Not Just a Laughing Matter: Creating a “Fun” Corporate Culture that Grows Your Business
A lot of lip service goes into creating a “fun, positive, empowering (etc…)” corporate culture. Nearly every business leader today — from the small business owner to the C-suite, Directors, and Managers of publicly traded corporations — understands that an engaging corporate culture can do wonders for the business. However, few truly understand that you can’t just talk the talk and try to do “fun things.”
Creating a corporate culture that helps to drive business growth must be strategic, intentional, integrative, and inclusive.
As recent as a decade ago, corporate culture was just — if anything — words in a manual that once scribed, were pretty much forgotten. However, since then, much research and data has been revealed that shows just how important a strong, practiced, corporate culture can really be when properly designed and executed. For example, it’s been proven that companies who integrate “fun” into the workplace have workers who are less likely to leave, proactively engage in teamwork, are less stressed, have greater resiliency, and consistently perform more productively (Allen, David, “How to actually create a fun company culture.” Fast Company, February 19, 2020.)
But how to incorporate fun into the workplace the “right” way?
It’s important to realize that fun is subjective. That makes it harder to find things that are fun for your entire office, sure. However, it also forces us to think outside the book—to research and find fun-inducing, team-building, activities and experiences that truly WORK to drive business growth.
Yet, despite the fact that the interpretation of “fun” can be so individualistic, according to the same Fast Company magazine article linked above, there are some commonalities that seem to cross most barriers:
- “Fun” Should Be Voluntary
Your employees should never be “forced” to have fun. All fun activities should be truly voluntary. There should not be any pressure to engage. Taking off the pressure actually increases the likelihood that more people will join in and see the activity as the fun adventure it’s intended to be.
- Fun Must Start at the Top
If managers and leaders not only encourage — but are supportive and even voluntarily and enthusiastically participative in — fun, it makes the fun feel genuine and not manufactured.
- Recognize Different Personalities
People who are optimistic are more likely to look at fun activities more favorably. Thus, it’s critical to hire people who fit into the culture of “fun” at your organization. Hiring well means employees are more likely to value fun the same way.
- “Type” of Fun Matters
You’re wanting to build and/or strengthen a team. Therefore, fun that allows the team to work together, rather than compete individually, are usually enjoyed more by the majority of employees. Furthermore, merely having team “places”—where team members can socialize and have an informal type of fun, helps to encourage a fun corporate culture almost more than anything else.
If you want to take your business to the next level, creating a corporate culture that is fun, empowering, engaging, and inclusive might just be the most important step for you to take. Use the guidelines above as a starting point and develop a “fun” work environment that not only works for you, but works for your employees as well.