Regardless of what your company does, the office is where serious work gets done. As a COO, you work hard, and your work matters, but just because it’s serious work does that mean that the environment that you and everyone else work in has to be serious, too?
Short answer: absolutely not! It’s time for you to consider your company culture and think about why you, as a leader and COO, should foster a fun work environment.
It Increases Morale and Productivity
Happy employees are productive employees and what makes employees happy? A workplace that fosters fun and socialization!
So many companies get this wrong. They think that building a fun, light, social atmosphere will invite horseplay and cause people to lose focus, and productivity will suffer as a result. It’s actually quite the opposite!
Creating the right social environment is just as crucial to your company’s success as productivity. Arguably, you’ll never get the most out of your employees without building a workplace culture that makes them want to be at work.
It Helps Create a Successful Workplace Culture
Your company culture just may be the single most significant determinant of success or failure. Company culture affects so many parts of your business – from your life as a COO, to hiring, to sales, to customer service. Companies that understand this are already way ahead of their competition.
“Engaged employees are more productive. Having a great company culture is what makes employees want to show up to work every day and put in their best. It keeps them enthusiastic about their tasks and appreciative of all that you do to ensure that the workplace environment is enjoyable.” – Officevibe
It Creates a Community
Successful COOs know the value of building a community in their workplace. It increases productivity, increases morale, increases loyalty, and increases countless more things that your company wants. Creating a fun and social environment is probably one of the best and easiest ways to do just that.
“Communities share wins and losses and know they can rely on each other. It’s important to make sure each member of your team feels a sense of connection, not only to their work, but to their colleagues.” – COO Alliance
It’s easy to think that building an environment that fosters socialization is an environment that fosters distraction, but that’s not true. Your employees need to socialize so that they can work well together to make your business as successful as it can possibly be!
Here’s an Example for You
Take the company Achievers (formerly I Love Rewards). Every Friday at 3:00 pm, their employee lounge becomes the ‘Red Point Lounge,” and everyone gathers to imbibe in the company’s signature drink – the Red Point (1.5 shots of Crown Royal, 1.5 shots of Sour Puss, and 3 shots of Red Bull, in case you were wondering). It’s a fantastic way to let off some steam after a hard week. Everyone looks forward to it and catches up. They call it “First Drink Fridays”.
And, what matters most, is there are unexpected side effects of it. For one, talk inevitably turns to what everyone has in common – what they’ve been working on and what kinds of problems they’ve been running into. That’s when things get interesting. Very often, these Friday afternoons lead to impromptu brainstorming sessions. Mix up different departments, add a little liquid inspiration, and you’ll be amazed at what kind of creative solutions happy, motivated employees can come up with.
And have these social events turned the company into a laughing stock of half-drunk misfits? Far from it. In fact, they have been voted one of the top companies in Canada to work for a few years in a row and continue to attract jaw-dropping amounts of venture capital.
Is this to suggest that you need to get your employees drunk every week to be successful? Of course not, but creating an environment where employees feel comfortable, free, and appreciated is crucial. Don’t scoff at the power of team lunches or of sponsoring office dodgeball teams. Employees remember and respect the effort – that’s a fact!
What do you do to foster a fun and productive work environment? Let us know in the comments below!
If you have questions or would like more information, I’d be happy to help. Please send us an email, and someone from my team will get in touch with you!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2018 and has been edited for accuracy and comprehensiveness.