Can “play” at work actually enhance the overall productivity of your staff?
That was the question recently asked by Nancy Painter for an article she was putting together for People Talk magazine, a leading publication in the HR sector.
What role does “play” have in creating a workplace environment that employees love being a part of?
Let’s look at the power of play at work.
Team Building, specifically creating stronger teams that work together more efficiently, that collaborate at a higher level and actively support each other is a significant benefit for companies that embrace the idea of play, and within that, embrace the improv mindset as part of their culture.
As Graeme Duffy, one of our corporate trainers here at Vancouver TheatreSports, stated in the People Talk article, “There’s something to be said for the spirit of agreement and acceptance of ideas. People learn to say yes to each other. They’re open to ideas, gain greater creativity through an expanded mindset and improve problem-solving by doing things together, not in isolation.”
It doesn’t have to be a “Yes, and…” environment exclusively and in fact shouldn’t be. There is a place for “Yes, but…”, although it is almost always later in the ideation or problem-solving process. Leaving the “Yes, but…” phase for later, when working through specific details and logistics, helps establish a foundation where colleagues trust each other, knowing their ideas and contributions will be accepted and built upon. And they, in-turn, will support their fellow teammates in the same way.
(if you’d like to learn more about how Vancouver TheatreSports can increase your team’s ability to collaborate, communicate, create and innovate together, contact Jeff at firstname.lastname@example.org and he’ll be happy to provide more details).
Can we accomplish more with an approach that is joyful, open, more spontaneous, and fun? The answer is almost always yes.
Studies show that infusing a culture with an attitude of “play” (and there are as many definitions of “play” as there are people in the workplace), positively affects return on investment for organizations.
The overall idea of being playful, and creating opportunities for playfulness amongst colleagues impacts the bottom line.
There are notable advantages, ranging from unifying teams, to greater creativity (which leads to more innovation), a reduction in turnover through burnout, a more agile team that can manage the unexpected, and an overall happier workplace.
Strong management understands the importance of play to their culture and people. Michelle Reid, the HR manager at HyperHippo Productions, a video game and software development company, says “play is a best practice. If HR supports play and links it to strategy, it’s easier to get buy-in from leadership. We’re seeing a sea-change in attitude to various things related to play in the workplace, including the benefits for mental health”.
If the culture of an organization makes it one where people want to be, where they feel supported and valued, that’s an organization that will thrive.
Play at Work
We’ve been working with organizations across a wide range of sectors (private companies, public companies, educational institutions, government departments, non-profits and more) in the area of creating a culture that is supportive, collaborative, inspiring, innovative and joyful….and more productive.
We will custom design our sessions specifically to your group, whether it’s based on a team building activity, or one of our Creativity and Innovation workshops, or Empathy in the Workplace, or a Wellness and Balance session….we can put together a session that fits your vision and goals in the area of culture and play.
To learn more reach out to Jeff, our Director of Business Development, at email@example.com