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How To Have Fun At Work Without Hurting Productivity

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How many of you would raise your hand right now if someone posed this question: Do you hate your job? An overwhelmingly large portion of workers have lost the warm and fuzzies for their workplace. So are there ways to make work fun again?

Tony Schwartz over at Business Insider posed this very question to readers and received some surprising results. This type of response was all too typical: “I was never so poorly treated, undervalued, underpaid and overworked than as an adjunct professor in three different universities.” With that prevalent attitude in the workplace, it’s no wonder so many of us hate our jobs. So many employees feel unappreciated it’s like a plague that completely attacks and destroys productivity at work.

low employee satisfaction

© Flickr user quinn.anya

But what is the solution? Does it fall on managers to make work more enticing? Or is it the employee’s responsibility to just do the job they’re expected to do? We here at The Methodology Blog agree with Mr. Schwartz’s standpoint: There are simple, cost-free ways that managers can make the workplace more enjoyable. Here are some solutions Schwartz suggests with some thoughts we have.

Respect and hold the value of every person who works for you, because nothing matters more.

This is pretty self explanatory. Workers don’t know whether they’re valued or not unless managers speak to them and let them know. Not doing so creates hostility and complacency among employees. Those who are doing well and aren’t recognized become resentful, while those who perform poorly and don’t hear about it believe they can continue with that substandard performance. Before long, you may have a coup on your hands. Simply expressing appreciation and using positive reinforcement can help you avoid a revolution.

Start measuring people by the value they create, not by the number of hours they work.

Lots of managers do too much “handholding” of their employees, never truly allowing them to take ownership of their performance. Schwartz suggests, and we agree, clearly defining what success looks like, and then turning employees loose to work toward that goal. That way, employees are thinking in terms of how to spend their time at work being productive and contributing value, not just watching the clock.

Help people build more renewal into their lives, on and off the job.

We have discussed why taking breaks at work is so important to employee satisfaction. Encouraging walks outside or a 15 minute power nap will rejuvenate them and in turn, bump up the productivity. Not only that, but it will show workers that you care about their well being and state of mind.

Actively focus on making people’s jobs matter more.

As Schwartz points out, we all have the desire to contribute to something larger than ourselves. Effective managers can help their employees tap into that “bigger picture.” This creates a whole new level of satisfaction to the job they are doing. It could be a low-level task like filing, or a repetitive one like coding, but when employees recognize their contribution to the greater whole, those jobs take on new meaning.

What you do every day makes a far stronger statement than anything you can ever say.

The writer ended with this and made a statement by not writing an explanation. The words are powerful enough on their own. You can talk for hours about all that you’re planning to do but it means absolutely nothing if you don’t follow through with action.

Looking for more tips on how to boost productivity growth at work? Reach out to our business process improvement consultants!

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Alyssa Shea

Alyssa Shea

Alyssa Shea transplanted from Illinois to South Carolina. She loves to write, read, and spend time with her dog and her family. Alyssa is very active on social media. She has been part of the AccelaWork team since 2013.
Alyssa Shea

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