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When Times Are Tough, We Need More Fun

For the past few years, just about every industry has experienced economic “tough times.”  One would think that this is a perfect time to explore those intangible employment benefits that may be less economically tied, but in some cases, just as beneficial.

USA Today ran a front page article on Friday called “Laughing our cares away.”  The article suggests that in tough times comedy is an easy sell – in clubs, on TV, in movies, and online.  Problem is, it’s a tougher sell in organizations.

For years, I’ve done presentations and workshops about the value of humor to manage stress, communicate more effectively, and make the work environment more fun.  But many people don’t take this message seriously (pun intended).  They love the humorous presentation and the ideas that change their perspectives but they don’t necessarily follow through with the implementation.  It’s similar to knowing that you have a slight cholesterol problem and you need to eat healthier.  You’ll do it eventually but not right now.

Ironically, organizations need fun now more than ever.  Leaders are stressed.  Managers are stressed.  And if leaders and managers are stressed, you can be sure that the employees are stressed.  So, making the work environment more fun would go a long way to helping everyone manage the stress of the times a little better.

Let’s be honest.  This is not rocket science.  It’s not like trying to predict the stock market.  It’s not brain surgery.  All it takes is a little focus and one simple question:  How can we do a great job while making the process of our work more enjoyable?

That’s it.

Put two or three of your best (fun) employees on this task and I guarantee that they will come up with some great ideas.

The time to have fun is not when things are well (although it’s always a good time to have a good time).  Having fun is more powerful when things are tough.  So, let your hair down, lighten up, and see if you can find a way to do it well and….wait for it…make it fun.

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