“It’s not fun anymore”… words I was not expecting to hear from the CEO of a highly successful enterprise. Was he referencing the state of his industry or the workplace in general…or both? The CEO was lamenting the fact that everything has changed: Shareholder expectations, demanding clients and a new generation of employees. Sadly, he was losing his passion and belief that work could once again be as enjoyable as his first five, ten, or twenty years had been. Please don’t suggest that he “should” retire. There are many individuals at every level of an organization who feel similarly, regardless of one’s age or position.
If you are looking for ideas to have more fun and re-ignite your enthusiasm for your work, the first place to start is to assess your mindset…and willingness to do the following:
Accept new realities
There is no question that today’s workplaces are different to those of yesteryear. Many organizations are operating with a flatter, or in some cases, non-existent layers of management. Change is a constant and choices regarding how we work (and for whom) have never been greater. For example, we have more say regarding benefits, how we structure our day-to-day workflow and in many instances, we can avail ourselves to work opportunities that encourage a combination of play, greater flexibility, balance and wellness. In short, the more we accept and take advantage of these options, the more fun our work experiences can become.
How do you perceive the advent of new technologies in your workplace? Are you excited by change…willing to try new ideas by adopting a fun approach to your work processes and systems? Business innovation provides endless opportunities to work smarter and more efficiently than any other time in history. Yet, many of us choose to resist implementing methodologies that can simplify our work and improve our time management capabilities. Examples abound of higher frustration and stress in the face of technological change. When we recoil from innovation, the greater our discontentment, disconnection and disengagement from our work and colleagues. Instead of resisting, consider the benefits that can come from embracing new approaches.
Organizations are now more accountable for policies regarding gender, culture or age biases. As workforce demographics invariably skew younger and diversity continues to be encouraged and celebrated, leaders and teams can realize opportunities to enrich their respective work experiences. No matter how high tech enterprises become, nothing can replace the opportunity to build relationships, sustain meaningful connections and lifelong friendships that we forge at work.
Examples abound of organizations that have put fun into their vision and mission statements, Zappos being one of the most popular success stories. Enterprises that make fun a high priority are experiencing higher employee retention. People want to enjoy their work environment, have fun with their colleagues and view their workplace in a positive light.