Believe it or not, nobody ever said we had to take the fun out of work! Long ago, it was just decided that productivity would be higher if people stayed focused on their job, with no playful distractions. But did anyone stop to wonder what would happen when workers got burned out? Well, they often got sluggish, got miserable, or, occasionally, got out! Adding a little fun to the workplace goes a long way to retaining employees. So, how can you give your employees a fun outlet, but still ensure that deadlines are met and work is done well?
1. Let them dress down. Simply put, jeans are more fun than suits. Letting employees dress casually on an occasional Friday doesn’t cost anything, and since many people are more comfortable dressed down, they’ll still get the work done – they’ll just be happier doing it.
2. Encourage employee spirit. Some companies have committees that host themed lunches or holiday gift swaps to bring employees together. Others send people out to happy hours or on vacations. Let your staff socialize without talking projects and deadlines. If they can connect with co-workers on a personal level, they’ll be happier and have more fun at work.
3. Give a little. Put a ping-pong table in the break room, or keep some ice cream in the freezer for those long afternoons. Offer small prizes and incentives for friendly competitions. Whatever the case, small measures that let your staff escape the stress of work for the land of fun, if just for a moment, really go a long way to keeping people – and keeping them happy.
Remember, grown-up or not, everyone likes to play once in a while! So add a little fun to the work day; smiles and laughter are free, after all!