Want happy team members? Get them playing!
Employee happiness is a pretty big focus these days. Happy employees perform better and stay with the company. Today, I wanted to chat to you about play and how it can help your employees enjoy their work better.
What is play? In this case, I’m basing it off Dr. Stuart Brown’s concept which he explains in his book “Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul.”
In its pure form, it’s something personal, something that isn’t work. Nor does it necessarily have an end goal. It’s simply something that makes you happy and gives you pure enjoyment when you’re doing it.
And it’s such an amazing thing that can make a vital difference to a person’s mental health and wellbeing. So why not reinforce this concept at work?
Because have you ever seen a TV show or movie that depicts employees sitting in a slow and boring work environment? Everyone is so isolated, stressed and doing their tasks robotically. Who would ever want to work in a place like that?
Now imagine a workplace where employees are allowed to have fun and work in a way that incorporates a little bit of their personal play! So they’re encouraged to bring their whole selves to work. Not leaving any part behind to fit into a generic cookie-cutter work culture.
This isn’t too far from reality now as a lot of businesses are taking up the concept of “play” and combining it into their work culture. And one of those businesses is actually The Sponge!
Play our strengths and have fun!
One of our values is “Positive Workplay” which is defined by us as “We play our strengths with energy and have fun. Smiles and happiness are warmly reciprocated and bring positive outcomes.”
The keyword for this blog post is those two words; “have fun”. And this is one of the reasons why I love working at The Sponge so much.
At The Sponge, we work in roles that play to our strengths. I have a social media background, therefore I handle the social media marketing content! This is why I like my job because my role compliments my strengths.
However, I love my job because my team perpetuates our positive workplay value through and through. They encourage me to have fun and even green-light small projects that allow me to incorporate a little bit of my personal play into them!
My personal play is that I’m a huge gamer, I used to play video games competitively and have basically grown up on them! I couldn’t even imagine life without them to be honest.
So the team have taken that into consideration and acknowledge that it’s a unique part of who I am (they welcome it with open arms too!).
And they’ve encouraged to incorporate my personal play in my job by doing things such as; suggesting for me to write a blog post showing what I do throughout the day, even detailing my gaming breaks and showing photos of my computer setup (you can check that post out here!)
They’ve also let me create a group chat with the whole team where we play games together, or against each other for a bit of friendly competition (we played EverWing for a little while!)
This has made me feel accepted and it’s also made me really love my job. We all do our serious tasks to make sure The Sponge runs smoothly like a well oiled machine. But knowing that I’m encouraged to bring some personal play every now and then to ensure I experience that play enjoyment at work is something amazing.
Bring your whole self to work
This is why play is so important. Because it can make your employees very happy.
And there are so many benefits to having happy employees. First, being happy can invigorate the brain. This allows for increased mental flexibility and imagination.
Secondly, being happy in the workplace increases the employee’s drive to work because they’ll love what they do. This increases productivity because their focus has improved due to their work being associated with a positive emotion.
Plus, employees are likely to take less days off because they’ll actually want to be there!
Also if you’ve got customer service, you bet that happier customer service reps will let that joy shine through everything they do, resulting in better communication and happier customers.
And it’s as simple as encouraging them to incorporate some personal play when appropriate. For example, you could let animal lovers attach pictures of their pet to email chains, or bring in a board game for tabletop enthusiasts. The possibilities are endless and will be as unique as your employees.
So, are you ready to play?