You know that memo that went out about 30 years ago saying that work shouldn't be fun? Millennials never got that memo. If you want to motivate millennial workers, you'll want to incorporate a sense of play into your business.
You already know that millennials are looking for more than a paycheck. They want work satisfaction, personal development, strong relationships in the office, and most importantly, they don't want to feel like they are wasting their lives slaving away behind a desk. Think of them as business rock stars who would rather feel like work is play.
The companies that incorporate fun into their daily activities, will not only motivate their current employees to be more productive and creative but will become known as a "fun place to work" where amazing employees are drawn. The question, is how do you incorporate fun into your business while still serving your customers and improving your bottom line?
When you think of "fun companies," a few businesses may come to mind. Zappos, Yelp, and Google, just to name a few. But what makes these companies a good place to work?
Seriously... play games. Take a cue from Method, the natural cleaning product company that holds an annual ping-pong tournament of the newbies vs experts or CrowdFlower that inspires playful rivalries with bughouse chess. When employees have something fun to look forward to, heading to the office each day seems less like "work."
Working out feels good. People that have moderate physical activity or healthier, happier, and more productive than those who don't. No, you can't require employees to work out, but you can give them the opportunity and the motivation to do it. Employees at Birchbox are accustomed to a gong going off throughout the day signaling that it's time to do pushups and sit-ups. Many other companies offer different types of fitness classes or a gym on the premises. Don't have the staff or the room for a workout space? Why not stop the workday for a random dance party? Flickr has an in-house DJ for just such an occasion.
Fun abounds when there are puppies roaming the office. Companies like Google and Tito's Handmade Vodka have incorporated dogs into their employee culture, allowing workers to share their office space and their day with their fur kids.
Happy hours are great ways to encourage socializing outside of the office, but they can be uncomfortable for people who don't drink or don't like to indulge in a "professional" setting. On the other hand, everyone needs to eat. Sharing a meal either in the office or after hours can create a fun work environment where employees develop friendships well beyond the traditional co-worker relationships.
Marvelless Mark® reminds his clients that music is the universal language and nothing can bring a team together faster than a good old jam session. Allow employees to play and share their favorite music or get your inspiration from music startup company BandPage and provide a jam room in the office so your employees can actually get together and make music.
Work doesn't have to be boring, stuffy, and something that employees dread and resent. Whether you have millennial employees or any other generation, creating a fun, engaging environment will make for happier, more motivated employees, and a healthier company overall.
"As a rock star, I have two instincts, I want to have fun and I want to change the world. I have a chance to do both." - Bono
Mark Kamp® aka Marvelless Mark® works with organizations who want their teams to achieve immediate rock star results. A Keynote Speaker/Entertainer/Author, Husband, Father, and child of God, his primary message, “Opportunity Rocks®” gives attendees a fresh new perspective on Sales, Marketing, and Employee Performance. Fun and engaging, Mark combines the success secrets of your favorite rock stars with just the right amount of entertainment to transform your employees into business rockstars. Learn more at www.OpportunityRocks.net.