301 Ways to Have Fun at Work

Dave Hemsath (Author) | Leslie Yerkes (Author)

Publication date: 01/01/1997

Bestseller over 100,000+ copies sold

301 Ways to Have Fun at Work
The most successful organizations add a healthy dose of play into their daily or weekly routines. In fact, research has shown that when people actually enjoy their jobs they're more creative, more productive, and more committed to doing their jobs well. Companies like the Colorado Health Sciences Center and Southwest Airlines attest to the positive effect of fun at work. Both trace increased job satisfaction and decreased employee downtime to concerted efforts to make fun a part of their corporate identity.
With 301 Ways to Have Fun at Work , Dave Hemsath and Leslie Yerkes offer a complete resource anyone can use to create a dynamic workplace that encourages and inspires fun-and-games camaraderie among employees. It combines thorough research with practical hands-on tools, and features hundreds of ideas real companies have used to lighten up the workplace.
The authors surveyed over 1,500 individuals from organizations around the world and received enthusiastic responses that yielded a broad range of ways to spice up the work day. The suggestions in 301 Ways to Have Fun at Work include humorous training films, dress-up and dress-down days, silly job titles, awards for people who go "above and beyond the call of duty" when a coworker is on vacation, "ritual dances" at the completion of a project, a fashion show when it's time to choose a new uniform-even foam dart fights after meetings.
Hemsath and Yerkes offer ideas for instilling an element of fun into various business functions-from office environment, to meetings, training, communication, hiring, recognition, team building, and "simple acts of fun." In addition to the fun ideas in these chapters, a series of side bars, called "fun facts," "fun quotes," and "fun resources" offer humorous and interesting facts and statements about the effects of fun on workplace performance and job satisfaction, and direct readers to useful sources for products and services to enhance workplace "funativity."
Hemsath and Yerkes show that creating a fun atmosphere in the workplace increases productivity and morale and has a positive effect on the bottom line. Most importantly, they give readers the tools to have more fun at work, no matter where they work, or what position they're in.
  • Features over 300 real-life examples of what individuals and companies are doing to create an atmosphere of fun in the workplace
  • Illustrations, "fun facts," "fun quotes," and "fun resources" make this book entertaining as well as practical
  • Written not just for managers, but for anyone who works in an organization
  • Find out more at www.ChangeIsFun.com

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Overview

The most successful organizations add a healthy dose of play into their daily or weekly routines. In fact, research has shown that when people actually enjoy their jobs they're more creative, more productive, and more committed to doing their jobs well. Companies like the Colorado Health Sciences Center and Southwest Airlines attest to the positive effect of fun at work. Both trace increased job satisfaction and decreased employee downtime to concerted efforts to make fun a part of their corporate identity.
With 301 Ways to Have Fun at Work , Dave Hemsath and Leslie Yerkes offer a complete resource anyone can use to create a dynamic workplace that encourages and inspires fun-and-games camaraderie among employees. It combines thorough research with practical hands-on tools, and features hundreds of ideas real companies have used to lighten up the workplace.
The authors surveyed over 1,500 individuals from organizations around the world and received enthusiastic responses that yielded a broad range of ways to spice up the work day. The suggestions in 301 Ways to Have Fun at Work include humorous training films, dress-up and dress-down days, silly job titles, awards for people who go "above and beyond the call of duty" when a coworker is on vacation, "ritual dances" at the completion of a project, a fashion show when it's time to choose a new uniform-even foam dart fights after meetings.
Hemsath and Yerkes offer ideas for instilling an element of fun into various business functions-from office environment, to meetings, training, communication, hiring, recognition, team building, and "simple acts of fun." In addition to the fun ideas in these chapters, a series of side bars, called "fun facts," "fun quotes," and "fun resources" offer humorous and interesting facts and statements about the effects of fun on workplace performance and job satisfaction, and direct readers to useful sources for products and services to enhance workplace "funativity."
Hemsath and Yerkes show that creating a fun atmosphere in the workplace increases productivity and morale and has a positive effect on the bottom line. Most importantly, they give readers the tools to have more fun at work, no matter where they work, or what position they're in.

