8 keys to making your company a great place to work

Nowadays, many companies are creating and encouraging fun in the workplace. Experts say this can benefit any business. Adrian Gostick and Scott Christopher, in their book The Levity Effect: Why It Pays To Lighten Up, say that if people are having fun, they’re going to work harder, stay longer, maintain their composure in a crisis, and take better care of the organization.

I have a business friend who has several people working on a line during busy season. These people have been coming back to work for this company for several years, so they’ve gotten to know each other. They joke and laugh together as they turn out products they’re proud of. They check each other’s work as they go along, and they find and correct mistakes before the work gets to another department for quality control. The key to their success in turning out great work is that they not only work together, they also bond together in their mission and make it fun.

A local business friend takes her entire team of co-workers to a northwoods fishing resort in the summer to get them to “lighten up” while they’re all working together on fall and winter business goals. Some might not think that fun can affect an organization so strongly, but data from the Great Place to Work Institute shows that employees at companies that earn the designation of “great place to work” overwhelmingly say they work in a “fun environment.” My friend’s company has received that distinction. It is, indeed, a great place to work because, while its employees take their work seriously, they also take their fun seriously.

Some companies that hold the status of “great place to work” include the following as part of their philosophy:

  1. Employee input. Allowing your employees to share their knowledge and suggestions keeps them engaged.
  2. Employee empowerment. Allowing team members to make customers happy using their own discretion and common sense, for everything from greeting and welcoming customers to problem solving, can benefit your company.
  3. Excellent communication between management and staff.
  4. A sense of family among team members.
  5. Giving employees the freedom to learn and grow.
  6. A culture of continuous improvement.        
  7. Paying attention to employee recognition and appreciation and having a special way to recognize and honor good work.
  8. Recognizing that laughter and fun on the job can make a difference in the way the job is done.

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According to Fast Company, research at California State University, Long Beach has shown that people who have fun at work are more creative, more productive, work better with others, and call in sick less often.

Fun breaks up boredom and fatigue, increases creativity and the willingness to help others, and creates its own worker energy. Energized employees are a vital force in a successful organization. Work can be challenging, but done with a sense of humor, it keeps workers happy. Happy workers make happy customers. This combination sets the stage for a great place to work and to shop!

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