I have not written enough about this subject. That shows how easily priorities get shifted when things get busy.
Yes, making sure people are having fun at work should be a priority.
Start with the obvious.
Time flies when you’re having fun. This is certainly true and everybody knows it.
People who work in very busy places will tell you (ask them) that time passes quickly. Generally that is followed by “it’s better than when it’s slow.”
When I talk about having fun at work, managers often push back. They fear having fun might mean a breakdown in discipline. Not so. Having fun can be about being busy!
Think about how astounding that is. Busy talent is happier?! Yes.
So load them up with work and everyone will be happier?
There is happy, fun busy and there is too much meaningless junk to do tiresome busy. Be careful. Just adding tasks doesn’t make “fun busy.”
There are two scenarios to look at.
If your business is already busy, then start giving people some pats on the back. Give extra breaks. Give praise. Give information. Tell people how well they are doing and that their work is appreciated. Get over the idea that telling people things are going well leads to increased demands. It doesn’t.
When people work hard, they want to know their work matters. Got it?
That is step one to having fun.
On the other hand, when business is slow less tends to get done. Those little “to do” items that have been on your list for weeks don’t get done when business slows down. As business slows down, talent slows down.
That’s a great time to call for a clean-up day. Bring in some supplies and clean the office, plant, lab or whatever facility where work happens. Add flowers—they do make a difference. Change things—let people swap desks. At the end, you’ll have a nicer place to work. That’s fun. (Hint: clean things that people handle frequently. Look at the telephones—yuck.)
You can have a get rid of junk day. Clean up files, emails, old quotes. Toss or archive.
Clean up customer issues. Set a day aside to resolve nagging problems. Give some awards for people who fix the most, or most difficult, problems.
When it’s slow, the key is to break up the routine. Remember those days in school when you had fire drills? It was fun and novel to go outside in the middle of math class!
Do you recall how refreshed you felt after the fire drill?
Get busy having fun. It works.
Chris Reich, TeachU.com
FW: 89 (And making progress)