Woman Times is a weekly blog series devoted to giving voice to the women of the Central New York community.
Do you dream that one day your boss would have an informal beer blast in the middle of the afternoon to mark a job well done? Imagine your office having an ice-cream social and the managers making and serving ice cream sundaes to thank you for your work.
Have you ever received a free head to toe makeover just for doing your job? At Hewlett Packard, Dow Corning and Merle Norman Cosmetics that is exactly what happens and the employees are loving it!
The Wall Street Journal says, “Better than money, praise and personal gestures motivate your workers. Things that don’t cost a lot of money are ironically the most effective.” If you can add a bit of levity to the mix all the better. Co-workers who have fun together, share a laugh, guffaw or chuckle are the same co-workers who will go the extra mile, above and beyond what is expected of them and they’ll do it happily.
Here in Syracuse at CX-Tec, a three story dinosaur in the foyer of their building greets visitors instantly telling them, ‘this is a place that encourages fun’. As you continue into the building you find that each employee decorates their cubicle anyway they want to and contests are happening every single day. Any holiday or special event is celebrated with gusto in this light hearted energetic company. They have their own rock band and it’s no surprise to see hot dogs and hamburgers being grilled out in the parking lot for lunch. The atmosphere is joyous. Who wouldn’t want to work there?
The workplace should have an atmosphere where people actually can’t wait to get there in the morning. It should be a place where creativity and excitement are rampant. You should hear laughter in the hallways and see miles of smiles in the isles. If none of this sounds familiar to you, maybe you need to suggest a little fun to your boss and see what happens. Do silly things. Be wild. Treat your employees like your best friends.
Get started. Here are some suggestions from some of the biggest most successful companies in the world:
- Put plastic fish in the water cooler
- Create a space on company property for an employee veggie garden
- Play games at lunch and break time-ping pong, volley ball, Nerf basketball
- Deliver candy with your office memo
- Have a pizza & beer party when a difficult job is completed
- Create a comedy break room with DVD’s of stand up comics or funny TV shows
- Deliver flowers to people who have birthdays
- Give a bunch of balloons each week to the person with the highest sales
- Have monthly employee nights at comedy clubs, restaurants or theaters
- Hand out $5 gift cards to Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks for the one who comes up with a great idea
These types of activities tell your employees that they matter. It makes them feel appreciated. This makes for happier employees and happier people are just more productive.
Try it and see what happens.
Yvonne Conte is a nationally recognized and internationally respected Corporate Culture Expert/Author at Humor Advantage, Inc. She is founder and director of Day of Joy Women’s Conference and member of Camillus Chamber of Commerce.
Learn more about her at:
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email at email@example.com
You can always find her counting her blessings.
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