Tips to Having Motivated Employees that Kick Butt

Maintaining employee focus is one of the keys to running a successful business, and there's no better way to get it than by making sure your employees have a little fun.

These days, it sometimes seems like most employees’ idea of having fun at work amounts to sneaking a peek at their MySpace or Facebook accounts, yet the fact remains that an enjoyable workplace is one of the most important elements of any successful company. After all, not counting sleep, most people spend more time at work than they do with their families. Studies have found that people who have fun on the job are more creative, more productive, and get along better with co-workers. Also, a fun workplace has been found to reduce the number of sick days that workers use. You need not turn your office into a circus, however; there are a number of easy ways to instill fun and humor at the workplace while maintaining a professional environment.

Reward Accomplishments


You can’t get from Point A to Point F without going through B, C, D, and E, so you might as well have fun getting there. Give out small rewards or bonuses for each task completed. You’ll maintain employee focus and achieve your company’s goals more quickly and easily.

Lighten Up


Simply not taking yourself too seriously allows your employees to think of you more fondly. If a mistake is made, making a small joke about it can lead to an employee undertaking the next problem or situation with more enthusiasm and less pressure. There’s even a scientific basis: laughter releases endorphins, a chemical 10 times more powerful than morphine. It also increases oxygen intake (which replenishes and invigorates cells), relieves stress, and leads to a better pain threshold and thus to a healthier employee. This is why some companies have a “laughing” or “joke” session every week just to ease the tensions of the everyday grind that most people associate with going to work.

Empower


Allow employee suggestions … and listen to them. Don’t let the inmates run the asylum, but if the suggestions make sense, try them. If it is something that would involve substantial change, put it to a vote. This is called “bottomup” improvement, and it helps instill the company vision in your employees. It is necessary to maintain this vision as it gives greater meaning to their specific jobs and goals.

Party


Throwing impromptu Halloween, Valentine’s Day, or Fourth of July parties can instill a feeling of family within the employee ranks. Instead of having the standard “Casual Fridays,” consider making up specific themes such as “70s Day” to be a little different. Rewarding your employees for reaching their monthly or quarterly goals with a trip to the local movie theater or casino during work hours can also lead people to view your company as a fun place to work. These are but a few ideas that you can use to create a better environment at your workplace, not only for your employees, but also for yourself. Be creative. A little goofiness and spontaneity wrapped around that normally tough and serious professional persona can go a long way toward gaining more respect from your workers. You spend what seems to be nearly half your life at the workplace. You might as well have some fun at it.

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