Most managers are on a constant search for ways to motivate staff. In many cases, injecting a little fun into the workplace can do the job. Here are 7 fun ideas to motivate employees.
Do you have any fun ideas to motivate employees?
If you don’t, your workplace may struggle with a motivational issue. A lack of motivation is one of the key productivity killers in the modern workplace.
Less than 20% of Australians report going above and beyond in the workplace. The majority seem happy to just do what they have to. This means the organisations that employ them don’t benefit from any new ideas they have. Moreover, their productivity stagnates because their managers can’t motivate them.
You need some ways to motivate staff. Money isn’t the answer. At best, it’s a short-term solution that doesn’t confront wide motivational issues. Instead, you need some fun ideas to motivate employees.
Here are 7 that you can try in your organisation today.
Idea #1 – Culture Jams
Your organisation wants its people to believe in the culture it tries to create. You also want your people to develop bonds with one another. If your people care about each other, they’ll feel more motivated to perform to the highest possible standard. They’ll understand that better results for the team means better results for themselves.
But how do you spread your culture while encouraging those bonds?
Culture jams are the answer. These are among the most creative ways to motivate employees. This is because they encourage bond building while also highlighting your organisation’s aims.
It’s a pretty simple idea. Group your people together once or twice per year so they can take part in a discussion. This discussion should focus on what the organisation’s culture is right now. From there, the groups can talk about what they think it should be and how they might help to get it there.
The key is that you keep track of all of the ideas shared during the culture jam. Listen to what your people tell you and each other. Record those ideas and get to work on implementing them.
While this is one of the more fun ideas to motivate employees, it’s also one of the most effective. A culture jam is a day dedicated to showing your people that you care about their opinions. It’s their opportunity to share their ideas for how the organisation can move forward into the future.
The activity instantly engages the participants. But it’s the follow-up that makes this one of the best ways to motivate staff. Seeing that you’ve put their ideas into practice on a cultural level is an enormous motivation for your people. It shows that your organisation can take and act upon feedback.
All of the while, your people share ideas and bond with each other. Collaboratively, they come up with ways to better the organisation. Seeing those ideas come to fruition motivates them.
Idea #2 – Hold Personalisation Contests
Allowing your people to showcase a little of themselves in the workplace goes a long way. A couple of family photos on a desk or a funny mug allows someone to bring some of themselves into work. While the workplace won’t become an extension of the home, it helps to feel comfortable in exhibiting your personality when working.
You can increase this motivational boost with personalisation contests. In these events, you challenge your people to decorate their workspace in a personal, yet work-appropriate way. Whoever creates the most interesting or enjoyable space receives some sort of reward.
This is one of the most fun ideas to motivate employees. But it also serves several secondary purposes for managers. A personalisation contest reveals more about your people than you may realise. You may pick up on what motivates them to work or even some interests that they have. This information can help you to find ways to connect with and motivate your people.
Moreover, such contests reinforce your culture. You don’t want your people to become mindless drones in the workplace. Instead, you want them to use the personality traits that you’ve identified in them to the organisation’s benefit. This event shows your people that you want them to showcase their personalities at work and helps you to develop a desirable workplace culture.
Idea #3 – Hold Diversity Celebrations
Do not underestimate the positive effects that diversity can have on your workplace. A diverse team outperforms a non-diverse team by 35%. The collection of different cultures and ways of looking at the world can fuel innovation.
You can enhance these results with one of these fun ideas to motivate employees. Diversity celebrations encourage your people to learn more about the people that they work with. This again builds deeper bonds, which feeds into motivation levels.
Holding company-wide diversity days may not be an option. Plus, some of your people may feel uncomfortable making themselves the centre of attention for such events.
Instead, focus on encouraging individuals to share in the cultural influences of their team members. Have one member organise an out-of-work activity that relates to them. The rest of the team then takes part in that activity with them.
