Making Fun a Core Value
Over the past 30 years, I have had the experience of visiting with many customers and partners from all over the world. One thing I have discovered is that you can tell how well a company is functioning by observing two simple things. First, talk to the receptionist in the front lobby for five minutes. If they are bright and engaging then the people throughout the rest of the building usually are as well. Unfortunately, if the opposite is true, there is usually a direct correlation.
The second principle is – check the laughter meter. If there are smiles and laughter in the office, then you have come to the right place because people enjoy being there. Furthermore, if it is fun to be in the office, the employees are more likely to be truly engaged. According to a recent Gallup poll, only 15% of employees globally are engaged in their jobs, while the vast majority of employees are under-challenged and disconnected. Only 15% of people wake up in the morning ready to give their discretionary efforts to see that their company becomes great. The other six out of seven employees are at some stage of just “going through the motions.” 6 out of 7!!!!
While fun in an office environment doesn’t address the issue of creating a challenging environment, it sure does help with making team members feel connected and feel like they are a part of something larger than themselves. Laughter in an office needs to start from the top down. If the leaders are not fun to be around then there are not going to be many smiles. Leaders are not likely to have much success if they approach their teams with the attitude of “the beatings will continue until morale improves.”
One trait that we can identify when our managers take their personality assessment is how mischievous they are. While our leaders aren’t all pranksters, we do have an unusually high number of senior leadership members that like to play while they work. One recent example of this took place two weeks ago, when I showed up to my office on a Monday morning and found all of the furniture and pictures turned upside down!
Last week was Halloween which is one of the oldest and most global holidays. Although the origins of this holiday stem from Ireland, it spreads around the world and into our offices each year. At Graebel, Halloween takes on a life of its own with costumes and office decorations that are self-generated by the teams. Halloween also gives us an excuse to throw a party.
If you are job seeking and have stumbled across our website, please know that the guy in the poodle skirt is our COO, Ron Dunlap. If you don’t see yourself wanting to work for a guy like that or be part of one of these pictures please keep job hunting elsewhere . . . . . preferably at one of our competitors.