Welcome to our monthly show where I, Aga Bajer, along with my fellow culture enthusiast and Wonder co-founder, Shani Persson, delve into topics critical to cultivating thriving cultures at scale. Our aim is to share practical insights, empower you to make better decisions and help you achieve remarkable success in your culture work.
Today, we shine a spotlight on Deep Fun at Work.
My curiosity about fun at work started 10 years ago. Since then, I asked more than 3000 people to tell me about the time they did their best work. One of the themes that consistently emerged was that we work best when we have fun at work.
But here’s the twist in the tail:
The fun they referred to had nothing to do with ping-pong tables or Friday pizza parties. It had everything to do with… the work itself.
Deep fun is what drives people to peak performance at work.
This is why in this Deep Dive, Shani and I explore this topic today!
The pillars of a thriving culture
Aga’s research indicates that in order for us to do our best work, we need to have a sense of fun, meaning, and belonging.
The importance of fun at work
We often get pushback when introducing the idea of fun to leaders and organizations. We have associated fun with something trivial, and unimportant – and yet, deep fun is one of the key drivers of high performance at work.
Navigating risk, playfulness, and interpersonal connections
Fun can have a nuanced relationship with risk but it’s important to reduce the sense of risk through exploration and playfulness. In order to create an environment where individuals can take risks and find fulfillment in their work, we need trust, safety, and faith in our interpersonal relationships.
The essence of trust in the unknown
We dive into the concept of trust, drawing parallels to a discussion with Rachel Botsman, an authority on trust and a previous guest of the CultureLab podcast. Trust is rooted in our relationship with the unknown.
The dynamics of fun and the importance of contrasts
Fun needs a space that accommodates contrasting emotions. We talk about creating an environment that allows for the genuine expression of feelings, both positive and negative, without stigmatization.
Actionable steps to cultivate deep fun
Regularly asking team members about what brings them joy at work and actively listening to their responses is crucial. Identifying and aligning personal passions with work, can be a gamer changer.
Connecting joy and curiosity
By incorporating dedicated time for learning and exploration within the workweek, we allow team members to pursue their interests, even if seemingly unrelated. The joy and curiosity cultivated in these activities can have transferable benefits to their work.
Breaking the monotony
We need to break away from the monotony of sedentary work. Through incorporating activities like walks to re-energize and engage different senses beyond cognitive functions can drive creativity and help connect our body, mind, and environment surrounding us.
Humanizing the workspace
The role of humor and being authentic can create a more humanized workspace. Even failed attempts at humor can positively impact relationships, making leaders more approachable and likable.
Listen to the interview in the player below or on iTunes. If you like what you hear, please leave a review, and it may be featured on a future episode.