Success is fun. Of that, there is no doubt.
But it is also inarguably true that having more fun leads to success. Just ask Richard Branson.
“Fun is one of the most important — and underrated — ingredients in any successful venture.” – Richard Branson, in “The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership.”
Enjoyment Means Engagement
In a recent blog post we looked at five ways to make fun useful for engagement. Today, let’s look at the top ten reasons why having fun is key to your success. There are many more than ten, by the way. But there’s only so much blog space. So, buckle up!
1. Fun improves relationships
Research shows that having fun in a team builds trust and strengthens communication. Success flows easily from connecting and being creative together. Laughing together gives us the subconscious clarity that we share values and ideas. When we enjoy one another’s company, we improve our ability to resolve conflict.
A study by Kansal, Puja and Maheshwari indicated that fun at work definitely improves our relationships with co-workers, leading to improved performance and productivity.
Trust, communication, performance, productivity… Are there any better synonyms for success?
2. Fun reduces stress
Engaging in enjoyable activities can be an especially powerful antidote to stress. You probably do not need science to know this already. Spontaneous laughter has a stress-buffering effect. Individuals who laugh less have more negative emotions. While those who laugh more are more resilient. “Laughter is the best medicine” is a very true statement!
Consider that the average adult only laughs seventeen times per day, while the average child laughs twenty times as often. It is possible to be mature and educated and have success, and still laugh! It really is!
3. Fun makes us smarter
It really does! We increase our memory skills and concentrate better when we enjoy our work. Part of this is due to stress reduction. But there’s more to it than that. The British Cohort Study found that reading for fun improves our language skills AND math – and possibly even protect us against cognitive decline as we age.
4. Fun makes us energetic
Another impact of stress is to tire us out. Reducing stress gives us new vitality. Just look at kids and how much fun they have. Such a serious mind as Plato insisted that “life must be lived as play.” And George Bernard Shaw famously said: “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
Sure, we all want a team full of decades of experience. But wouldn’t you prefer that team to be vibrant with youthful energy? Wouldn’t that be a better path to your organization’s success?
5. Fun increases recruitment and retention rates
Organizations that nourish creativity and playfulness in employees have better success recruiting and retaining good staff. Google, for instance, is famous for cultivating an enjoyable workplace in parallel with cranking out examples of success in their products, reputation and bottom line.
But here’s a fact you might not have known. When Google gives away free snacks to its employees, each snack costs the company less than $2 – and results in an employee spending forty more minutes at work. Unless the average Google employee earns less than $3 an hour, this is a smart and successful investment.
6. Fun creates increased job satisfaction
First of all, fun at work prevents burnout. Of course, burnout is the very antithesis of success.
On top of this, employees must feel satisfied to be productive. There are many factors that contribute to job satisfaction, which logically also correlates to overall life satisfaction. When we can laugh and have fun at work, we can also build better relationships and help create connections with our workmates. Doing fun things together creates a joint history with our fellow employees. When we have fun together we tend to relate to and identify with our co-workers better. Some authors believe that “teams that play together, stay together,” so it is important to create an organizational culture that supports that (Berg, 2001).
7. Fun creates inclusion and embraces diversity
Dr. Michel Buffet has worked in the field of leadership assessment and development for more than two decades, consulting with dozens of Fortune 500 companies. He knows the value of building positivity into a growing company.
Inclusion, again, builds trust. The larger the organization, the further leadership is from the average employee. Making sure people at every level of the company feel safe sharing their ideas will help any company run with greater success.
“Being part of an organization is more than just doing a task,” Dr. Buffet says. “It’s more than selling a product. It’s also about experience and who do you care about and who do you want to hang out with on a daily basis. What kind of community do you want to be a part of?”
8. Fun attracts customers
If your team is having fun, they will be more confident and outgoing. A team that enjoys its work will magnetize and attract others to want to work with you too. This is, almost mysteriously, true even where your team is working behind the scenes where no external people see them.
More importantly, customer satisfaction links closely with employee satisfaction. Workers who have something to smile about do a better job of making customers smile whether in person or on Zoom. Fun is contagious. The telecommunication company Sprint showed a 30% increase in calls handled by their call center when they increased their employee satisfaction levels, for instance.
9. Fun is profitable and sustainable
Fun people take action. Being outgoing is one of the key characteristics of a successful person. And having fun while working makes working longer and with more focussed success much easier. Richard Branson is not the only business leader who says so.
“No matter what happens each day, I go to bed thinking of something cheerful. Try it.” – Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook
Ronald Culbertson, author of Do it Well. Make it Fun, calls to our attention a survey that shows that 85% of workers hate meetings. So he has tried to make meetings more enjoyable for everyone by introducing games, ice breakers and so on.
“If you can do it for the joy, you can do it forever.” – Stephen King
10. Fun is fun
Yes, there’s this. It’s fun to have fun. People tend to move toward things they like and away from things they don’t. At the most basic level, encouraging your employees to enjoy their jobs every minute of every day is simply going to make people happier in your workplace. And happier people do better work, want to spend more time at work, and will radiate the kind of energy that will attract better teammates, customers, and even improve the quality of their managers.
“Take a job that you love. You will jump out of bed in the morning.” – Warren Buffet
And sometimes, jumping out of bed leads to really great stuff. Don’t believe me? Just ask Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who claims this:
“Paul and I, we never thought that we would make much money out of the thing. We just loved writing software.”
In short – do what you love. But if you can’t do what you love, to paraphrase the great rockers CSNY – “love what you are doing.” The rest will follow.
If you are struggling to provide ways to have fun at work while succeeding in your organization, speak to us.
At Innovation Minds we specialize in making a fun workplace successful and a successful workplace fun.
Our EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT HYBRID WORK SOLUTION reaches out to every corner of your company, implementing our AT THE EDGE philosophy to ensure that you transform your organization into a great place to work for everyone.
Yes. Everyone. Everywhere. All the time. That’s Innovation Minds.
Give us a shout. Have a chat with us. It won’t cost you anything.