Fun and work don’t belong in the same sentence, let alone the same office, right?  Work happens through the week and fun gets to come out and play after hours or on the weekends.  But it doesn’t have to be that way. Going to work shouldn’t be painful.

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But how does Fun become a part of our workplace? “It’s Fun when the leader intends it to be so”.

The term “command presence” is used in the Navy to describe the qualities that the leader projects to the organization.  What the leader projects, the organization will reflect.  If the leader is negative, harsh or overbearing in his/her approach and dealings with the Team, that will define the organizational climate and banish fun from the workplace.  If the leader is positive, enthusiastic, encouraging, personable and humorous, fun gets to be a part of the Team’s experience.

Multiple studies have shown that workers that have fun in the workplace are more creative, positive and productive. Rates of absenteeism, late and sick days fall as well. People actually look forward to coming to work!

As Commanding Officer, I viewed one of my roles to be “head cheerleader”. By that I mean the enthusiastic, positive keeper of the Team’s energy level. I did my best to embody the commitment that we would accomplish our mission, take care of each other and have Fun doing it. It was a message that I personally delivered command-wide and individually to everyone who joined our organization along the way.   It was a fundamental commitment to the human capital in the equation and one that reaped benefits in loyalty, dedication and team engagement. We celebrated our wins, learned from our shortcomings and supported each other through each.

It was fun because we intended it to be so.

Is your workplace Fun?

“The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter. The moment it arises, all your irritations and resentments slip away, and the sunny spirit takes their place.” Mark Twain


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