When do you know that it’s time to PAUSE and RE-think?
Well, when things are not working your way or maybe when they are not working the GOOD WAY.
You have a dress-up day at office and there are just few employees in the dress code.
You announced a contest and there is no employee ENTHUSIASM to participate.
You distributed company’s T-shirts and no one wears them to work.
Now that’s the time you, as HR, must think what you are doing wrong with your fun at work activities.
Studies prove that not just MONEY and RECOGNITION, it is also the social and psychological fulfillment that keeps employees MOTIVATED and ENGAGED at work. Fun at work activities are a simple yet effective way to make employees feel connected with each other and with the organization. These activities help to ease the pressure of deadlines and commitments (though for some time) and let employees relax at work.
Then why is it that employees at times avoid to be part of activities organized in their best interest?
If you are concerned about why your Fun-at-work activities do not work out well with employees, these might be some of the reasons:-
You make it too FORMAL
If you appear out of HR glass doors on Fridays and expect employees to join you in fun activities, you will face disappointment. Unless employees feel involved they won’t participate. They must first trust you and know you in order to join you into anything. Fun-at-work must be part of your company’s culture for employees to understand and enjoy it.
Your employees are UPSET
Think again, is there anything that your employees are not happy about, maybe appraisal, bonus or benefits. Any promises that have been broken in the past. If yes, probably it is their way of showing that displeasure. Ofcourse, they do not want to give you an opportunity to compensate this way.
Managers do not PARTICIPATE
A great boost to employee morale and enthusiasm comes from their managers. If managers do not participate for any reason (best known to them) it is most obvious that their team also feel hesitant or disinterested to join.
Employees do not have TIME
Work load (for any reason) is also a possibility why employees miss to join any activity that requires them to stay late to meet deadlines. If activities are scheduled during work hours, anticipate some no shows already.
Is there anything that you as HR can do about it?
Change your approach to Employee Engagement activities. Try to understand what really matters to employees. REDESIGN your employee engagement model; make it more stimulating for employees.
Change Fun-at-work attitude to Fun-in-work
“We will never—and I mean never—turn our backs on our employees” – Howard Schultz, Starbucks
Starbucks is ruling on sales and customer loyalty because of its highly committed employees. The company has strategically focused engagement activities that involves employee at all level with its mission, vision and performance. It provides every opportunity for collaboration and innovation to its employees. It has an incredible culture of thanking, appreciating employees and seeking employee feedback in every matter possible.
This is how best organizations do it. They make employee engagement an ongoing activity.
Organizations and HR pros everywhere are getting experimental with their engagement practices to keep low on employee turnover and promote better work culture. Approach engagement through Fun-at-work activities with a more open mindset to make it part of your workplace culture.
– When planning Fun-at-work activities keep employees involved. Invite suggestions, create polls, ask for volunteers, and let them feel a part of it.
– Promote social connections at work through internal networking groups, knowledge communities that encourage cross team interaction.
– HR behavior influences employee behavior. Encourage them by looking and behaving enthusiastic yourself.
– A reward/prize might do the trick. Recognize and appreciate employee participation.
– Encourage open and honest communication at work.
– Promote team collaboration by organizing out of office events.
If you are starting afresh, things might move slowly initially. And yet again, organizing parties, events and giveaways is just one aspect of Fun-at-work. The real fun happens when employees seem to enjoy their work and the workplace. Though it is not always possible to make work a fun business (it is meant to be a serious affair), connecting employees with the organization is the real idea.
I will wait to hear your views and thoughts on encouraging employees to join fun-at work activities?
About the Author:
Meetu Khanduja is an HR professional with extensive experience of working with IT/ITES industry. She holds an MBA (HR) and PDG in IPR (Intellectual Property Rights). She shares her experience and views on HR on her blog – www.hrdictionaryblog.com.