This is important: the quality of your employees’ work lives directly affects the quality of the work they do. Of course no one’s focused on making his or her best effort if they’re too distracted by persistent negative thoughts about the job. As you’re in charge, it’s on you to monitor morale and respond accordingly. Here are some suggestions on how to make your workplace into the right kind of fun environment.
Start slowly but steadily.
First, a reminder. You’re about to tackle your company’s culture head-on, so it’s best to adopt a slow-but-steady attitude lest you burn out or become disheartened yourself. Your employees already have their opinions of what it’s like to work for your company, and these will only change which steady, deliberate effort on your part. Do not force anyone into anything, because being forced is decidedly not fun.
Go places. Change the scenery!
If you can hold a meeting outside on a nice day, why wouldn’t you? Look at one-on-one or small meetings as an excuse to leave the office and go somewhere interesting nearby, or to at least get a coffee.
Find more occasion to celebrate.
Basically, the more cause you can find to bring cake into the office, the better. Anniversaries, milestones, any sort of positive moment that can be reasonably marked by some sort of sweet food and relaxed fellowship with colleagues are prime opportunities.
Find things to talk about besides work.
If you ultimately want a more human workplace, it only makes sense to consider the human. Just as you’ve got hopes, dreams, fears, and desires, every employee has his or her own inner life that takes place away from the office. It’s not terribly hard to get the ball rolling and make a connection to something outside of work. As people about favorite foods, their kids or pets, or weekend happenings. There’s a whole swath of neutral conversational territory that can be easily converted to positive.
A team that plays together stays together. A number of organizations might offer existing intramural sports leagues for you and your colleagues to run around and chase a ball as a team with a totally different mission. If no such organization exists near you, it should be easy to start something small on your own. Team sports do all kinds of good things to our brains when we look at them from the perspective of teamwork-first. These are things that can be great catalysts for change at the office.