This is obviously one of the more creative ways to motivate employees because of the bond-building potential. But it also showcases the benefits of diversity in a team. Moreover, it helps those from different backgrounds to ingratiate themselves into the team. This sense of belonging leads to improved motivation levels, which means better results.
Idea #4 – Hold Education Days
Your people want to feel like they’re progressing. But some may not believe that the training sessions you create will help them.
That’s where education days come into play. An education day is a day that you reserve for your people to go and learn something new. The key is that it’s your people who choose what they learn. They select the educational activity and you give them the day to pursue it.
Have your people get together at the end of the day to hold a short presentation on what they learned. Ideally, you’ll help them to focus on how they could apply these new skills to the workplace.
Here’s why this is one of the most fun ideas to motivate employees. Many employees feel dictated to when it comes to professional development. If they don’t engage with your training, they’re instantly demotivated.
Education days allow them to pursue something that motivates them. Moreover, they can help you to see how skills and knowledge may apply to your organisation. Through an education day, you might identify a skill that your organisation needs. Better yet, the staff member feels motivated to develop that skill because they’re the one who identified it.
Idea #5 – Create a Sports Team
There are many ways that exercise can help your people. Exercise boosts energy levels and helps to combat depression. It also improves mental clarity. All of this contributes to higher levels of motivation in the workplace.
Your organisation can use this as one of the ways to motivate staff. Just create a sports team that encourages the members of your team to band together.
A cricket or soccer team engages your people in a physical activity that they’ll enjoy. Moreover, they receive the benefits mentioned above.
As importantly, a sports team brings your people together outside of work. Competing in sports has some similarities to the workplace. Your team has an end goal and each individual uses their individual attributes to the benefit of the team. But with a sports team, you help your people to develop the personal bonds that are so important for high motivation levels.
This idea offers a combination of energisation and team development to boost motivation.
Idea #6 – Take Part in an Escape Room
Escape rooms have a simple concept. You put a group of people in a room. They then have to work together on solving puzzles. Each solved puzzle helps them to progress through the room until they finally work out the method of escape.
It’s a fun activity to engage in with friends. But they also hold value for your organisation.
It comes down to those all-important team bonds again. An escape room encourages your people to work together to solve a common problem. That’s something that occurs every day in the workplace. However, the less formal nature of the setting means your people don’t have their work hats on. Instead, they’ll take a more personal approach with each other.
Strong relationships with team members is a huge motivation booster. Use escape rooms to strengthen those bonds while helping your team to develop key skills.
Idea #7 – Appreciation Circles
79% of people who leave their jobs cite underappreciation as a factor. That’s a huge number of people who feel demotivated because they think that others don’t care about their work.
As a manager, you can hold feedback sessions to help remedy this issue. But there are more creative ways to motivate employees based on appreciation.
The appreciation circle is one of those methods. It’s a simple concept. Have your team stand in a circle and choose a starting member. (You’re a good choice for the starter to get the ball rolling.)
This starter then shares something that they appreciate about the person to their right with the circle. This continues around the circle. Everyone shares something they appreciate about the person to their right. The process then reverses so that everyone shares something about the person to their left.
In the end, each person in the circle receives appreciation on two fronts. Hold this event monthly to ensure everyone in the team understand that they’re valued.
The Final Word
Finding fun ways to motivate employees encourages a positive workplace culture. It shows that you’re not all about work. A little loosening of professionalism can go a long way toward motivating your people. Nevertheless, these methods all motivate your people to produce better results.
Each of these events achieves something of benefit to your organisation:
- Bringing people together to build bonds
- Offering something outside of the work setting to engage in
- Helping your people to ingratiate themselves into a team
- Ensuring people understand the culture that you want to build
The one thing that they all share in common is that they’re creative ways to motivate employees.
And it all starts with you. A Great Manager can DOUBLE the capability of their people.
Register for our next free webinar to learn more ideas for motivating your staff.