Those little activities that bring a smile to your face and connect you more deeply with colleagues over a laugh or a giggle.
It is not too late. You too can be responsible for bringing the fun back to your workplace. The perfect place to start is your organisation’s enterprise social network. Everyone’s there. Waiting for fun to break out. Your audience is crying out for something a little more engaging than the latest link to a compliance policy update.
I recently saw this call for help
Work needs more fun, for many of us. Currently thinking about ways to bring that balance to an #ESN in a conservative environment.— Jakkii Musgrave (@slybeer)
Here’s a few ideas that I shared with Jakkii and a few more to pad out the list. They just might help get you started with your own fun. Be inspired:
- Offer free steak knives: Marketers do it for a reason. People go silly for steak knives. Start a fun competition today with steak knives as a prize. Your local supermarket has really cheap steak knives.
- Do introductions: Ask everyone to introduce themselves in 140 characters or less. Ask people to describe their worst job, most embarrassing moment, best day, etc. Offer prizes (see steak knives above) for the most likes, most creative, funniest, etc
- Memes: They work on the web for a reason. Search for a meme generator. Send your next serious message in an amusing meme image. You will be surprised how much attention it gets. You might even start a trend of posting more memes, gifs, cat pictures, etc.
- Pictures: The sillier the better. Yes, including cat pictures.
- Baking competitions: If two people in your office bake, then have a competition. If you don’t have two, make someone senior bake as a challenge. You might inspire a few more cupcake makers. Who doesn’t like fun that you also get to eat for morning tea? Photos & reviews go on the network
- Event themes: Does your ESN dress up for cup carnival, sporting events or the holiday season? If not, why not?
- Create groups for water cooler conversations, movies, television programs, jokes or any other topic that might engage people. Most radically of all, let people create their own groups. To have fun (at work)
- Set challenges: A quiz, a treasure hunt, a challenge, a target, a quest, etc. Design activities that engage with a smile and preferably generate photos and stories.
- Recruit champions of fun: If someone has previously created a smile, invite them to an offline meeting of funsters. Plan your next attacks.
- Lists: I got to ten. So can you. I could go on, but where’s the fun in that?
The power of social networking at work is the opportunity for people to engage socially while working. Rapport building involves the little stuff as well as the serious stuff. If you take the lead, others will follow. Post in line with your company’s culture and you will be fine. Don’t try to do standup. Start small and it will grow.
If your organisation will not allow any fun: Then absolutely make sure that you don’t have any. Deprive others of fun (and try not to have fun doing that). Most importantly ask yourself how long you will last.
The point of all this fun: Aside from the obvious, you will engage a lot more people and give them an opportunity to try their first post or first like.
PS: Forgot this when writing the original post. Don’t forget #funhashtags. #needisaymore ?