  • Features over 300 real-life examples of what individuals and companies are doing to create an atmosphere of fun in the workplace
  • Illustrations, "fun facts," "fun quotes," and "fun resources" make this book entertaining as well as practical
  • Written not just for managers, but for anyone who works in an organization
  • Find out more at www.ChangeIsFun.com

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Meet the Authors


Visit Author Page - Dave Hemsath

Dave Hemsath is the owner of Breakpoint Books, a business book distributor based in Cleveland, Ohio. His business takes him all over the U.S. where he sees people at many successful companies having fun at work. For more information, please visit www.breakpointbooks.com.



Visit Author Page - Leslie Yerkes

Leslie Yerkes has been advancing the cause of positive organizational culture for over twenty-five years, ever since she started The Catalyst Consulting Group with a mission to do consulting with a conscience. Her interests are many but her vision for a workplace emboldened by empowered, enthusiastic employees and managers is singular.

Author of five books, including three for Berrett-Koehler, Leslie tends to run with her enthusiasms only after testing their viability in the rubber-meets-the-road environments of the organizations she consults with, be they small passionate non-profits or global Fortune 50 conglomerates. She nailed ‘fun at work' with co-author Dave Helmsath way back in 1997, and revisited the concept with the essential Fun Works, Creating Places Where People Love to Work, in 2001.

In re-doing the book for a second edition, a lot of her experience and learning fueled a renewal of her enthusiasm. All of a sudden the idea of fun at work was not nearly as magnetic for her as was the conception of a soft science of organizational change, a conception for which fun and fulfillment were ingredients in a much more robust mix.

This mix was geared to provide a recipe for a richly complex, sophisticated and deeply human view about how to optimally support business success by supporting the success of the people that are the human core of the organization.

They Just Don't Get It: Changing Resistance Into Understanding, is of a piece with this too. The book addresses how communication can be undermined, while it provides practical techniques to explore and solve communication problems. There's little that can be changed in an organization unless stakeholders listen closely, and support their ow and each other's openness, and, are passionate about daring to do things—together-- differently.

As a consultant, author, thought leader, and keynote speaker, Leslie is all about deep change and other kinds of daring.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
How to Use This Book
Work Environment: Giggle While You Work
Communication: Funny You Should Say That
Training: Learning the Fundamentals
Meetings: Having Fun—Wish You Were Here
Recognition: Say It with Fun
Team Building: How to Create Fun-atics
Simple Acts of Fun
A Twelve-Step Method to Fun
Suggested Readings
Index
Companies Featured
About the Authors

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Excerpt

Fun at work—is it an oxymoron or the newest business management trend?

We believe that fun at work may be the single most important trait of a highly effective and successful organization; we see a direct link between fun at work and employee creativity, productivity, morale, satisfaction, and retention, as well as customer service and many other factors that determine business success.

We wanted to help people see that link, so we decided to conduct an international survey to collect real and relevant stories of what actual businesspeople are doing to create fun workplaces. The results have been phenomenal. We received responses from individuals at many levels of the corporate hierarchy, who work within companies of all sizes and in a wide variety of industries. The responses revealed that many successful companies have made fun an integral part of their corporate culture. Fun has become an organizational strategy—a strategic weapon to achieve extraordinary results in areas of corporate life ranging from training sessions to meetings to hiring practices.

ix
Humor consultant and bestselling author C. W. Metcalf wrote in HR Focus (February 1993) that “humor is a vital, critical element for human survival, and we often forget about it, and set it aside. We are told that laughter, fun, and play are unadult, unintelligent, and nonprofessional. Nothing could be further from the truth. One of the first indicators of the onset of most mental illness is a loss of the sense of joy in being alive.”

Fun and humor help individuals through crisis and change. Because they facilitate the release of tension, fun and humor increase employees' ability to cope with stress on the job and to remain flexible, creative, and innovative under pressure—central features of a strong, resilient corporate culture.

Organizations that integrate fun into work have lower levels of absenteeism, greater job satisfaction, increased productivity, and less downtime. As cited in HR Focus in February 1993:


In the nine months that followed a workshop conducted by C. W. Metcalf at Digital Equipment Corporation in Colorado Springs, twenty middle managers increased their productivity by 15 percent and reduced their sick days by half.
Employees from the Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver who viewed humorous training films and attended fun workshops showed a 25 percent decrease in downtime and a 60 percent increase in job satisfaction.
Fun and the energy it creates are contagious. By far, the most intriguing part of the hundreds of surveys we received are the many stories of the ways that individuals and companies incorporate fun into the workplace.

This book is essentially a compilation of these fun and inspiring stories.

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