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Managing to Make a Difference by Larry Sternberg

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Chapter 55Encourage Employees to Have Fun

In these times, having fun must be part of your culture. Employees expect to be able to have fun at work. When employees take a little time from their work to have some fun, it might look like wasted time, but it is a great investment. When people have fun together, relationships are improved. A fun work environment also makes a team or organization more attractive to prospective employees. Among college-age job seekers (those millennials who are all the buzz), workplace fun is an even stronger predictor of a company's attractiveness than compensation or opportunities for advancement.1 Fun generally improves retention, engagement, and productivity, though researchers caution managers to strike the right balance between fun and a focus on high performance.2 We realize this insight is not news to anyone, but we felt we could not ignore a topic as fundamental as fun in a section titled “Shape Your Culture.”

As you know, there are all kinds of ways for people to have fun. In our company, for example, many people are avid sports fans. When the big game is on, we set up a large function room for group viewing. People bring their computers and work while they watch the game together. We even provide snacks. We do a lot of other fun things as well, but we certainly ...

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