You’re here to work, not to have fun. Businesses that think that way may be left behind. According to one research study, there’s a link between workplace fun and increased productivity, better customer service, and innovation. Turns out, fun is good for business. Here are some ways to create a fun (but effective) work environment for your small business.
It’s easy to get so wrapped-up in the day-to-day that you forget to celebrate a win in your business. So if it’s been a while for your staff, make them stop and smell the success. And don’t wait for the big things. A note from a customer about the great service they received is cause for celebration. Some managers make it a positive part of the daily kickoff meetings. It serves as a reminder of what you expect and it recognizes an employee who can deliver it.
Donuts in the break room are nice. But pop in a Star Trek DVD to celebrate the show’s 50th anniversary and you’ve taken it to a whole new galaxy. Don’t be afraid to beam it up once in a while. Consider what appeals to your staff. It may be a little corny but they’ll appreciate the effort, especially when it’s unexpected. The mood you create will likely translate into stellar customer service for your enterprise.
Not all decisions need to be made by you. Empower your staff to make decisions and plan their own work. Some businesses allow staff to offer small discounts to customers where there is a service issue. It shows your staff that you trust their judgment. That can be very motivating for employees. And it demonstrates to customers that you listen to them and want to preserve the relationship.
It’s one of the most underused tools managers have to create a positive atmosphere. And it’s free. Just say, “Thanks!” A simple thank you lets employees know they’re appreciated. Use it when someone goes above and beyond, especially when things get hectic. Remember, it doesn’t always have to come from you. Encourage employees to thank each other too. The culture it creates builds strong teams.
Get out of the office and volunteer for a common cause—food pantry, local school, arts organization. A group project like this provides a refreshing change of scenery. Everyone works together toward a common goal. It frees employees to talk to each other about something other than work. That shared experience can carry over to the work setting making it easier to communicate with each other.
It’s makes good business sense to create a positive work environment. Start with these ideas to make work fun and more productive.