More Fun, More Often

Did you know there is growing evidence that having a playful work environment increases the creativity of your employees? Perhaps that’s why companies like Google, LinkedIn, and Whole Foods are embracing a new business philosophy that includes more fun in their corporate culture.

For decades the image of “corporate” has trended toward suit and tie with a dash of a stuffed-shirt attitude—often assuming this would be the most direct path to productivity and profitability. Yet the success of companies like Google cannot be denied, especially as they not only hire more Millennials but also move them into managerial positions.

Perhaps you’re not ready for a rock-climbing wall or ping pong table, so what else can you do to create an enjoyable work environment? Here are a few ideas:

  1. Music: everyone likes upbeat tunes, so incorporate some into your workplace. One of my favorite organizations had a boss who played a popular song to begin the day. All the employees looked forward to that musical ritual!
  2. Start a new “award” system. How about a Gumby for the most flexible team member or a giant flashlight for someone with a bright idea?
  3. Energize your meetings with surprise elements. For example, give everyone raffle tickets and have a drawing at the end for three or four inexpensive prizes (think gift card, reserved parking spot, new coffee mug, etc.).
  4. Enlist the help of a few “fun” employees, especially if you need assistance thinking up fresh ideas that will be meaningful to your corporate family. The fact that team members are involved always increases ‘buy in.”

The bottom line is that a playful corporate culture may be just what your business needs to actually improve the bottom line. So, get creative—and have more fun, more often!