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 under rated.
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?