With Christmas and New Year around the corner, HR pros everywhere are busy planning new and innovative fun activities at work. Something they have not organized before, something that can entertain, motivate and engage employees.
I do not personally favor the practice of “Fun at work” the way it exists. Functionally, Fun-at-work policy arrived at workplace long ago but is still treated more as periodic activities and less as workplace culture. We still function with the belief of “Work above all” and schedule our fun activities for chosen days – Fundoo Friday, Family day, Independence day, Sports week etc etc.. But today’s generation of employees, the Millenials, look Fun-at-work differently. They enjoy the idea of “Working with fun” instead. They do take their job seriously but a less stressful work environment appeals to their work ethics. They dislike boredom, fatigue, tension and look for opportunities to connect, bond and learn from others at work. Engaging them at work isn’t a big deal; their definition of Fun is simple yet effective.
Here’s what they see a fun workplace as:
Flexible break hours
30 minutes lunch and 10 minutes evening break is an outdated practice. Replace it with Flexi “Break time”. Coffee breaks between work and no fixed lunch hour appeals to today’s employees. At times, they don’t mind skipping their lunch for work either (without complaints).
Opportunity for social connections
Social connections at workplace are great. Internal networking groups, book exchange clubs, cross team interactions makes work a fun place. It’s an age if technology so why not utilizes it to bring people across regions and countries together.
Freedom to celebrate accomplishments with peers
Millennials love celebrating their success and accomplishments, big and small. Treats, parties and small get together, pizza & coffee outings peers are their ways of celebrations. Allow them the freedom to cherish their victory.
Self challenges & new learning opportunities
They love to challenge themselves with new assignments and tasks. They are good at learning and multitasking too. They are open to Cross training assignments and new learning ways.
Why not colorful/ vibrant workstations?
Life to them is colorful and lively. They are vibrant and so their surrounding – clothes, gadgets, personal stuff so why not their workstations. This is their idea of keeping the excitement and interest going at work.
As HR pros, why not we re-work our concept of “Fun at work” as per the new generation employees, the Millennial generation…our generation?