Friday 26th January 2018 is National Fun at Work Day in the UK. On this day, organisations across the country will be participating in fun activities – both inside and outside of the office.
At People Lab, we absolutely love celebrating days like these. However, we also think it’s important to focus on creating a fun work culture all year round – why wait for a few specific dates to have a good time?
With this in mind, we’ve put together five tips to help you and your colleagues embrace fun throughout the year.
Listen and learn
While one person might love the thrill of a bungee jump, this might be another person’s idea of hell. Afternoon tea at a fancy hotel could be an amazing experience for some, while others will be falling asleep at the mention of it. The point is, different people have fun in different ways – so it’s important to remember this when planning fun activities in your organisation.
The simplest way to do this is to ask your colleagues what their idea of fun is. You could do this by email (or via Survey Monkey), with a blank comments box for them to fill in. Alternatively, you could visit your colleagues at their desks to make a note of their suggestions in person (just remember to send an email beforehand, to allow them time to think of ideas).
If you’d rather this process was anonymous, you could add a ‘fun ideas’ box on the office floor, and encourage your colleagues to post notes with their suggestions.
Ensure employee engagement is a priority
If employees aren’t engaged, it’s safe to say that creating a fun place to work will be pretty much impossible. If some employees don’t enjoy coming to work in the first place, how can they be expected to have fun while they’re there?
Employee engagement should be a priority in every organisation, though we know that that’s often not the case. If this sounds like the current situation in your workplace, find out why. Is it down to budget, or lack of training and development? Perhaps it’s been lost somewhere between departments, with no one really understanding who’s responsible for engagement? Whatever the reason, equip yourself with the evidence to prove that engagement really is worth your organisation’s time (and money).
If you’re new to engagement, take a look at our case studies to find out how it’s impacted some of the fantastic organisations we’ve worked with. You can also download our 50 Employee Engagement Top Tips ebook, for advice from organisations of all shapes and sizes.
Make training fun
We’ve all attended training days that make us wish we were back at our desks, and do little to inspire us. Training events don’t need to be dull days that have everyone yawning – they’re an opportunity to have fun with your colleagues. The more fun employees have, the more likely they are to learn on the day, and reflect on their learnings afterwards.
Instead of rolling out the same old training days you have every year, why not try something new? If you’ve asked your colleagues for fun suggestions, consider whether there are any ideas that can be used as part of your training. Tailoring the day to the things they enjoy doing will ensure everyone has a good time – and acting upon their suggestions will show them they’ve been heard.
If you’re stuck for ideas (or have a lack of suggestions from colleagues), there are all kinds of fun team-building days you could try out – take a look at Hubspot’s list of away-day ideas here.
Create a fun work space
Some of our amazing clients have created incredible, fun work spaces for their employees. Capital One offers employees a range of fun things to do while they’re at work – from a company gym, to a rehearsal room for bands (complete with instruments!)
While your budget may not stretch to that, think about some of the ways you could improve your work place. Is there a space that’s not being used, that could be improved with games or activities? Again, remember to listen to your colleagues’ suggestions on this – if they could bring something fun into the organisation, what would it be?
Stop saving fun for the end of the year
In many organisations, fun is reserved for the end of year Christmas party. Why wait until then, when there are so many things to celebrate throughout the year?
Whether it’s departmental or company-wide success, encourage your colleagues to celebrate whenever something great is achieved. It’s a fantastic, morale-boosting reason to get together, and will motivate teams for whatever lies ahead.
How do you have fun in your organisation? What fun things would you love to bring to your work place, if you had the chance? We’d love to hear about it – let’s keep the conversation going on Twitter, Facebook, or in the comments section below.