Fun at work? Can that even exist? Actually, yes. And some of the most successful companies have found ways not only to have fun, but to make it a foundational part of their culture – a culture in which people are excited to show up, their passions are fulfilled, and they thrive in their work. We’re not talking about having a ping pong table in the breakroom (although that is pretty fun). It goes deeper than that – a sense of comradery embedded in the culture.
On our most recent episode of The Culture Podcast – Creating a Dynamic Cultural Shift Through Fun – we had the pleasure of speaking with Eric Hansen, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer and culture evangelist at RedPeg Marketing, an experiential brand marketing company. Eric’s mission is to create an environment that people want to work within, are happy and are passionate about what they do…and yes, a workplace that is fun. So, how can fun be good for your culture? According to a report published by Monster, a few benefits of having a fun culture include:
- Increased trust among employees
- Higher engagement, morale and camaraderie
- More effective communication between employees and managers
- Better hires and lower turnover
What’s not to love? During our conversation, Eric walked us through a hugely successful effort in which his organization engaged employees through gamification. When the element of fun was introduced, the culture came alive. All of sudden people who were usually reserved, became engaged. A seemingly mundane activity was given a breath of fresh air. And the payoff was huge – $2 million in savings huge. At RedPeg, fun comes first. The idea is that if you’re going to be at work and hanging out with these people all the time, then you’re going to want to have fun with them too. But to incorporate real fun, it takes purpose, effort and strategy. Consider taking these steps to infuse your culture with a dose of fun:
Lead with Passion
You often have to look past a person’s job description and find opportunities to really engage them in the company’s mission as well as follow their own unique passions. Everyone is passionate about something. When you find ways to tap into that passion, you tap their potential.
Creating the employee experience – complete with fun – is the new path for organizations. The experience is a combination of your company values, your mission, your benefits and incentives, and the quality of life you offer. Making this part of your business strategy (versus a one-off outing) will reap rewards for the long haul. This process even starts with who you hire.
- EXPERT TIP: Be sure to ask prospective candidates this question to assess their cultural fitness: How did you engage in the culture of your previous company? When asked, do their eyes light up? Do they get excited to share their experience?
Make Work Fun with Gamification
Fun can help you inspire change in human behavior, which is where the real magic happens. Offering opportunities to build community, pride, competition, bonding, and teamwork go a long way. Gamification strategies help to align business goals and employee motivation in a fun, interactive way.
Fun will look different from one organization to the next; however, as long as your end goal is to inspire passion and community, you will have success and your people and business with thrive. And remember, just because we grow up, doesn’t mean we can’t have fun – even in the workplace.
To learn more about Eric Hansen and RedPeg Marketing, feel free to visit their website at https://redpeg.com/. We also invite you to our website at https://www.successfulculture.com/ where you will find resources and best practice strategies dedicated to creating great cultures.