Enabling Fun

So why should we even be thinking about Enabling Fun, it’s a natural thing, isn’t it? Well, wouldn’t we like to think so. But look around most offices, shops and other workplaces. Do you see much fun going on around there?

Hmmm – not always.

Here’s why. Many people hate their job.

There are just a few reasons for this:-

  • It’s cold
  • They have too much to do
  • They aren’t sure they are doing it ‘right’
  • They are unfulfilled
  • They don’t know how they’re doing
  • No one says ‘thank-you’
  • There’s an ‘atmosphere’
  • The ‘boss’ rarely speaks to them
  • The ‘boss’ rarely listens to them
  • The need training
  • They are not respected
  • Their breaks get missed
  • They have too much to do – ooops, that’s here twice!
  • The pay is unacceptable

I’ll stop now, before it gets really depressing.

Good News! It need not be this way. Even better news! You can be the one to help fix it! The symptoms above, even though they aren’t exhaustive, are examples of a malaise in business which is manageable. By you! Below, you’ll find just how!

“Nobody motivates today’s workers. If it doesn’t come from within,
it doesn’t come. FUN helps remove the barriers that allow people to motivate themselves.”
Herman Cain

Top Ten Things About Enabling Fun

Best of all, once you get just a few things straightened out, it’s great for business because it’s a great place for your people to work. And, above all, it’s a wonderful experience for you, because as Dale Carnegie said:-

“People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are

So Enabling Fun is a very necessary ingredient in creating success in your business.

The best at Enabling Fun

  1. Get Basics Right
    They make sure that all the basics their people expect are spot on – they even ask them what more they need to do a great job.
  2. Have Great Relationships
    They talk a lot and listen too. Communication is vital to them. How so? It enables them to ‘sense’ the feelings in their people and respond accordingly and fast. Never letting their people down, they create a high level of trust.
  3. Define Boundaries
    The best at Enabling Fun have defined what and what isn’t acceptable – so there are no misjudgements. They don’t want to spoil the mood and goodwill when everyone has worked so hard to create it.
  4. Take Part
    Of course, our top performers get involved! They let their own hair down and have  fun too!
  5. Ham it Up
    And even though they might not have any particular fun-creating skills, they do know how to show up and enjoy themselves. Within that, they know to take a back seat too, where it works best. They have a good sense of what will work.
  6. Relax a Lot
    By Enabling Fun, our great advocates can be at ease when all around them are letting go. They are comfortable with others behaviours (as long as they are within the defined boundaries).
  7. Have a Sense of Humour
    Content to share a joke and laugh along too, they keep ‘in touch’ with their people. This is a subtle skill, which they have in abundance.
  8. Instigate Even
    And sometimes, again, where it fits, they will take a lead in Enabling Fun. They are not a ‘poker-faced boss’, despite their role. They prove they are ‘human’ to their people.
  9. Can Take It Themselves
    And of course they are able to take a joke in the right spirit. They are able to respond appropriately when they have to – it builds the team and team spirit too.
  10. Spend a Little
    Ah yes! They have the ability to create resources when they are Enabling Fun with their people. They realise that part of ‘enabling’ is creating the means – which they do.

Ten Ways to be Better at Enabling Fun

  1. Get the Mood
    Develop a sense of whether having fun with your people is even on the cards to start with.
  2. Fix Stuff First
    Get basic needs met first. Your people won’t want to have fun if they are fed-up with things about the day job. Get it sorted.
  3. Build Relationships Well
    Make sure that you relate to your people well. You can’t go Enabling Fun on a whim. You will fall flat on your face if you try. There is a moment when they will be on board with you in this and judging it right is important.
  4. Watch for Opportunities
    Yet, there will be an opportunity which appears when it is just right. Notice it, take it, see what happens and if it’s an idea that’s well received, then let it fly!
  5. Carefully Agree Ground Rules
    And once you are on the way, clarify what is and isn’t acceptable, once and for all. Within business, there are pitfalls for ‘fun’ occasions. Seek others help in getting this right.
  6. Follow, Don’t Lead
    There is also a moment when you stop pushing an idea and let them pull. Trickily it’s a fine line – so get help! Ask people close to you what will work and what won’t. (Hint – don’t try to take your team on a blood donation outing – trust me, it doesn’t work!)
  7. Get Involved
    And once the activity is agreed, take your part. Go with the flow and if you’re the ‘boss’, sometimes they will have a bit of fun with you – which is OK and normal! Enable It!
  8. Be Natural
    Yet Enabling Fun isn’t all about activities and events – it’s about how you are day-to-day. So be yourself and not artificial. Even if you aren’t a top joke teller, you will have some amusing skills; you can laugh can’t you? Go for it!
  9. Develop Trust
    How to make the shift from ‘boss’ to ‘fun partner’? Easy, wear the right hat! In the business there are different rules, different relationships and that’s clear. Leave business issues in the appropriate place. It works!
  10. ‘Give us the Money’
    Don’t forget that the one with the purse-strings is the enabler. Fix a budget and agree the ‘what’, let others decide the ‘how’ (this coaching stuff gets in everywhere!). Activities are for others to drive or you may get a nasty shock – no followers; or worse, unhappy followers.

5 Simple Actions You Can Take Today!

  • Do a sense check for yourself, and the with your people. Ask ‘Are you having fun?’
  • Review your relationship status. Do you have a great relationship with most of your people – or is it forced in any way?
  • Are you delivering all their basic needs in their job? Not sure? Good – ask them – then fix. Fast. You can’t have fun if you are cold in your workplace (see the list above).
  • Get involved informally with your people as well as formally. Share a cup of coffee with them, chat about things other than work. Be interested.
  • Watch out for formal occasions where you can work together by Enabling Fun in your workplace.

Read some great books – like:-

“(301 Ways to Have) Fun at Work” – Dave Hemsath, Leslie Yerkes, Dan McQuillen
“Managing to Have Fun” – Matt Weinstein
“1001 Ways to Reward Employees” – Bob Nelson
“Training to Imagine” – Kat Koppett

We also recommend…

Dilbert Daily