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How To Teach Team Members To Have Fun In The Workplace

There is a good reason to ensure that your work team members are having fun doing their work.  When your work is enjoyably challenging you are more fully engaged in it, more creative, more decisive and better at bonding and coordinating with others. Additionally, because your stress is relieved, you are healthier.

But please note the word above: doing.  Some employers who want to uplift the attitudinal atmosphere in the workplace think that bringing in a ping pong table will create a happier, more engaged and loyal workforce, and this may in fact help a bit by giving folks an opportunity rest and recharge a bit.  It may help team bonding by creating an opportunity for playing together.

But playing ping pong at work is not going to lend itself to full employee engagement.  Those who want to give their best to their jobs will regard the ping pong table as a distraction and something that actually defuses some of the passion for work.

What leaders ought to do is focus on helping team members have fun doing their work.  When work and play are joined, joy uplifts team spirit, team bonding and team performance.  To accomplish this, modeling is essential.  The leader sets the tone and the example that the team automatically replicates.  We teach by what we do and how we do it.

This means that the leader needs to watch his or her internal, emotional state throughout the workday, particularly when interacting with team members.  If you, as the leader, are having fun doing your job you teach your team to have fun doing their jobs. 

We release fun in our team by monitoring our work mode and observing how that mode impacts our emotional state.  You simply have to stay in touch with your feelings to guide your own mode of daily work to insure that you remain calm, confident and caring caring toward yourself and caring toward others.

Your work mode is defined by your pace, how hard you are pushing yourself.  If you push yourself too hard you begin experiencing overwhelm.  This saps the fun out of work and out of life.

Take time to interact with others in a pleasant manner.  Practice courtesy during all interactions.  Give yourself a moment or two to just breath when you begin feeling stress and strain.

As you adjust your mode to allow yourself to enjoy your work you will find that you get more done, do it at a higher level, and enjoy the process as much as the results.  You also experience more satisfying relationships with your team.

You also teach your team members to have fun by rewarding a fun spirit.  A fun spirit that is really practical does not include playing practical jokes on teammates.  Like ping pong tables, this can be a distraction. Reward a fun attitude by catching team members in the act of having fun doing their best work.  This requires observing and noticing the emotional state of your team members and recognizing out loud the attitude that you want to see.

You also teach team members to have fun by responding correctively when you notice someone seeming overwhelmed, stressed out, unhappy, or overly serious.  Give that individual some of your personal time and attention to help him or her lighten up.  Help him or her to place things in perspective.  Emphasize the positive things he or she is doing and help him or her to feel confident and valued.  Like a good sports coach, remind your team member that you want him or her to have fun doing the job.  Also, ask and be open to the answer "What can I do to support your experience of more enjoyment, inspiration and satisfaction in your work?"

By teaching team members that you value them having fun in their work you help yourself as their leader to remember to do the same.  In the process you have a happier, healthier, higher performing organization.

Teach your team to experience more joy, passion and motivation in their work with one of my Great Team Building inspirational keynotes, training seminars, or retreat programs.  

Call me, Bob Lancer, at 770-364-9580 or email for more information or to schedule a dynamic, uplifting presentation for your next business, school or association event.

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