We’ve spent a lot of time and energy defining our core company values here at The Receptionist.
We believe that without a specific set of values, it’s hard to cultivate an intentional workplace culture — and an intentional workplace culture helps you attract the best hires and provide radical customer experiences.
At The Receptionist, our values are Fun, Authentic, Bold, Respectful, Innovative, and Collaborative, our FABRIC. We strive to embody FABRIC every day we come into work, and in every interaction with have with our customers and among colleagues.
Fun is the first letter of our FABRIC. When we highlight “fun” as a core value, we mean that we want our employees to enjoy their time at work, and we want our customers to enjoy interacting with our company.
Of course, everyone likes to have fun, but sometimes the recipe for fun in the office isn’t always simple. Here are a few ways that we suggest can help make your office more fun overall, and have your employees look forward to coming into work every day.
Host Employee Events and Celebrations
Most offices will shell out for a few baked goods for employee birthdays or at least one annual party, usually during the holidays. However, companies that are truly dedicated to making their offices fun places to show their commitment by encouraging employees to celebrate milestones and bonding over shared interests and experiences. Here are just a few ideas:
Celebrate employee’s milestones – You can commend employees’ work anniversaries in special ways, too, or host events like baby showers or wedding showers to recognize major milestones in employees’ lives.
Celebrate group achievements – Met your monthly sales goal? Made a tight production deadline? Make sure to celebrate your special achievements together in some way. You could head out to a group happy hour or a team lunch, or go for something a little more out-of-the-box like mini-golf or axe-throwing.
Host workday activities – You don’t need to have a specific milestone reached or date just to have fun with your coworkers. Popular office events include group yoga, book clubs, or other meetings dedicated to hobbies or shared interests and causes. Take a poll at your workplace and see what excites people the most!
Hold special events out of the office – Enjoying your coworker’s company outside of the office provides an excellent opportunity for employees to spend time together away from work pressures. A few ideas for fun out-of-office outings include heading out to a local sports game, an arts festival, or an amusement park. Employees can also get to know each other’s families and loved ones at these kinds of events, which helps to strengthen working relationships. Consider implementing ‘no-phones’ policies during these outings to ensure employees aren’t worried about checking email or returning calls and are fully present instead.
Organize group volunteer events – An event where employees volunteer to help a good cause is a great way to demonstrate your company’s commitment to giving back and foster strong bonds between employees. Choose a cause close to your employee’s hearts to help in shared participation. It even gets your organization’s name out in the community.
Keep in mind that although these celebrations can be fun, that doesn’t mean that your office should be in non-stop party mode. Take care not to make these gatherings feel too forced or fill the calendar with events just because you can. After all, mandatory fun is really no fun at all! However, offices do feel more fun when employees are given the chance to celebrate meaningful events and achievements alongside their colleagues and be able to enjoy each other’s company outside of work.
Create a “Fun” Office Aesthetic
If you want to send a message to employees, potential hires, and other office visitors that your office values a sense of fun, it helps to incorporate design elements that will reflect that value.
This could take the form of bold, statement-making art pieces or wall fixtures, or choosing to go for bright, whimsical colors and patterns. This aesthetic can be particularly fitting for companies with brands that emphasize creativity in their client services and want to embody that creativity in their branding.
You could also go a step further and invest in office features that encourage employees to embrace playfulness: ping-pong tables, foosball tables, or even craft beers on tap.
For more on fun office features, check out this post: Want to Create a Fun, Playful Office? Add These Elements.
Hire the Right People for the Right Positions
Even the most vibrant decor and lively office features can’t make an office fun if employees are unhappy for other reasons.
A somber or uninvolved office culture is usually due to one of the following problems: you’ve hired people who are a bad fit for your company, or your employees are in positions that aren’t a good fit for them.
- The wrong people – A fun office is full of people who have positive outlooks and enjoy coming to work with their coworkers every day. You should consciously prioritize these characteristics in the hiring and advancement process. Negative behaviors like rudeness, bullying, or gossip should be actively discouraged and squashed before they take root. Building a careful and considered hiring process can help you get the kind of people you need to create a healthy workplace.
- The wrong positions – If an employee seems chronically unhappy or stressed, it might be because their current position isn’t a good fit for their skills or personality. Moving an employee into a better-suited position paves the way for a morale boost that can make the office more fun for everyone. Empathetic and observant managers or HR leaders who want the best for employees are key to making sure your whole team is in a position that works for them.
Cultivate a Culture of Teamwork and Enthusiasm
Embodying company values always start at the top. In workplaces where leaders haven’t truly prioritized the value of fun, even small attempts at lightening things up can backfire. Office celebrations can feel forced and awkward, and bright colors and decor seem disingenuous or conflicting with the mood of the office.
If leaders pay lip service to wanting employees to have fun in the office but come into work each day stressed out and short-tempered, that disconnect will be stark and help to foster resentment.Leaders may say they want to create a fun work environment, but that means little if they consistently come into work stressed out and short-tempered. Click To Tweet
Similarly, if company leaders consistently create projects and assign deadlines without assessing the impact of those projects and deadlines on the ability of employees to enjoy their work, there’s little chance that the office will feel like a fun place to spend the day.
Keeping in mind that making the decision to keep work “fun” for all employees — including company leadership — doesn’t mean making things consistently easy. At times, it means choosing work that challenges and excites employees and making sure that employees have the support that they need to do their job well. It means cultivating an expectation that employees will support one another and work together so that individuals never have to struggle alone with their workloads. If your employees feel empowered at work to make decisions and take risks, they will look forward to each new day!
For more about workplace culture and how we develop it here at The Receptionist, check out The FABRIC Show, where we publish podcasts, fun videos, and behind-the-scenes glimpses into life at The Receptionist.
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