Business sure has changed. Once upon a time, companies could stay ahead of the competition simply by having more money than the next business, which led to purchasing more advertisements. Plus, those with the biggest bank rolls could outpace low budget competitors by purchasing manufactured products or service production in volume at a significantly lower cost. While there are still advantages to big budgets in business, they are not what they used to be. This all means one thing: The biggest competitive advantage for businesses now, is the talent and commitment of its employees.
Getting talented employees on board and keeping them engaged is certainly serious business. Yet, as the old saying goes, all work and no play makes Jane a very dull girl. Adding some fun to the workplace can create a big boost in morale and productivity and the best day of the week to incorporate this type of fun is a Monday.
After a long and lazy weekend, many American workers say they experience “Sunday Night Blues.” Sometimes it’s hard to start the week tuned in and engaged. You can help employees start the week off right with high productivity, using one or more of these three tactics:
- Get everybody moving
- Play a few games
- Serve a healthy breakfast
Get everybody moving
It is no secret that physical activity does a body and mind good. Blood circulation increases and our body even releases feel good hormones when we move around and get our breath flowing. Use exercise as an opportunity and invitation for everyone in the office to get some feel good movement going. You can hire a fitness trainer for these weekly sessions, or just have each employee contribute their own exercise for the whole team to follow. Any way that you can engage everyone will make it fun and effective. In addition, breaking a sweat would be fantastic, but it does not have to reach that level of intensity. Even a simple 20 minute round of active meditation, in which people breathe quietly for a period of time and then stretch afterwards, will create a sense of unity. With group exercise done at the top of the day, there will be a sense of team work and immediate accomplishment to make sure that everyone will feel energized and ready for the day and week ahead.
Play a few games
Most adults still have a childlike attitude in them somewhere, even if it is buried way down deep. Play to the innocent and fun loving side of your workforce with the first hour of the work day focused on games. You can set up board games like Monopoly or Sorry. If you have the room and ability, you could even use electronic game consoles for a round of fun. Just make sure everyone who wants to play gets a turn. Alternatively, you can play “getting to know you” and ice breaker type games, where employees interact by asking questions and recalling the information later. This gives everyone the opportunity to learn more about each other and the things they have in common with their co-workers. Games provide for bonding and fun that can translate into a more engaged and motivated team.
Serve a healthy breakfast
Healthy foods can immediately energize the body and boost the mind. So another way to add some fun to Monday is offering a healthy buffet style breakfast for employees. Communal dining allows for casual conversation and a laid back and fun start to the day. Some employers think that take-it-easy time like this will turn employees into slackers; however, it tends to have the opposite effect. Talented employees with integrity who are treated well and know they are at work to do a job, will often feel more driven and obligated to do excellent work for an employer who offers healthy, fun and inviting ways for them to feel more connected and appreciated in the office. An experienced and professional agency that specializes in employee hiring, retention, and development practices can help you put together a workplace engagement strategy, which includes fun days that will be effectively based on your workforce goals.
Barbara Spector is the founder of Smartmoves. She is passionate about helping companies hire, develop, and keep great employees.