If you conducted an end of year review in the closing weeks of 2015 (and, if you didn’t, here’s Susan's Productivity Blog), somewhere towards the top of your list may have been a desire to make your workplace more fun.
See Also: Top 10 Funny Office Rules To Live By
You go to work to earn a living and help a business - whether it is your own or someone else’s - make a profit, grow and become a market leader within its chosen industry. Quite often, that can all get a bit dull, and spicing up the workplace with simple but effective cultural changes can make a big difference to the overall happiness of your staff.
According to a study by PGI.com, 88% of millennials want a sociable and fun working environment. This might stem from tales of the Internet giant Google building offices which more closely resemble kids’ play areas than business centres- but it is a telling statistic nonetheless.
Unlike some people, we’re not all fortunate enough to work in an environment that is inherently fun, but even the most straight-laced of industries can demonstrate a cheeky side, to help their business in the long-run.
All work and no play, does indeed make Jack a dull boy. So, it’s time to ask the question: is your workplace fun or immeasurably dull? Take this quiz to find out. Simply answer with ‘A’ or ‘B’ to each question below.
1) Do you conduct happiness reviews?
A: Yes, I regularly sit down with staff on a one-to-one basis to find out if they’re happy. I’ve even appointed a Chief Happiness Officer.
B: No. Numbers and the bottom line are all that matter to me.
2) Do you embrace failure?
A: Yes. I want my team to test ideas, no matter how off-the-wall they may seem, and learn from their mistakes.
B: No. It can’t be tolerated. We stick to the rules and do only what we know.
3) Have you created a think-tank culture?
A: Yes. I see team building as an organic process and encourage individual employees to use their own initiative to overcome challenges and develop new ideas.
B: No. Each team works from a pre-defined strategy from which they must not stray.
4) Are you secretive?
A: To a degree. We shield the workforce from subject matters which are confidential or may be harmful to them, but ask for their input on lots of other strategic matters.
B: Yes. We hold board and management meetings but withhold most of the discussion points until firm decisions are made by the senior team.
5) How do you conduct staff meetings?
A: We give everyone the chance to be involved, no matter what their role within the company is. They can chair the meeting, suggest topics or report on recent successes.
B: I chair them each time and use the opportunity to deliver a sermon on our strategic plan.
6) Have you implemented a flexible time schedule?
A: Yes - we give employees some flexibility in their working schedule because we know they value their personal lives and need a good work-life balance.
B: No. We operate on a strictly 9-5 basis.
7) Do you allow any exercise breaks?
A: Yes. The team’s health and fitness is an essential consideration.
B: No. They can do that when they get home.
8) Do you acknowledge anniversaries?
A: Yes. Every year, we celebrate the anniversary of team members joining our team.
B: No. Birthdays, occasionally, but we don’t do anything more than that.
9) How do employees celebrate their birthdays in the office?
A: We give them the day off!
B: If we remember their birthday, they get a card. And they usually bring cakes in.
10) Do you have a ‘wall of fame’?
A: Yes. We celebrate our people whenever we can by reserving a wall that is decorated with their achievements, great customer feedback and the like.
B: What on Earth is that?
See Also: Can Fun Workplaces Also Be Profitable?
If you answered mainly ‘A’, congratulations – You have a fun workplace! Your team will likely be ultra-productive, happy and, most importantly, fully onboard with your aspirations. Keep it up!
If you answered mainly ‘B’, I’m afraid you’ve got some work to do. Your workforce is most likely sad, frustrated and not particularly nice about you once your back is turned. Release the padlocks a little and let go; a bit of fun in the workplace goes a long way.