Fun At Work Matters Says Chris Reich of TeachUIt is the time of year when the predictions flow. Some say the U.S. economy will remain stagnate. Some say the U.S. economy will grow by a modest 2%. Some say the U.S. economy will really take off and expand by a whopping 3.2% in 2014. Your expenses will increase by more than that. Your cost of living, the real cost of living as opposed to the government’s published cost of living, will go up by more than 3.2%. I am sorry, but 3.2% isn’t even growth in my book. If businesses are going to grow, we’ll have to remove the shackles.

I could write a book on those shackles. We’ve bound and gagged our workforce. Creativity isn’t welcome. Thinking isn’t encouraged. No time for discussion, just get your work done. That isn’t fun. That’s my point.

We have to get fun back into the workplace. We could demolish foreign competition if we would make changes to our suffocating management style.

Let’s just focus on fun.

How can we bring fun back into the workplace?

Simple. Start by listening to your people. Instead of every meeting being about what you want of them, have a monthly meeting where they can have input. Listen to them. Don’t argue with every new idea. Don’t look for fault in every suggestion they make. Listen. Look for merit in their ideas and try a few.

When people feel like they have a voice, they have fun. Ask for ideas from your people. And then listen. That’s easy.

Show your people that you see them as people. Invest in them. Phil Jackson, the very successful basketball coach, once passed out books at a team meeting. One player later commented that receiving the book meant a lot to him. Why? He didn’t think the coach believed he could read.

Do your people think you have confidence in them? How do you show it? Do you value their feedback? Do you let them try to expand their skills? Do you invest in their development and professional grooming for promotion?

People have fun when you teach them new things. People like to learn.

Can you see what is happening here?

Listen. Teach.

Those two things add fun. People having fun are more loyal, work harder and demand less.

If you, management, are all about money and profit and cutting expenses; your people will be all about doing just what they must to keep their jobs. They will want pay increases and grumble if they don’t get them. They leave at the first opportunity.

Treat people right, they have fun. Treat them poorly and they don’t have fun.

Fun pays.

Chris Reich, TeachU
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