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How to have more fun at work

How to have more fun at work

All work and no play — that’s no fun. 

 

While we agree that work is serious and doing a good job is important, we believe that doesn’t mean that it has to be void of fun. 

 

Fun means different things to different people. Choosing a job you enjoy is part of the equation to finding fun in the everyday at work. That said, every job has its high and low points and most aren’t fun all of the time.

 

Here are a few unexpected ways to have fun at work, regardless of what you do:

 

Dress for happiness
What you choose to wear affects your mood. Choose clothes that make you feel confident, upbeat, and positive. For many people, this means choosing bright colours and patterns. Do what works for you and try mixing it up and take note of your change in mood.

 

Share in each other’s successes
Publicly recognizing teammates for a job well done creates a more light-hearted and supportive environment that makes being at work more fun. Outside of recognizing professional achievements, celebrating milestones like work anniversaries or birthdays is another great way to bolster happiness around the office.

 

Host team-building events
Bringing people together for non-work-related activities is a great way to break up the routine, help coworkers get to know each other better, and to de-stress. It’s also a great way to build a better corporate culture, something that directly impacts your business’ bottom line.

 

For a few ideas on what to try, check out our blog ‘3 fun virtual team-building activities for your workforce.’

Don’t skip lunch and don’t eat alone
While many of us are still working remotely, some workforces are in-office or on-site. When safe to do so, it’s encouraged to get away from your desk, workstation, or work area for your lunch break and to share in some social time with coworkers while you eat. It’s a good way to bond, talk about non-work related topics, and to have a laugh. 


Working from home? In place of the lunchroom, consider meeting a coworker online to have lunch or a coffee and chat about things outside of work. 

 

Share jokes and funny stories
Laughter is a great stress reliever and way to feel like you’re having more fun. If you have a team chat, consider sharing funny stories, pictures, or memes. Just be mindful that they must be office-appropriate in their content and subject matter. 

 

Another way to inject more laughter in your day is to open meetings with a joke or commercial share of something that you saw or read recently. It makes it easier for everyone to relate to one another and allows space to be silly and let loose before getting down to business.

 

Try these tips in your workplace to add a little more fun into your Monday-to-Friday!

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Why celebrating employee birthdays matters

Why celebrating employee birthdays matters

Birthdays. Like them or not, they keep coming back year after year. While some people choose to forgo birthday celebrations when their special day rolls around, others relish in the fanfare and extra attention. 

 

In the workplace, birthdays are often overlooked, or not fairly recognized across teams. While that may not seem like a big deal — we are all adults after all — there are benefits to recognizing the day for every employee. 

 

Saying ‘Happy Birthday’ — the benefits:

 

It’s a chance to recognize someone for more than just being an employee
Whether we realize it or not, we all like to feel seen, recognized, and appreciated. While recognition should happen often — like when someone does a good job at work — there are other opportunities to acknowledge your team members or coworkers and to make them feel appreciated. Their birthday is a perfect time to do just that. It’s a day that’s just for them and it’s a chance to thank them simply for being who they are (not just for being an employee).

 

It offers stress relief
Rituals, such as celebrating a birthday, helps to break away from a stressful routine. It’s a chance for individuals to accept and receive positive attention and affirmation from their friends, family, coworkers, and boss. 

 

It helps to further employee engagement

It’s important to recognize birthdays because employees spend the majority of their waking lives at work. As a people leader, or as an organization, it’s important to use birthdays as an opportunity to show your genuine appreciation for the hard work your employees do each day. Doing so has the potential to increase an employee’s sense of value within the organization, pride in what they do, and overall engagement in their work and with their team — all key factors in nurturing better performance. 

Ways to celebrate:

At The West Egg Group, we send employees a personalized birthday e-card to acknowledge their birthday. It’s a chance to pause to celebrate them and to tell them that they matter to us and to the business.

 

In addition to e-cards, we encourage our people leaders to verbally acknowledge their team members’ birthdays. Even something as simple as wishing someone a ‘Happy Birthday’ goes a long way.



And for teams working remotely, why not pause at the beginning of your Zoom meeting to call-out a coworker’s birthday and to publicly share your well-wishes? 

 

When we’re all back in the office and able to celebrate as we used to, having treats in the breakroom to celebrate a birthday is a fun way to get everyone involved. For larger organizations, consider making it a monthly event where you order a cake and celebrate all employees who had a birthday that month. 

