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Fun at work? What crap!

November 3, 2009

That’s what old world leaders tend to say!

More Fun in the New World album cover
Image via Wikipedia

They say the same thing when you talk about Recognition programs. “We pay them don’t we?” is the usual response!

Can’t blame them.

HR professionals turn Fun @ Work into fun events at work. Which is not the same thing really.

To me fun is about enjoyment. Fun @ Work is about enjoyment at work. I am at work daily. Do I enjoy work Daily? That’s the question!

One quiz event a month is not going to make work fun.

Are your employees having fun AT WORK! At the work they do.

Are they stretched?

Are they challenged?

resistance is futile
Image by consumerfriendly via Flickr

Are they spoken to and managed respectfully?

Are they recognized when they do a good job?

Do they have development plans which are seeing action? Which are supported in terms of time and budget?

Do they receive corrective inputs and counselling from their supervisors?

Are they involved in key decisions?

Do they get to engage with senior leadership on a regular basis?

Do they know where their company is going? And how it aims to manage the challenges on that path?

Now THAT’s fun at work! And when you put it like that, no one’s going to sneeze at it.

a regular day at work
Image by consumerfriendly via Flickr

But ask me to cough up funds for an event a month, and do nothing about the above, and I’ll say “What crap! That’s not going to work!”

So…what next?

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. vishal khanna permalink
    November 5, 2009 8:16 pm

    M currently watching the Ind V/S Aus match and the epitome of Fun At work is Sachin Tendulkar

  2. vishal khanna permalink
    November 5, 2009 7:45 pm

    Well I agree and just to add to what you’ve said FUN to me is not getting tired in doing what i am doing ….. Its like when I drive down to a holiday trip it may be a 12 hr trip but i somehow have endless energy to drive and that’s what i call fun are we creating endless energy for the employees to have fun at work, I think our gurus have taken the the line Just too literally , I have realised that If i get up in the morning and say Oh Shit another day at office or from monday i wait for the last hour of friday I know its time to quit and look at something else

  3. gurprrietsiingh permalink*
    November 4, 2009 8:26 pm

    Neha – Supplements only Supplement the main meal. Good one!
    Monisha – And you should know! What you created at EmmayHR was Fun @ Work and how!
    Gautam – You rock sir!

  4. Neha Gupta permalink
    November 4, 2009 2:50 pm

    This is the essence of engaging employees which HR professionals overlook very often. It is easy to fall in the trap of ignoring something as intrinsic as these activities which are the basic machinery of a healthy organisation. Events are the accessories or supplements.

  5. November 4, 2009 7:06 am

    So, true. The one-off measures are not going to yield results. I reviews some data here in Singapore. It showed that about three-fourths of the companies here are looking at one-off measures like quizzes, family day, annual christmas party etc. to infuse fun in the workplace. But, the data also shows that it has not led to meaningful results. Something more intrinsic, more continuous, more involving.

  6. Monisha Advani permalink
    November 3, 2009 8:43 pm

    Winning is the ultimate fun. Show employees how to win. Best stories unfold backwards. Incentivize them with victory. Then watch them win. That also, can be fun.

  7. November 3, 2009 6:12 pm

    Fun at work happens when there is “flow” – defined as the mental state of operation in which the person is fully immersed in what he or she is doing by a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity. Proposed by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, the positive psychology concept has been widely referenced across a variety of fields.

    According to Csíkszentmihályi, flow is completely focused motivation. It is a single-minded immersion and represents perhaps the ultimate in harnessing the emotions in the service of performing and learning. In flow the emotions are not just contained and channeled, but positive, energized, and aligned with the task at hand. To be caught in the ennui of depression or the agitation of anxiety is to be barred from flow. It is the same mindfulness as ecstatic lovemaking, the merging of two into a fluidly harmonious one. The hallmark of flow is a feeling of spontaneous joy, even rapture, while performing a task.


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