Mind-Blowing fact: Happy employees are more productive and provide better customer service – so don’t overlook the importance of having fun in the workplace.
Fun and work are often opposite ends in people’s minds, but they don’t have to be. Introducing initiatives to create fun in the workplace can contribute positively to the work environment and employee experience.
Therefore, inspired by the Olympic games taking place this summer, we’d like to give you some ideas for games and activities to try with your frontline employees.
While the idea of introducing games and competition in the workplace may seem silly and unnecessary at first, it can genuinely help organizations strengthen their brand and create a deeper connection with their employees. For instance, along with the various other benefits it supplies, creating a fun workplace will:
- Encourage team bonding
Frontline based organizations’ overall success depends hugely on how their team works together. As a matter of fact, games and fun activities encourage employees to create a connection understanding each other’s strengths, and build trust.
- Increase morale and motivation
Organizing team-building activities indicates to your employees that the company cares about their well-being and wants to promote a low-stress atmosphere. Not to mention that giving employees the right motivation increases their performance and the customer’s experience.
- Attract and retain talents
Happy employees are key to good employee advocacy. In fact, when your employees are happy and satisfied with the place they work, they’ll be more likely to stick around longer and to promote your company to prospective new employees organically.
While the origin of this idea comes back to the famous episode of The Office where the employees put together their competition games (The Office, S02EO3, if you have 20 minutes to spare), Office Olympics became a trendy format across corporates and startups alike. Nevertheless, working on different shift patterns or customer-facing, frontline-based workplaces have been quite left out.
In all honesty, activities that suit everyone are hard to find. However, we managed to draft a list of inspiring activities that are not only fun but also promote teamwork and learning.
- Team marathon
Certainly we’ll all agree that it’s not the Olympics without a marathon. This long-distance run, in fact, dates back to the first games in ancient Greece. Of course, there are many ways to adapt it for each need (and physique du rôle). For example, earlier this year at Oneteam, we transformed it into a remote walking challenge.
So, basically, we split into smaller groups, and every day we were summing up the results of our phones’ steps counter. Our goal was to walk from our office in Rotterdam, London, in the shortest possible time. On completion, the results were mind-blowing, not to mention that while we were working remotely, it helped us bond together and feel more like one team. With this in mind, do you have an idea of how many steps your employees take during work? They might even reach the moon!
2. High jump
Another classic of athletics is the high jump. For this purpose, be careful, this is a game that requires some open space and an empty portion of a wall. Make sure that there are no boxes, crates, or anything else in the game path. So all you’ll need are some sticky notes where employees can write their names on and jump! Whoever sticks it the highest wins.
3. Passing the torch
In case your organization is divided into multiple locations, you can create a connection by letting them pass the torch. Traditionally the Olympic torch represents the spirit of competition, so the idea is to give the scattered employees the responsibility to maintain morale and participation in turns. Examples of it could be motivational videos, interesting facts, or any engaging content to share on the community dashboard, followed by a nomination of the next community to do the challenge.
Keep in mind: Think of a unique and catchy hashtag that your employees can use both internally and on their social media platforms. As you may know, hashtags are great ways to raise brand awareness and employee advocacy.
One thing is certain – who works in hospitality or retail knows that balance is not something restricted to gymnastics. Instead, they are champs in balancing plates, glasses, any kind of boxes, or hangers. Hence give them space to display their skills. Everyone has different techniques others can learn from. Wouldn’t it be great if all waiters could carry five plates?
5. Dance competition
Alright, dance is not officially an Olympic discipline, but after seeing what one of our successful users, H&M, organized for their employees, we had to make an exception to the rule. We love it!
Sports are not the only activities that help improve the atmosphere at work. In fact, quizzes are an excellent way for the less sporty people to feel some competitiveness too. Test your employees’ knowledge on subjects about your company or industry and reward the most prepared. And what is more, gamification is also a great way to onboard and train your staff, for example, via bite-sized microlearning.
7. Award Ceremony
Finally, it’s time to reward your employees for their efforts and to recognize the best achievers for their high points throughout the competition. Of course, you might also decide not to keep score through all of the events, but if you do, include some small gifts for the top contestants, such as a gift card for your business or a lunch.
And of course, participation is more important than winning, but since you’re there, go for the gold!