it’s an ideal time to consider how we can create a fun, yet productive, workplace and reflect on what that means for your personal and your company’s productivity.
(By the way, international “Have Fun at Work Day” is coming April 1 – no fooling – so if you can’t get everything done this time around, you have a second chance in just a couple of months.)
- Enhance relationships. I think as much as 90 percent of our enjoyment at work is determined by the relationships we have with our co-workers. Reflect on the jobs you’ve held since you drew your first paycheck. I’ve discovered that jobs some would call “difficult” or even “bad” are fine if you enjoy the people you work with. Conversely, even the seemingly “ideal” job can be terrible if you don’t get along with the other employees. With this principle in mind, use Have Fun at Work Day to build the bonds between your workers.
- Play a game or do an activity. These can be team building in nature or just plain fun. “Apples to Apples” is flat out fun. Have a “Jenga” tournament. Divide into teams and conduct an egg drop competition. Take a field trip to a local “ropes” course. Bowl. Go-kart race. The possibilities are endless.
- Encourage creativity. Have people makeover their work areas in the style of an HGTV design show then take a workplace tour where “designers” explain their approaches. If Halloween is a popular holiday in your business, do a costume competition.
Let 1,000 flowers bloom. If you have an energetic crew with a few “green thumbs,” spring for some foliage. If your climate and property permits it, set aside an area for an employee garden. If not, add containers inside. If this activity would work better later in the year, start planning now.
- Do a potluck or catered meal. If you have foodies on staff, do a potluck. If you have inveterate micro-wavers, order in a good catered meal. Allow extra time away from everyday activities for decorating and after-meal lingering. Going out for lunch works too.
- Benefits will last. Everything you do to make your workplace fun, enjoyable and professionally satisfying gives employees an incentive to do their best. If they come away from Have Fun at Work Day with a deeper fondness for their co-workers it will show in their attitudes and that will carry over into their commitment to making your business a success.
One final thought. There are tough, long days in every business. Be sure to give your employees the praise and recognition they deserve when they have to work extra hard or put in additional hours to achieve an important company goal. That creates esprit de corps even when the work itself doesn’t fall into Webster’s definition of “fun.”