That’s funny……. interesting and significant !
There exists an important and consistent variable in the attainment and maintenance of high productivity, stable staff composition, customer satisfaction and client retention.
Refreshingly, it need not involve large outlays of capital, investments in infrastructure and systems or the support of expensive incentives.
It is difficult to quantify and is not evident in entity debit and credit registers. However, believe me, it’s impact on market worth, image and competitive advantage is substantial. The contribution to the price : equity value is infinitesimal.
Moreover, management and marketing departments are relieved of the need to authorise and script promotional texts and advertisements which declare that the entity is an employer of choice. This variable is declaration enough.
Many job descriptions and job specifications are lacking, because they do not address this attractive and valuable ideal.
Sadly, in the current volatile marketplace with the pressures of time constraints, stress and competitive forces, its presence is less conspicuous and falls short of being considered ubiquitous . The deficiency is palpable.
You may well have consciously or subconsciously noted the shortcomings in so many business, political and life settings. However, few find themselves able to verbalise the inadequacy.
FUN is like that. It counters negatives, overcomes impediments, creates focus, sustains motivation and fulfils the insatiable need of all stakeholders.
It is not hard work. It overcomes and makes light of hard work. Conflicts are typically cancelled because of fun. Group cohesion is enhanced and sustained by it.
There is no suggestion that one should not take business and the pursuit of excellence, quality, trust and integrity seriously. However, it is often good for all to not take yourself too seriously. Laugh. Have fun.
THE STEPS FORWARD
An initial step to inculcate fun as an integral part of the business is to call a meeting or series of meetings to enable people to express their perceptions of the essential culture of the entity and the degree to which fun is part of its character.
Team members usually are a bountiful pool of fresh and refreshing ideas on how best to reintroduce, increase and sustain fun.
Human beings are social creatures. They have an infinite need to interact. What is increasingly lacking in much of contemporary communication is the word personal.
Interoffice emails and some text messages should be minimised and personal contact encouraged.
Technology is best applied when it complements, not replaces, people and people contact.
Our time-poor society and typical lean business entities impinge on the relief which is introduced by the fun of interacting with people. It’s not easy and is easy to overlook. However, there is an importance and multiple returns from the provision of regular, periodic and spontaneous “time-outs” for team members to enjoy the fun of rotating duties and focus.
In 1983 Tom Peters and Bob Waterman Jnr released their international best selling book “In Search of Excellence”.
It was significant that many of the corporations that were identified to be excellent, tolerated and indeed, encouraged informal structures called “skunkworks”. These typically breached many traditional rules and conventions. Members of these skunkworks enjoyed the informality, fun and self generated energy which evolved.
Core values were respected, but standard practices were at all times subjected to questioning.
Daily, countless milestones are achieved, not recognised nor celebrated.
Ask elite sportspeople where they derive most fun in their individual pursuits. The focus tends to be in “PB’s” (personal best), premierships and gold medals.
These symbols and tokens make all the hard work and sacrifices worthwhile. Life in the fast lane of business is no different.
Therefore, we need to create and revere our heroes. It’s fun!
Connecting with internal and external customers is an imperative for business success in the contemporary business environment.
Networking has been developed to an artform, with countless hours dedicated to expanding the spheres of influence of team members.
Nothing facilitates and expedites better the establishment and maintenance of mutually rewarding relationships than an environment in which fun is a key element.
Therefore, specific focus should be developed to include and embrace associates, suppliers and clients – the pursuit of having fun in business.
The introduction and pursuit of fun does not impact on corporate visions, missions, policies, practices or job descriptions. It does, however, add immeasurable value.
Predictably, some people will dismiss the contention because of heavy workloads and a lack of time. Much of that can and is overcome by a change of thinking, which precedes a change of doing. It is a case of :-