A few years ago, I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with the attendees at the Montana Credit Union League’s Annual Meeting exploring ideas for bringing more fun to the workplace.
We began the session by considering how personal style and generational differences impact the workplace. Then we watched the famous FISH video about how the employees at the Pike Place Fish Market find ways to play as they work.
Then we engaged in a snowball fight where everyone was given three pieces of paper to write down ideas, then they balled up the pieces of paper and used them in a snowball fight across the aisles. It was fun, the energy was high, and a lot of ideas were generated quickly.
Here are five that you might consider using to bring some fun to your workplace:
1. Use contests as morale boosters…contests to select names for marketing campaigns, contests to select charitable activities that your credit union will support, contests for the best new idea for building stronger member relationships, and so forth. Whenever you want creative input, set up a contest that engages your people.
2. Try a dress up day…the Montana League used a 70s oriented theme of Feelin’ Groovy for the meeting where this session took place and many of the attendees dressed up in their best 70s garb. It was a blast. Why not set aside one day a month and have your employees dress up and decorate the lobby with a special theme. It can be a great way to lighten everyone’s moods, build a better sense of team, and bring some smiles into your day-to-day operations!
3. Create a mascot…one credit union has a mascot for their children’s program come in one Friday each month with balloons and ice cream sundaes for all kids who come in that day. You might create something similar or simply create a mascot for your credit union who periodically shows up in the lobby or in local parades and events…it will build visibility and your people will have fun being part of it!
4. Take your team off-site…when you need to solve a problem, instead of brainstorming in the conference room, go to a local bowling alley or a state park or a pizza restaurant–do something to get people out of the routine settings and into creative places where they can have fun while still meeting the needs of their jobs. There are countless other applications of this ‘get-out-of-the-office’ concept that can work wonders for morale and teamwork!
5. Start the day with a huddle…each morning before the doors open for business, have each team gather for a quick moment of fun. Have someone tell a joke or share a story, watch a quick video clip that makes people laugh, or talk about what lies ahead that day and what you can do to have some fun while working…the focus is on having everyone share a smile before they go to work and greet the members who will come in that day.
ACTION ADVICE: Think about these ideas and whether they fit for your credit union. If they would work, pull your team together and get started. If not, pull your team together and brainstorm your own list–perhaps have a snowball fight in the lobby to get it started late one afternoon. Commit to finding ways to make the workplace more enjoyable and you will see both morale and member service improve.