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How an enjoyable workplace boosts employee performance

People in a circle with hands in the middle

Casey Stoner recently announced that he’s retiring early. Interesting because the core reason was not that he lost the love of riding motorcycles but that he doesn’t enjoy how the sport is run and managed.

It’s business leaders that make the decisions about the way the company operates and behaves, and this is true for every organisation, large or small, including the MotoGP. Those decisions impact everyone else and they ultimately determine whether work is enjoyable or not.

Working in a role that plays to employees strengths and for an organisation that is consistent with their personal values are key factors that drive enjoyment. It is this second element that was missing for Stoner and the one that tipped him over into retirement.

When these elements aren’t part of an employee’s role they don’t enjoy work but endure it. They lose the discretionary effort that is needed to help an organisation thrive, which results in businesses getting hands and even heads but they don’t get hearts or the best out of the employee.

It’s common sense to create a workplace where people enjoy work, yet many organisations don’t take the decisions to create that type of workplace. Too many people simply don’t enjoy the work they do and this holds back performance in many ways. Businesses need to focus on this concept and create workplace environments where every effort is made to make work more enjoyable.

Here are five tips to help businesses make their workplace more enjoyable:

  • Evaluate enjoyment – Like everything else in a business, enjoyment is measurable and should be done regularly. Use anonymous feedback tools to understand the enjoyment level of the company. Find out what’s working well and what areas need to be improved. And most importantly act on it.
  • A sense of significance – Make sure employees understand how their individual contribution feeds into the bigger picture. It’s important that employees don’t feel like a small cog in a big machine. Outline what the business or project goals are and make the employee part of achieving them.
  • Expectations exchange – While it’s important to set measureable goals for employees, it’s just as important the other way around. Ask employees what they expect from their manager; what do they want from their boss to make them the best at what they do.
  • Play on passion – People that work out of position don’t perform well and generally find it hard to enjoy the work they are doing. And it’s not simply about their innate strengths. Ask employees managers where they excel and what they are passionate about and provide the employee opportunities to build on their natural talent.
  • Nurture culture Culture needs to come from the top, so employees can be part of the leaders vision, but isn’t something that can be put in as a process and then forgotten about. Constantly look to be building an environment that follows the vision, where employees can work collaboratively and where feedback is the norm strength.