 

It’s these small moments of recognition that mean the most. It helps employees to feel more welcome and appreciated, and has lasting positive impacts on their performance (and you business’ bottom line).  

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3 fun virtual team-building activities for your workforce

3 fun virtual team-building activities for your workforce

Most of us are still working remotely, physically disconnected from our direct reports and peers. For many employees, the only contact they have with their colleagues is via Zoom or similar digital platform, and it’s almost certainly always shop-talk.

So how does an organization ensure that an effort is still made to encourage camaraderie and shared downtime among its employees?

Benefits of team-building activities:

  • Employees and managers get a chance to know each other as individuals outside of their roles at work
  • Stress relief
  • A more engaged workforce
  • Greater collaboration 
  • Improved productivity

Here are 5 activities to bring your teams together socially to encourage engagement and better teamwork:

  1. Escape room
    This group activity was popular pre-pandemic and has seen a resurgence recently. You can now engage a vendor to facilitate a virtual escape room experience for your team.

    What to expect: They’ll have someone on-site walking through the escape room, taking directions from your team as they seek to uncover clues and escape the room before time runs out.

     

  2. Virtual wine or beer tasting  
    If your corporate culture allows for the occasional drink during office hours, this may be for you. Since drinking is inherently a social activity, this type of activity offers teams a chance to socialize and get to know each other better — all while learning more about the finer points of wine and/or beer tasting. 

What to expect: Participants will either be mailed a selection of wines or beer samples ahead of time. During the event, a professional sommelier or beer taster will guide the participants through the tasting experience. 

3. Trivia
This is a great way to get some friendly competition going. Consider hiring a professional trivia host to set up a virtual trivia game. Divide your group into teams small enough to encourage everyone’s participation, and be sure to request that the trivia questions reflect your group’s general knowledge base (while still challenging them). Why not throw in a prize for the team that comes out on top?!

What to expect: A zoom-type experience whereby everyone logs into a meeting hosted by the trivia expert. They’ll likely have a digital form through which teams will enter their responses and will guide your team through the experience. Trivia hosts are often lively, fun, and entertaining, so this is a great option for all kinds of groups.

These are just a few of the ways you can set aside some time for team-building during the pandemic. 


For more tips on how to keep workforces engaged, talk to the workforce management experts at The West Egg Group

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Workforce management: Small actions and big wins

Workforce management: Small actions and big wins

As a people leader, you may feel as though you have big shoes to fill. Your team looks to you for answers, direction, encouragement, and for big ideas to inspire and engage them. At the same time, the senior leadership team looks to you for big results. While at times this may make you feel larger than life, it’s also a lot of weight for any one person to carry. 

What if you looked at leadership a little differently? If you break it down, leadership is what you do each day — the culmination of the micro and macro moments and actions you take. So when you approach leadership from this point of view, it becomes much more manageable and far less daunting.

These are the kinds of small actions that add up to big wins:

Offering encouragement 

When you see an employee doing great work, you pause to recognize and celebrate it. 

Providing teachable moments
When you see an employee struggling with a task, you seek to understand how you can help. Not to do the task for them, but to teach them the skill set they need to be successful and self-sufficient. 

Reinforce desired behaviors and attributes
Openly rewarding individuals who embody company values and exhibit positive behaviors that align with the organization’s values to reinforce these behaviors.

Showcasing understanding
At the end of the day, we’re all human. Mistakes will happen and people will have off days. How you handle them is what matters. Set a good example but lead with understanding and the approach of ‘how can I help?’ to show your team that you’re there for them.

Go to bat for your team
In instances where your team needs you to advocate for them, whether it’s to other departments or the senior leadership team, be sure that you’re on their

team and have their backs. When employees feel that they can trust you, they’ll do the same for you.

Big wins
The effort you make each day is what drives your team to want to do their best. When you celebrate the achievements and milestones along the way together, you can all share in the pride of achieving the big wins — the goals and objectives that each of you has been working towards.

Find out more about how daily actions lead to long-term big wins. Contact workforce management experts The West Egg Group

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How to be a better manager

How to be a better manager

People don’t leave companies, they leave managers. It’s more than just a saying, it’s a fact. People leave companies all the time due to poor management, a lack of leadership, or bad relations with their boss.  

