March Madness and The ROI of Fun

March Madness starts next week – is your workplace ready? A recent Robert Half survey of senior managers suggests employers who embrace employees’ passion for brackets, instead of fighting it as a time waster, may reap the benefits of increased employee morale and overall workplace productivity:

  • 72% report a positive impact on staff morale
  • 52% report productivity benefits

So how can allowing employees to goof off at work actually make good business sense?

Put simply, because it is fun. Allowing employees to have fun at work brings “levity” to the workplace, an intangible quality that matters. Research shows that employers who encourage levity in the workplace achieve higher levels of performance as measured by various metrics, including employee engagement and retention – but also revenue, innovation, and profitability.

Fun can be an ice breaker that fosters relationships among employees. Good spirited, friendly competition like March Madness and other sports-related activities bring people together and provides a foundation for team development and employee engagement – both ROI business success factors. If you’re game for a little workplace fun, consider these tips:

  • Allow for both informal (employee-driven) and formal (employer organized) fun events
  • Set expectations about behaviors and time limits – work still must get done!
  • Invite communication from employees about what they want, concerns, ideas.
  • Encourage diverse expressions of fun – not everyone is into college basketball!
  • Connect fun to organization culture, values and Mission

So lighten up and have a little fun! For help with your workplace fun efforts, contact Employers Council.