SAGE turned 23 yesterday and that got us thinking how much our company embodies the spirit of a 23 year old. For starters, we’re energetic, bright and a have a go-get-‘em attitude. Just like any twenty-something, we’re on the cutting edge of technology and are the first to adopt new trends. But above all, we like to have fun. We love what we do and enjoy coming to work every day. Most of our great ideas haven’t come to us while staring at a computer screen. Great ideas come to us when we’re having fun, shooting some pool or bouncing ideas off a coworker. When we’re enjoying ourselves, we’re not just goofing off. In fact, we’re actually better at our jobs. Here’s why we have fun at work and why you should, too.
Fun activities build team morale, which strengthens friendships among colleagues. According to Ron Friedman, psychologist and author of The Best Place To Work, we’re much more effective, and even smarter, when we feel connected to our colleagues. “For one thing, it’s because we can pay less attention to whether or not we’re fitting in and bring our full attention to actually doing our work. We’re also more comfortable pointing out when a colleague is going down the wrong path. And we’re more willing to ask for help when we need it.”
People work harder when they enjoy their work. When people really feel like they belong and they care about the company they work for, they begin to adopt the company’s values and feel more invested in their career. Having fun at work makes people want to perform well and be a contributing member of their team.
A fun environment fosters creativity and produces confident employees who feel comfortable sharing ideas. By opening up creative thinking, people will become more resourceful with problems and find new solutions to issues.
Happy employees deliver great customer service. When people are having fun, they talk more, discuss issues openly, and take better care of customers. A fun work environment also creates a positive atmosphere that customers will gravitate toward.
Happy people are healthy people. Many scientific studies have found a connection between psychological and physical well-being. One reason for this is that happy people are more likely to exercise, eat a balanced diet and get enough sleep than those who report lower life satisfaction. A study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University exposed subjects to a cold virus and found that people who considered themselves happy were less likely to get sick — and expressed fewer symptoms even if they did contract the virus. Therefore, happier employees could mean fewer sick days and lower health insurance costs for your company.
Happy staff stick around. 2015 is projected to be a year of growth for most businesses, meaning people will look around for new jobs. With the average cost of hiring a new employee landing somewhere between $40,165 and $56,770, it is much more affordable to retain the good employees you have. Most of our employees have been around for years, some from the very beginning. It just goes to show, if you make the work environment fun, more people will stay.
A fun culture attracts new talent. It’s fun to have fun, so people look for a work environment they’ll enjoy coming into every workday. In fact, most Millennials joining the workforce now say they make company culture fit a top priority when considering a new job prospect.
Work can be fun?! Tell me more!
Having fun at work is fun in theory, but many managers are skeptical about implementing more fun at work. Don’t worry, you don’t need to go out and install a zip-line and bouncy house right away (although we’re definitely not against it!). Adopting a more enjoyable company culture starts with taking little steps to engage your employees and establish your office as a supportive community. Here are a few simple steps to take for a happier and more productive team.
Host companywide events. Holidays parties, happy hours, team-building exercises, golf outings, charitable fundraisers, or even just having food catered in for a luncheon shows your employees you appreciate them and want them to enjoy being a part of your company. At SAGE, we have some sort of event almost every month. We’ve found it raises morale, increases communication among our staff and makes work more enjoyable.
Let your employees play a part in how your office is governed. Our employees can get involved by joining groups, such as the SAGE events committee or community service committee.
Create a fun environment. If you can, transform your office into a more enjoyable, laid-back environment. At SAGE, we’ve accomplished this by adding things such as a pool table, putting green, scooters, and a relaxing lounge area.
Give credit where credit is due. We send out a companywide “kudos” email twice per month, filled with compliments for our staff, which we receive from customers and fellow coworkers. Recognizing employees for a job well done reassures them that they’re making an impact.
Put simply, your staff is your greatest resource; invest in them and business will flourish. If you are a creative, hard-working individual who also likes to have fun, we’re always looking for talented new people to join our team! Follow us on LinkedIn to be notified of openings at SAGE.