Fun At Work Day
Today, 28 January, is International Fun At Work Day where everyone should be having fun at work. The consequences for employees who don’t enjoy their job are not very good for companies.
A happy, engaged workforce who look forward to going to work and doing a good job adds impact to the bottom line through great team work, improved morale and motivation. Happy workers are loyal and therefore reduce the costs of employee retention, recruitment and training. Sickness absence is also reduced.
We all spend a lot of time at work so it would be best if it was enjoyable. So for those employees who are not quite so motivated what can an employer do to ensure that all their employees have fun at work?
Well employers could begin with their new recruits and hold a welcome party. Built into their induction plan there could be a scavenger hunt where the new recruit goes off to meet co workers to find out trivia about them, to gather supplies and find their way around the building. The scavenger hunt could end with a welcome meal with their new team.
It is important to ensure that jobs are interesting and a job description is varied with lots of team work interaction is available to provide job satisfaction.
Many office meetings can often be a little tedious, but encouraging laughter at the start of the meeting perhaps by sharing a joke or a humerous story can help pave the way to a more interesting get together. Consider holding a meeting in an alternative venue to a conference room – at the park or for breakfast at a local restaurant might bring forward some creative ideas.
Employee birthdays could be celebrated with cakes for the team. Alternatives could be a day off with pay, flowers or a gift such as cinema tickets.
Employee well being is very important and to show staff that they care employers could invite in local health professionals or gym reps to discuss health and well being issues. Classes on blood pressure, cholesterol management or body fat testing, smoking cessation, stress management or healthy eating might be useful.
Volunteering for fun could be encouraged. Many companies take part in charitable projects where their employees give up their time to help those who are less fortunate. The projects are often reported on in the press which can add to a good business image.
Creating a nice work environment is essential perhaps encouraging a home away from home. Employees should be encouraged to personalise their work space with flowers, photos, plants, etc. Where the office environment is windowless it is important to create a relaxing ambient area with large plants, soft seating and lighting and possibly music where employees can take some time out from their working day. Placing the coffee machine and a chair near the photo copier could help employees while away the time whilst a huge batch of paperwork is being processed.
Employees should be encouraged to take regular breaks from work to have a chat with colleagues over a coffee. Lunch breaks in the fresh air should be essential to refresh tired eyes and brains and stop the mid-afternoon lull. Team lunches on a regular basis can help bring the team together in a relaxed environment.
Other ideas that might be of interest to ensure staff have fun at work are dress down days, bring a pet (or child or mum) to work day. suggestion boxes/graffiti walls, employee competitions and awards, flexible hours and Friday afternoons off.
Whatever the size of company, there is always something an employer can do to ensure their employees have fun at work for little cost.
Sandra is and independent HR with twenty years experience in HR management. Sandra provides HR, employment law and auto enrolment support to small businesses across the UK and is passionate about delivering a high quality service on the phone, by email and on site.