While that tends to paint people leaders in a bad light, most managers strive to be good leaders who inspire and unite their teams to help the organization thrive. 

Before we outline the to-dos that make a great manager, it’s important to pause to acknowledge what doesn’t work:

  • Playing favourites
  • Losing your temper or being emotionally unpredictable 
  • Harshly criticizing team members in front of their peers
  • Sarcasm or degrading comments
  • Pressure to work long hours

Those are just a few of the toxic practices of bad bosses. Now, here are some tips for managers who truly want to do better in order to motivate their teams:

Communicate
Let the team know your style of management, expectations, your intentions, what they can expect from you, and so on. Setting the stage and providing a consistent experience will help your subordinates understand how to interact with you.

State goals and objectives
Outline what the team is working towards and your plan to help them reach the stated goals. With a collective North Star to work towards, everyone on the team will know what direction they’re going and will understand the importance of their contributions. 

Be honest and reliable
Have a strong sense of conviction. If you say you’re going to do something, be sure to follow through. Your team needs to see you walk the talk and will value open and honest updates and feedback on their work. 

Hold yourself to a high standard
Piggy-backing off walking the talk, it’s important to not only uphold your work ethic, attitudes, and behaviours to the same standard that you demand of your team — you should be exceeding them. And this doesn’t mean working longer hours just for the sake of it. It’s about showing up and consistently delivering against your expectations.  

Recognize and reward
Don’t be shy to hand out praise for a job well done. People appreciate being recognized and it’s proven to drive greater engagement and job performance. Beyond saying ‘thank you’, consider implementing incentives or a rewards program to more formally thank your team members for the good work that they do.

Be constructive, but be positive
To continue to improve, employees need feedback on their performance and output. As their manager, it’s your responsibility to provide critique of the work, but be sure to be unbiased and fair. And, mention what was done well. We all respond better to constructive criticism when we understand what elements were well done and which could use a bit more focus. 

As a people leader, it’s important to do your best to create a work environment that fosters positive results — and that begins with your management style. Try implementing these tips to see the transformation among your team. 



Need assistance managing your team? Contact The West Egg Group, to learn how we can help your organization get the most out of its workforce.

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Resilience: This year’s buzz word in workforce management

Resilience: This year's buzz word in workforce management

After the difficult year we had, one word has become somewhat of a mantra for workforce managers and human resources professionals — resiliency. 

What is resilience?
Based on the dictionary definition, the noun resilience/resiliency means:

 

  1. The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness
  2. The ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity

What does it have to do with people?
When met with adversity or a change in the workplace, people experience varied degrees of resiliency. Some will embrace the challenge to adapt, adjust, and recover; while others will feel stuck, apprehensive, and incapable of adapting. 

Resiliency in 2021
After a year of massive change in the way we work, resilience has become a hot topic among HR leaders and workforce management professionals. Employers are increasingly concerned about their teams’ ability to adapt to the changing work landscape, and their aptitude to remain committed to the organization through uncertain times. 

It’s something that has been on the minds of employees too. More than ever, they’re feeling the effects of economic and social unrest. Many found themselves furloughed due to downturns in the market, while a larger number of others were suddenly thrust into a remote work scenario — something that was new to most of them. All of these factors contribute to a stressful situation for both employee and employer. 

How to build resiliency among employees

Ideally, building resilience is something that begins before a disruptive event or situation occurs. However, it is never too late to act to support employees which in turn supports the organization. 

Resilience is a strategy that helps employees tackle stress, a changing work environment, or changes to the scope of their role, helps them to manage workplace conflicts, and addresses other challenges on the job. Improving resilience among employees is critically important as it’s been shown that for most individuals, work is the number one stressor in their lives. And when employees become too stressed, they are often unable to function at a high level and are more prone to burn-out, disengagement, and absenteeism. 

What can people leaders do to support employees?

Encourage an open dialogue between employees, their leaders, and the organization. Obtaining feedback from your frontline team members is vital for understanding how people are feeling, what they’re seeing, and to gather suggestions for improvement. 

Next, you must take action on the feedback you gather. Employees will become less likely to share their insights if they feel that it goes unheard. 

Another great approach is to establish or bolster your employee assistance programs, offering individuals access to resources and support.  

Need help?

Contact The West Egg Group, to learn how we can help your organization and its people become more resilient in the face of adversity and change. 

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What are the elements of company culture?

What are the elements of company culture?

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