All Work And No Play Makes Your Employee Go Away
Ever seen your employees carrying dull faces to work? Does your desk receive more resignations than application letters? Does your organisation face the problem of low productivity? Work and only work is the reason.
Yes, the office is a place of work, and as an employer, you benefit the most when your employees are working efficiently and for longer periods of time. However, this often results in employees feeling burned out and disillusioned, prompting them to reassess their future in the organisation. Not only is there a risk of losing your employees, but there’s a far greater loss in efficiency and employee interest, which only hurts the organisation in the long run.
Long hours of sitting by the screens, engrossed in the same task, will lead to exhaustion and fatigue resulting in lower productivity and poor creativity. Studies countersign that more fun at the workplace leads to more productivity and a healthier life for the employee as well as the organisation.
Having a little fun element at your workplace is important for the following reasons:
● Happy employees are healthier
● Having fun makes employees more productive and enhances creativity
● Fun encourages advocacy for positive employer branding
● Fun environment increases employee retention
● Increases communication
● Lowers absenteeism
● Reduces downtime
● Improves job satisfaction
● Increased employee fidelity
Adding the ingredient of fun to your workplace is a recipe for success. Any existing work environment can implement positive, fun changes, and reap the rewards that engaged employees bring.
It is something that you yourself might have wished for when you were an employee. The idea is not to substitute work for fun but instead make working a fun experience for all. The more you enjoy what you do, enjoy where you work, the more you would be looking forward to going there and giving your best. And so it is with your employees.
Worry not, making your workplace a ‘fun workplace’ is not such a daunting task. Here are seven unique things you can do immediately to make your workplace a fun environment to be in:
1. Have a Karaoke jam session
Where words fail, music speaks. Music is one of the most effective means of eliminating stress. Have your employees croon to their favourite tracks at least once a month and allow them to de-stress. Give a platform for your bathroom singers to showcase their love for music and let them sing to their heart’s content. Singing not only reduces stress but it’s a great way to bring people together to improve bonding while creating a fun work environment.
2. Introduce a hobby hour
Unveil the hidden talents and virtuosities of your employees by assigning a short hobby hour once a week. Let the masked poets, painters, comedians, chefs, musicians, artists from your very own office, spread their wings. Ask them to spend some time with their respective hobbies and showcase it to the team once in a while. Even better would be to identify common hobbies and provide some basic material so employees can make the most during their hobby hours. Spending a little while pursuing a hobby is a great spirit lifter and is a wonderful tool to help improve concentration and focus.
3. Mark out a floating desk day in your calendar
There would certainly be employees who dislike working at the same place every day. They desire a frequent change in their immediate surroundings; especially if the work involves creative thinking. How about allowing your employees choose their desks themselves for a day? Allow them to work at the cabins and cubes they like. This would be a refreshing change in environment, quite literally, and lead to a fresher mindset. More over for those who sink into their comfort zones, this will be a great opportunity to step out of their comfort zone in a low risk environment.
4. Conduct unconventional meetings
Not all brains innovate sitting in a cabin or a conference room. Consider changing the location of the meetings sometimes. Someone’s cubicle for a more intimate setting, or the cafeteria over a cup of coffee for caffeine enthusiasts, or the garden for nature lovers, or your own cabin for the ones with a corporate mind. The change in environment will stimulate the mind to think differently. It would serve as a refreshing change from those monotonous meetings that sometimes turn despondent and boring.
5. Get the tally games going
We all have grown up to watching the tally games over the television. We have seen various Indian version of them too! No matter how old one gets, competitive games do wonders for one’s engagement levels. A tournament including short one-minute games for half an hour once a week can keep the work spirits high. It could become a great initiative where you could also involve the families of your employees. This would not only add to the fun factor at work, but also lead to healthy competitiveness, and an energetic workforce.
6. Have a prank month
The pleasure and excitement of playing pranks don’t disappear with age. Assign one random day a month or the entire month to play harmless prank with any one of the chosen employees, involving the other enthusiastic colleagues at work. This would help bring out the playful side of your employees and alleviate the stress of the work environment, to an extent. But this is a tricky one, ensure that someone is the custodian of the day and takes responsibility to make sure no employee is harassed or bullied in the process.
7. Exercise at work
Health and exercise are important aspects of one’s life and lack of motivation is the biggest hurdle to adopting a healthy life. When health and exercise become a group activity, motivation no longer remains a challenge. Have short exercise session once or twice during the day even if it means hitting the floor for a 30 seconds plank twice a day. When the entire organisation takes a stretch break, employees move out of their comfortable desks, and loosen their muscles and joints, resulting in a better blood flow, and enhanced freshness in attitude. Do ensure you have some trained personnel to facilitate this on an on-going basis.
In a nutshell
Creating a fun environment is merely one of the ways of ensuring employee retention. Moreover, implementing one or some of these activities, while taking away some of the organisation’s time, will go a long way in increasing overall productivity, happiness, and most importantly, employee retention.
Having said all of that, remember, your participation is key in creating a fun workplace.
At Yellow Spark, we help organisations retain their employees while creating an environment that fosters employee engagement. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for effective employee solutions for your business.
Author Profile: Aparna Joshi Khandwala is a passionate HR professional. She co-founded Yellow Spark to work with like-minded people who believe in the power of leadership, which is the only business differentiator in today’s time.