Those of you that have seen the late Heath Ledger’s exquisite and haunting performance as the Joker in “The Dark Knight” will surely remember the line, “why so serious?” Even though the character of the Joker is a pure psychopath, he does remind us to do something that too often we forget to do. Namely, have some fun! (Full disclosure: I do not think that the Joker would make a good CEO.)
Research shows that the most productive and passionate employees are those that are allowed to have some fun at work. No one is saying that you have to transform your organization into a playground but let’s face facts,…..some companies resemble morgues rather than places where creativity and innovation are encouraged and rewarded. Research also shows that it is possible to run a successful business and have a little fun at the same time.
Here are 3 things that you can do to create a more exciting workplace.
Have contests. Healthy competition among employees is a good thing. It encourages hard work, pushing limits, and exceeding goals rather than simply meeting them. So the next time you do an auto loan promotion, make it a friendly contest. Make the rewards for the winners significant. Encourage the team members to pump each other up to get past the goals line. If you want some inspiration, watch some of the coverage of the Winter Olympics.
Give some latitude. Instead of stifling someone’s creativity when they are looking for a solution to a problem, let them test solutions that may otherwise be considered “taboo.” Give your employees access to professional development and training and then let them use what they’ve learned to make things better and more efficient.
Celebrate wins…..BIG! Employees love to feel appreciated. They want to know that their hard work is making a positive impact on the organization. So when something big is achieved, then make it a point to celebrate those wins. And do it BIG! If you’ve exceeded your goal for new loans during a campaign, have a party! If your new membership numbers are off the charts, give everyone an incentive of some kind. The point is to let the employees know that their accomplishments are significant by doping something for them that is also significant. If you want to communicate appreciation, celebrate achievements and reward outstanding performance.
What are some things that your organization does to have some fun? Share your comments below.
Originally posted on 2/24/2014 on CU Insight