By Karen Huss, VP of Internal Communications at Ceridian
Today is International Fun at Work Day. While many people consider work just that – work – it is possible to have fun while getting the job done. In fact, if you want to increase employee engagement, you’ll want to make sure your employees are having fun at work all the time. While that may sound counterintuitive to some, employees who have fun at work tend to love their job. We all know what happens when an employee loves what they’re doing – engagement, productivity, morale and retention all increase. Happy employees make happy customers and happy customers drive company growth.
An international day of recognition for having fun at work is wonderful, but how do you extend the fun and its benefits to your workplace all the time? At Ceridian, we take having fun at work seriously and have a dedicated program called, aptly enough, Fun@Work. Employees love it, and the program is often cited in employee surveys with comments like, “I’m thankful for being a Ceridian employee because of Fun@Work.” Sounds like your organization should have some fun at work, don’t you think?
Starting a Fun at Work program doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are five steps to setting up a successful Fun at Work program:
- Put someone in charge of the fun – Select a Coordinator from each office location who can oversee the program and help plan the fun. These designated fun-raisers can form a team to help plan fun events. Designating a local Coordinator provides the inside scoop about what’s important in their location and the types of activities that brings employees together.
- Fun should be a budget item – Allocate a small budget to each office. Base the budget on headcount at each location – you want to ensure equal money goes to each employee. Once you have a budget, you’ll be amazed at how far it can stretch. Having fun doesn’t mean spending lots of money, it’s really about bringing co-workers together and enjoying time together. Events can include simple networking opportunities, competitions, volunteering in the community and employee celebrations. The office I am in bought two sets of outdoor bags games. We held a league on the building patio with employee duos playing other teams throughout the summer.
- Grassroots is the way to go – Having some corporate or company-wide events are fine, but let the local culture dictate what’s appropriate in each location. For example, if your office has a large indoor or outdoor fountain, hold rubber duck races. Have an open atrium in your location? A paper airplane toss can be lots of inexpensive fun. Are your recycling boxes full? Have an indoor snowball throwing contest using papers in your recycling bins. Sweep up the message and put it back in recycling. You can also find ways to help the local community. If your office is near an ocean, help with a beach cleanup.
- Reward participation – Acknowledge involvement with some sort of recognition. From a drawing for a free lunch for those who attend a gathering to having silly prizes for the winner of an activity, having prizes keeps the momentum going and builds on the buzz. It’s also a great way to track participation and ask for feedback. Soon, everyone will want to have fun at work!
- Share the fun – Document the fun by sharing photos on social media, writing stories in your company newsletter and recapping events in all employee meetings. #CeridianFunAtWork
So, enjoy International Fun at Work Day but consider keeping the fun going all year long. Your organization will thank you for the fun in the long run!
By Karen Huss, VP of Internal Communications at Ceridian. Follow her on Twitter @KarenHuss.