How much fun are you having at work?
Our brains need passion, play, and release at work. They’re essential to keeping us emotionally connected and engaged, to feel part of the tribe, to blow off steam, to create shared experiences.
Here are 5 ways to have more fun at work.
1: Create games/contests for your company values. One of my clients had a mini-golf tournament, right in the office. Employees navigated treacherous obstacles like the copy machine, the reception area, the recycling center, and more. Each hole was a plastic cup with a company value, theme, or story topic on it. Once an employee hit the ball into the hole they had to pause and tell others nearby a short story about what the value/theme/story meant to them. Some clients host annual competitions for which department makes the coolest/weirdest/most amazing gingerbread house, gingerbread haunted house, gingerbread turkey (all are kits from Trader Joe’s!)
2: Share community service experiences. Think back to the most powerful memories you have. They’re powerful because they are emotional—whether inspiring and uplifting or challenging with some struggle/trauma. Giving money to charities is cool, but donating time is far more emotional. Can you do it together? And if you do donate funds, have your team share the difference they make. At our company, every team member receives a giving budget each year. It’s very cool to learn what causes move our team members and how their budget made a difference!
3: Embrace celebration and appreciation. Are you celebrating successes on a regular basis through visible appreciation? A few examples are: high five emails to the team, leaderboards showing employees who are achieving their needle movers, weekly round-up emails listing individual employee’s wins. You can create some wacky and unique awards that your team can strive for as well. I worked with one team where everyone took old-time western photos (in awesome cowboy costumes) and they created Wanted posters. They were ‘wanted’ for eating all of the snacks in the break room or for using all of the printer ink. Everyone had a great time deciding what they should be ‘wanted’ for and how much their bounty cost.
4: Incorporate mindfulness practices on a regular basis. Every highly accomplished leader I know learns to stop the world and to stop their thoughts, on command. This is one of the best ways to make key decisions. They use mindfulness practices on a daily basis, why not make this a part of your office culture? Try having a monthly event where your team can learn a new mindfulness practice, such as meditation or yoga. If you really want to have fun, try a laughter yoga class, they are a blast!
5: Celebrate birthdays and work anniversaries. Are you celebrating these special days? A card with a handwritten note has a huge positive impact and reminds team members that they are valued. Having cake or another special treat for the team is a great way to bring the team together and for them to have a chance to bond. If you are in a position to give a small gift, find out what the person really enjoys. Generic gift cards or standard gifts are great but a personalized gift is far more meaningful.
All work and no play makes us crabby and dull! Where there is laughter, joy, and fun, high-performance teams thrive. There are countless ways to have fun and even attach empowering meaning to it at the same time, the above ideas will get you started!
How are you helping your employees have fun?
Featuring case studies and proven techniques, Power Your Tribe provides a set of powerful neuroscience-based tools to help managers identify emotions, release resistance, end isolation, focus on outcomes, and course-correct for continued success.