The words ‘work’ and ‘fun’ can go together. But you can’t force it.
By this, I mean the enforced fun of initiatives such as team building activities that no one actually wants to take part in.
The way to make work more enjoyable is to treat your employees with respect and give them the tools to do their jobs well. The way to make projects more fun is to get your staff working together towards a common purpose. And there are a number of ways to do this.
Ask questions of each other
When you sit down to discuss a project, it’s easy for one member of the team to talk more than the others and become the dominant one.
A simple way to avoid this scenario is to ask questions of everyone in the team and allow them to ask questions of each other. Create a relaxed environment, so everyone feels free to speak their mind. To do this, you have to make it clear they need not fear criticism or hostility if they do.
For instance, if someone says, “I don’t think this will work” don’t shout them down. Let it become a friendly group discussion around alternative scenarios and the pros and cons of each.
If people don't feel they can speak up, they’ll lose interest and become negative. If they know they’ll be listened to, they’ll put forward ideas and solutions that could be highly valuable. And even if their ideas are not implemented, that person will still feel as though they’ve contributed to the process.
The more you encourage communication and collaboration within a group, the more enjoyable the project becomes for all concerned. As a result, your project also has a much higher chance of success.
Brainstorm possible solutions
Rather than allowing issues to fester, address challenges as soon as possible.
If you know you have problems ahead in your PMI project, get them out in the open and let everyone have their say – good or bad. You’ll find your team will feel happier after airing their concerns in public.
The next step is to allow your employees to become part of the solution. And that’s when the fun starts. Get everyone to put forward a solution – even if it’s way too expensive or completely infeasible.
Everyone around the table should have free reign to use their imagination as much as possible. The more implausible the solution, the better.
This kind of creativity not only gives everyone a laugh – it can also reveal some whacky solutions that may not be so whacky after all. Once you strip down the outlandish idea to its bare essentials, you may find there’s actually something usable there.
What this activity does it to break down barriers and get people working together in a more energetic and innovative way.
Appoint suitable mentors
Some issues can’t be resolved in such a public way. If someone is struggling with their workload or even with a problem that’s not related to work, it helps if there’s someone there to talk to.
This is where the role of mentor comes in. If you can select several appropriate people to act as mentors, your employees will then be able to choose the person they feel most comfortable with when it comes to offloading their woes.
This kind of personal approach does wonders for bringing back the fun to the workplace as employees feel supported.
Be appreciative of others work
It’s an obvious but important one. Because appreciation is infectious.
Try to actively foster an environment where team members feel comfortable in showing their appreciation of someone’s hard work or inventiveness. That way, it becomes ingrained in the workplace culture to give and accept praise.
And set a good example. A simple thank you can go a long way!
Prepare your teams for PMI success
If you’d like to know how to bring the fun into your PMI project, contact us for a friendly discussion regarding your particular business needs on 0800 622 6719.