When you hear the words human resources what do you picture? Do you remember being called to the office, layoffs, disciplinary action? Or do you think of payroll, insurance, and paperwork? Probably the last thing that comes to mind when you think about HR is…F-U-N fun. But the best human resource specialists know that a fun work culture is one key to happy employees, and happy employees are more productive with less turnover. If there’s less turnover, the HR team can concentrate on more than recruiting and hiring.
7 Fun Initiatives for HR
- Start a FUN committee – Ask for volunteers from every department. Include employees from all levels of the organization. Meet monthly at lunch, bring a pizza to set the fun mood. What’s more fun than pizza? Discuss ways for the corporation to create fun events. Look for fun activities to share throughout the organization.
- Set the stage for FUN – Encourage fun by creating a fun environment. Add a bulletin board to the break room for teammates to post cartoons. Post a joke of the day. Add humor to the company newsletter, think Readers Digest and their “A day in the Life” section, except make it stories about your workplace and teammates. Add humorous quotes to Emails.
- Make it a Game –Turn training into a game with points and prizes. Look for ways to make production a contest with rewards. Recognize milestones. Organize wellness contests.
- Create FUN Days – Have dress up days, brown bag lunch days, and talk like a pirate day, “Ahoy there Matey!” Involve the team in charitable events. Hold a chili cook-off.
- Make it happen after work – Create and organize a company picnic, Christmas party, or awards banquet. Mail newsletters with employee recognition to team member’s home and family. Recognize tenure and accomplishments with awards employees can take home.
- Encourage a sense of humor and spontaneity – Yes, there is a time and a place to be serious and get down to the business of business, but there should be room for fun. Teach teammates when fun is appropriate and when it isn’t.
- Show others how to have FUN – Don’t be a dry, all-business, HR specialist—it only advances the stereotype. Smile, laugh, and have fun. Open meetings with an ice breaker, share self-deprecating HR humor, and look for ways to show everyone it’s OK to have a little fun—even for Human Resources personnel.
Don’t be an HR Stick-in-the-mud
As an HR Specialist, there will be more than enough occasions where you need to wear your serious professional face. Those aren’t going away, but that’s not 100% of the time. There are times when it’s not only appropriate to have fun it’s advantageous. If you want to build a productive team, if you want to reduce turnover, and if you want to make your job a little easier, then have some fun. Are you an HR Specialist? How do you have fun at work?