When most people think about work, “fun” is rarely the first descriptive moniker. Because of this dramatic separation between enthusiasm and “I do it because I have to,”one of the big challenges facing brands and small business today is what HR experts call “employee engagement”. When a company fails to deliver the necessary means to retain top talent or recruit budding millennial up-and-comers, it is likely a symptom of a weak company culture; and this problem typically grows as a company expands.
A bold and vibrant internal culture helps to not only hang on to a brand’s biggest players and draw in new ones, it also feeds productivity, creativity and camaraderie among employees; this is exactly why corporations like Google, Zappos and Facebook are so highly sought after by workers.
In order to make your customers happy, we need to first focus on generating that same sentiment in the workplace.
Your company might not have the bankroll for some dinosaur fossils or big metal slides, but there are plenty of ways to create a positive office atmosphere and a culture of fun at work.
How to Make Work Fun
Let Personalities Shine
People spend the majority of their lives working; for many, it can feel like a big sacrifice to check their authentic personality at the door in favor of a tie and dress shoes.
At companies like Google, Facebook and other more laid-back companies, employees are encouraged to dress how they want (granted that it is work appropriate) so that they can feel comfortable and more like themselves.
Zappos.com CEO, Tony Hsieh sums this up perfectly: “A lot of people act different on the weekends versus the office. It’s like they leave a big part of themselves at home. We encourage our employees to be themselves. We want them to be the same person at home and the office.”
But comfort is more than just a dress code.
Celebrate each employee’s unique creativity by allowing them to decorate their desk and construct their own “home away from home.”
When people are more relaxed and feel that they can truly be themselves, it is much easier for them to build work relationships and genuine connections within an organization.
Dish Out Perks and Treats
Many corporate environments can be highly stressful. And stress is one of the biggest killers of health, positive moods and productivity.
Despite this, various Google employees report lower levels of anxiety.
How can this be?
Google and similar organizations offer their teams a variety of perks like on-site massages, magnanimous vacation plans, complementary fitness programs and other extras that aim to help folks unwind.
Again, your business might not have the means to fund company wide deep-tissue massages or gym memberships for the entire crew, and that’s fine. One of the quickest and easiest ways to boost company moral and office engagement comes in the form of food; and I’m not talking about comfort foods like French fries and lasagna.
By providing your team with a variety of healthy eating options, you are setting everyone up for success. Blueberries and oranges are great relievers of anxiety, but they aren’t necessarily fun.
Services like SnackNation jazz up your workplace culture by delivering boxes full of tasty and nutritious foodstuffs that can increase productivity and promote a positive work atmosphere, all while giving folks the boost they need to finish out their projects.
Let Your Employees Self-Manage
When a business does not provide employees with the tools needed to go above and beyond for customers, it creates a poor experience on both ends.
Full autonomy in customer service and other departments boosts employee engagement, creates a stellar experience for consumers, and helps to engender lifelong company advocates.
Zappos has become legendary for their customer service through this approach. By giving their customer service reps free reign to do right by their shoppers, employees are more enthused to find helpful solutions and it makes them feel like they are making an impact; which they truly are, as customers who receive the full treatment will remember their superb interaction.
This might sound like a ridiculous thing to do in a work environment, but in order for teams to stay motivated and energized, they need downtime away from their desks.
Contactzilla is another brand who caught on to this concept and installed a game room in their offices which houses a pool table, sofa, beanbag chairs and other spots for employees to kick back and clear their heads.
Something as simple as a 15 minute game of pool can help to form bonds between co-workers and gives people time to chat, smile and approach their work with a new perspective.
Socialize with Team Outings
Team building events like grabbing a couple beers or going to dinner together is a fantastic way for people to have fun and connect with their co-workers outside of the office. Simple get-togethers like these often inspire at-work collaborations that would not have occurred otherwise.
More importantly, studies have shown that, “Employees who felt they worked in a loving, caring culture reported higher levels of satisfaction and teamwork,” as well as a reduction in the number of sick days an employee takes.
Additionally, 75 percent of employees who have a “best friend” at work are more engaged than those who don’t and 72 percent are more satisfied with their jobs.
Brands like Google, Facebook, Eventbrite, Lytf and many others are all implementing innovative ways to strengthen their company culture and create a more fun and loving environment for their employees.
These tactics can have substantially positive impacts on morale, productivity and job loyalty. Give your guys something to rave about and you might just end up on the next best companies to work for list.
Google Campus Photo via Shutterstock