Having fun in the workplace might sound like an impossible dream to some. We’ve grown up in a society where success means working hard, keeping your nose to the grindstone, and always pushing yourself to accomplish more. However, while it’s great to have focus and ambition, the reality is that great work often happens when people have the right work-life balance.
When employees don’t have the opportunity to connect with one another at work from time to time, their chances of burning out increase dramatically. Making space for fun and positivity in the office is how business leaders encourage true employee engagement, reduce staff turnover, and even improve team relationships.
1. Go Out Together
Sometimes the best way to improve the mood is to get people out of the space that they see every day. A change of scenery is a great way to shake things up and boost creativity among your team members. Try scheduling a day to go out together with your team members once or twice a month.
You could do something as simple as a trip to the park, a team hike, or check out some local team-building exercises, like escape rooms. These outings will promote working together in new and intuitive ways while allowing to have some much-needed fun.
2. Encourage Bonding
Your teams need to have strong connections with each other. When people feel close to their colleagues, they’re less likely to go searching for alternative employment. Good relationships in the office can also reduce things like absenteeism or low motivation. A global Gallup study summarized in “Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements” found that people who claimed to have a “best friend” at work were seven times more engaged at work than those who didn’t have a friend.
So, how do you encourage workplace friendships? Invest in team-building exercises, such as those that were mentioned above. It’s also worth providing your people more opportunities to communicate while at the office or in a remote setting.
3. Peer-to-Peer Feedback
Another way to get your teams in sync is to encourage them to offer feedback to their colleagues. Instead of simply providing staff reviews from supervisors and managers, set up a situation where your employees can also offer feedback in the form of points and recognition awards.
Peer-to-peer feedback is a great way to get your staff members chatting and looking for ways to help each other out. When the feedback is positive, it shows your team that people are genuinely paying attention to what they’re doing. When there’s constructive criticism to address, ask your staff members to look for ways to help the person they’re giving it to.
4. Improve Your Wellness Initiatives
Your employees probably spend a good chunk of their time at work. It’s important to ensure that they’re healthy, happy, and confident when they’re at their desk. With that in mind, think about how you can encourage good wellness activities for your workforce.
For instance, you might offer a fitness or activity competition. A little friendly competition between employees will build bonds and add incentives. Volleyball, softball, or kickball leagues are also a great way for employees to be active and connect outside of work. You could also introduce a fresh fruit and vegetable delivery service that keeps your staff stocked with healthy snacks.
Other options include merely giving your staff members a convenient way to improve their health with knowledge base articles and guidance that advises them on how they might live more healthily. You could even have nutritionists or other guests speak at your office about how to prepare healthy meals or making healthier lifestyle choices.
5. Celebrate Every Win
Your staff members devote a lot of time and effort to helping your business to accomplish its goals. They like seeing evidence that their commitment is appreciated. When you’re busy running a company or a department, of course, it’s sometimes easy to forget about giving positive feedback.
To ensure that your employees remain motivated over the years, take time to celebrate accomplishments from time to time. Even if it’s just sending a newsletter out to your entire team where you honor accomplishments, it can make a difference.
When amazing things happen, respond to the “wins” with bigger celebrations. This will inspire team members to keep working hard and work towards goals.
6. Lead with Optimism
Not a single leader likes bad news. However, things don’t always go according to plan.
If you want to spread positivity, think of ways you can engage your personnel. Get their feedback on what could be done to improve the situation. Motivate them to learn from their mistakes and apply the lessons in the future.
Optimism can be a great cornerstone of your culture.
Taking these six steps will spread positive, happy vibes around your office. As an additional step, try playing to your employees’ strengths. People prosper when they’re able to use their talent to drive the company forward. Learn about your personnel and what they can bring to the business. For prospective hires, a placement firm can help you match individuals’ talent to the available roles.
Invest the time and resources to make your workers feel worthwhile, and you’ll be able to generate better results while fostering a positive work environment.