When people think about keeping employees happy, most focus on financial compensation – salary, benefits, and perhaps a bonus here or there. Astute managers, HR personnel, and others who are in tune with the troops likely include environmental factors including respect, a diverse workplace, and maybe even challenging work. I’m starting to wonder if FUN is underrated.
A group of Three Pillar employees began a book club back in January which is intended to promote culture. From this one-hour morning discussion several initiatives have spun off. We’ve had happy hours, game nights, and an additional book club pop-up. It seems to me that the employees that have been involved in these initiatives are a bit happier, communicating/collaborating better, and more engaged.
Whether these efforts and their impact are sustainable is still yet to be determined, but I can say that the small increase in engagement, passion, and productivity throughout the organization has been worth the investment.
To be clear, I wouldn’t say that we had a bad culture before these efforts started, on the contrary, I think our culture was fairly positive. Rather, our efforts seemed to be aimed at turning a good culture into a great one. Our investments included board games, some food and drink, and a little less (perceived) rigidity regarding what people actually do on a Friday afternoon in the office. Our return has been connected dots, collaboration, smiles, passion, and engagement.
What’s your experience with Fun at work? Is promoting a positive, friendly, and engaging environment just as important as preventing discrimination, disrespect, and other negative aspects of a culture? Any ideas for us to make this sustainable and take it to the next level?