August 26, 2013

More Than Just Casual Friday

businessman relaxingWorkers are demanding more fun in the workplace. A Hawaiian shirt day just isn’t cutting the mustard any more. A Badgeville infographic informs readers that a mere 10 percent of employees look forward to going to work every day and a surprising 90 percent said that they find a fun work environment to be extremely motivating. So, we have a large number of employees who aren’t engaged, and a majority of them are saying that a fun work environment will get them motivated.

Motivated and engaged workers do wonders for productivity and morale, but the organization must do its part to facilitate that engagement. Here are some ways to make work more fun:

Gamification of Training and Projects

Making learning fun just makes good sense. Why did we ever stop doing it? That’s the way we learned just about everything: the alphabet, the founding pieces of our language, we learned through song and dance. Gamification expert, Jeanne Meister, says that interactive learning games could increase long-term retention rates by up to 10 times.

Creating or finding training programs that implement games can make for a significantly more efficient training process. Additionally, when a project or task is made into a game, it encourages healthy competition and higher engagement.

Encourage Vacation Time

Forget taking the time, 39 percent of workers have reservations about even asking to take the time. We live in a workaholic culture, and you pretty much have to pry our fingers from our iPhones.

“The impact that taking a vacation has on one’s mental health is profound,” said Francine Lederer, a clinical psychologist, “Most people have better life perspective and are more motivated to achieve their goals after a vacation, even if it is a 24-hour time-out.”

Now those sounds like the kind of people who you want working in your office. Attitudes are contagious. Encouraging employees to take their vacation time ultimately benefits everyone around them. Happy workers produce, so make them happy!

Inter-Office Competition

Michael Scott of the The Office shows us how it’s done when it comes to bringing competition and fun into the workplace. He didn’t always hit his mark, but he sure did try.

Employee wellness competitions are often well received. Making it fun to lose weight and get active while facilitating social interaction in the workplace is a win-win. There are also charity events like races, mud runs and golf tournaments. Be sure that you choose something that everyone can enjoy or at least socialize in.

Social Events

Company picnics, ball games, charity races, and organized bike rides…the list goes on and on. The best way to organize a social event is to first put feelers out on what type of event would be most successful. A quick Google survey, a request for an emailed response or even a Twitter hashtag will help to narrow down what your employees would enjoy.

Fill-In-The-Blank Days

Don’t get too crazy with these, or you’ll be the only one attending your “decorate your cubicle” party. And that’s sad. Potluck days are always a crowd pleaser. Nothing tends to get people together like food. You can also allow employees to pick their favorite Pandora station for a designated amount of time, allowing their favorite music to take center-stage in the office. Bring your dog to work day, Workout Wednesdays or Happy Hour Fridays will all get the ball rolling. Anything that will get people talking, moving and interacting is good.




Read more in Employee Engagement

Maren Hogan is a seasoned marketer and community builder in the HR and Recruiting industry. She leads Red Branch Media, an agency offering marketing strategy and content development. A consistent advocate of next generation marketing techniques, Hogan has built successful online communities, deployed brand strategies in both the B2B and B2C sectors, and been a prolific contributor of thought leadership in the global recruitment and talent space. Hogan speaks and writes on all career and workforce related subjects. Her clients include Fortune 500 companies and SMBs around the globe. Red Branch Media was formed in 2006 as a simple consultancy. Today, the firm is a full-service B2B Marketing Agency that serves clients in the U.K., Africa, China, Israel, Europe and North America. Primarily focused on the Human Resources and Global Workforce vendors, Red Branch Media handles clients of all shapes and sizes.
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