What does “have fun with your team” mean?
It means just that! You hired staff because something in them resonated with you. Maybe you thought they were funny or kind, or thoughtful or professional. Whatever the specific reasons you decided to add them to your team, you had to like them in some way. I’ve never hired someone I didn’t like, and I am sure you haven’t either.
So, what’s the point of having fun with your team? The point is that, as entrepreneurs, we spend so much time driving results and profitability that we sometimes forget to remember the relationship side of things. I am guilty of this more than most. My personality type is not drawn to relationships; I’m more drawn to results. So I actually have to set reminders to myself to relax and enjoy the company of my coworkers and celebrate who they are as people.
I have to revisit their annual personal goals to see if they’re on track to meeting them, or ask them about their kids or dogs. You have to know what motivates them and how to celebrate with them when they meet and exceed their goals. (You can read more about how to help your team set goals here.)
Last week, my team and I decided to take in a play at a local theater, but once we made that decision we decided to go a bit further. We had dinner and drinks before the show, and to a karaoke bar afterwards. We ended up back at the office for a game of Cards Against Humanity – and if you haven’t played that game with your team, you should. (But no video recording allowed!) This was a night of fun and goofiness, and very much needed.
Most entrepreneurs, at least the ones I know, as so passionate about the dream they’re building that they’ve developed laser-like tunnel vision. They see only the end result and are determined to get there at all costs. But this is a mistake. You lose people if you don’t slow down and take them to lunch, away from the office. You can take them to a ball game if there’s a team in your town, or a play. Whatever it is, make sure you leave work at the office. Just chill! Reconnect with the brilliance, or the promise of brilliance, that brought your people to you in the first place.
You may wonder, “Why should we do this?” Here’s why:
- They’re free.
- Personality profiles will help you communicate with your team.
- The profiles will help your team members communicate with each other.
Did I mention they were free? So why not?
When we work with dealerships, we work to develop a culture calendar with them. This will be a foreign concept to some of you, so bear with me.
A culture calendar is a plan to keep your employees engaged with each other by organizing events such as company picnics or bowling nights. If there’s an amusement park close to you, you could organize a paycheck lottery, whereby 40 employees are selected by their check number to receive a family day at the park. You could include 4 tickets per employee and hire a bus to pick them up at the dealership and deliver them to the park. You’ll want to take a ton of pictures and post them to the employee Facebook group. There are so many ideas and ways to keep your employees loving where they work.
Turnover costs the automobile industry billions! If creating a strong company culture can help you avoid turnover, wouldn’t it be worth it?
“A 10-percentage-point increase in turnover will cost the average dealership $7,500 in gross profit per employee per year – With an average dealership head count of 70 people, that means a 10-point increase in turnover costs the average dealership more than$500,000 in gross profit annually”
Here are some ideas to get your team engaged and committed to your business:
- Annual company picnic – include families, rent bouncy castles for kids, cater some great BBQ, organize team sports and an annual contest where a trophy is awarded to department teams.
- Buy 30 tickets to a baseball game and take the employees along.
- Have a karaoke night with great prizes.
- Poker night! Hire casino hosts and award play money based on productivity.
There are loads of ways to bring your work family together to have fun and foster a deeper connection.
Millennials in particular enjoy feeling connected to where they work. They’re a huge part of the workforce, and generally a lot of fun to have around. They want to make a difference, they want to connect, and they’ll appreciate your efforts to help make it happen.
Remember why you hired the people you hired. Remember how they make your business a better place to work, and take time to reconnect with them on a personal level. Have fun with your team!
Robin Wilson is the co-owner of SCP Agency.
She is a self-proclaimed social media guru and specializes in social marketing for auto dealerships. She has also been instrumental in teaching auto dealerships how to market through social media to their existing database and shows them how to make sure that they do not become victims of conquest marketing. She is a marketing coach to all and has become a leader in Facebook marketing strategies in the U.S.