Before presenting a team building seminar to a local business, the co-owner, who at one time worked with me, introduced me as the manager who taught him the importance of having fun in the workplace. I was jubilated that this is what he remembered because I remembered a young manager (that would be me) who was inconsistent, self-serving, and relied too often on fear as a motivator. I was glad the fun is what he remembered, and carried forward to his team.

Why Fun in the Workplace is Important

Fun at work lowers costly employee turnover, it improves employee morale and positively impacts the bottom line. In their New York Times, Bestselling book The Levity Effect, Adrian Gostick and Scott Christopher examine the significance of humor in the workplace.  “The Levity Effect uses serious science to reveal the remarkable power of fun and humor in business: those leaders who are light-hearted learn that entertaining workplaces have more loyal employees and customers.”

The Best Managers Have a Sense of Humor

Humor can be used to improve communications, promote employee engagement, and as a motivational tool. Funny is fun. A fun workplace is something that employees look forward to. Do your employees enjoy coming to work or dread the drive?

“In their own commissioned survey, Gostick and Christopher set out to see whether a manager’s sense of humor helped retain workers. Their research showed that employees who rated their managers’ sense of humor as above average were less likely to look for another job. But those who said their boss’s humor was average or below average didn’t think they would last long on the job.” – Google News

The Best Places to Work are Fun

If you’ve worked in a fun work environment, you understand why employees want to help the organization by doing the best work they can while loyally promoting the business. On the other hand, the best to be said about non-fun companies is it’s a paycheck until a better job comes along.

Each year, the Great Place to Work Institute asks tens of thousands of employees to rate their experience of workplace factors, including, “This is a fun place to work.” On Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list, produced by the Great Place to Work Institute, employees in companies that are denoted as “great” responded overwhelmingly — an average of 81 percent — which they are working in a “fun” environment.  — Why fun at work matters.

Workplace Humor Must be Appropriate

Workplace humor cannot be attack oriented.  Adding “Just Kidding.” to derogatory remarks disguised as humor doesn’t make it right. Correct humor in the workplace doesn’t include racism or any type of discrimination. It should never poke fun at people regardless whether it’s employees, customers, or competitors. Workplace humor should never be sexually explicit, political or religious in nature.

Workplace Fun is About Getting the Job DONE

Too often when people imagine workplace fun they picture goofing off. But the truth is that’s not fun unless the work is getting done. Making the work itself fun, setting rewards for accomplished tasks, and making time for fun activities when work is completed is fun. Worrying about work that is incomplete is stressful not fun.

Are we Having Fun Yet?

On a scale of 1-10 where does your workplace rank on the fun-o-meter? Need a little help? Check what your business offers.

___Wellness initiatives

___Luncheons and pitch-ins

___Employee surveys

___Group participation in charitable events

___Flexible scheduling

___Rewards for increased production

___Recognition for achievement, milestones, and character

___Open door transparent management

___Company outings

___Memberships, such as gym and fitness

___Dress up, casual, and themed days

___Fun competitions

How Fun is Your Business?

Does your team like coming to work? Do you have fun and get the job done culture? How have you instituted fun in your workplace, what’s worked for your team? We’d like to know.

Here’s more. How to have fun at work How to have fun at work.