Seriously: are you having any fun at work? Are you creating an enjoyable business environment? Do you encourage use of healthy humor? Can you laugh at your mistakes?

If not, you may be wasting the time and money that you invest in talents development, employees engagement programs and innovation-boosting activities. When people are too serious, the result is often stress, anxiety, self-consciousness, paralysis and failure. Fun on the other side unleashes initiative, creativity, open communication and engagement, increasing chances of success.

Let’s look at some key benefits of bringing FUN to the workplace:

Fun facilitates connections

Fun helps to build trust

Fun enhances productivity

Fun pairs with engagement

Fun increases external focus and confidence, helping to smoothen conflicts and to weather periods of change

Importantly, just to avoid misunderstandings, this is what FUN is NOT:

  1. Cracking jokes at all occasions, especially inappropriate and offensive jokes – Fun is ethical, healthy and respectful
  2. Sarcastic comments about others or even ourselves (no, it is not funny to deliver bitterness with a smile)
  3. Fake it (Fun is genuine and authentic)
  4. Expecting that everybody has fun in the same way (watch out for some team building experiences that might exclude more than unite!)
  5. Taking yourself seriously, but making fun of others (a frequent misunderstanding)
  6. Equating “Fun” with “anything goes” and “no need for commitment, accountability and deadlines” (Fun is serious business after all!)

Many successful examples prove the invaluable benefits of fun in the workplace. In addition to the broadly celebrated cases of Google, Nike and Lego, there are many others maybe less well known examples: Northwest Airlines (one of the Top Ten Most Admired Companies in last ten years Fortune surveys) hires for fun and wins Humor Awards; NASA considers humor and bringing fun as key traits when hiring astronauts; successful advertising agency PUSH lists Fun among their core values and Danone stresses fun in their young talent development programs; and this is just to quote some.

So why are still so many companies not focusing on FUN?

At the risk of oversimplification, my answer is: fear and poor leadership.

Managing FUN in its best form requires extremely clear expectations, dedication to open, honest and specific feedback, and accepting our own vulnerability. Too many leaders are ill prepared to handle the demanding task of Managing FUN!

Copyright © 2021 Grooa


Laura Lozza is co-founder and CEO of GROOA, a European Partnership of Coaching Consultants, which specialises in Dealing with Change, Disagreements and Diversity. A former P&G and NorskHydro/Yara executive, an IMD graduate and a professional certified coach, Laura has also authored the ebook “The 7 Qualities of Brilliant Executive Coaching” (free download at http://bookboon.com/en/the-7-qualities-of-brilliant-executive-coaching-ebook)

GROOA offers a specific Leadership Development program – Leading with a Smile™ – to help leaders understand and apply the great unleashing power of FUN. For a free consultation, contact us at info@grooa.dev-projects.tech