Making Meetings Fun

The other day, I jumped on Facebook to the tune of a fan telling me, “Sam we watched your videos in our meeting today, and we all laughed so hard!”  

I think she and everyone at the meeting had a little fun. It doesn’t have to be a video of Sam Glenn–ME–to get you laughing, but it doesn’t hurt. (lol) However, for years I have been telling organizations, managers, HR, and leaders that once in a while you need to have some fun in the workplace.

I once met a woman who became physically ill because the stress was so intense at work. She came home exhausted, was too tired to work out, cook a healthy meal, or function in a healthy way. The stress built up so much that it manifested itself in some negative ways for her.

We all have different work environments, but there are some things that are common. I think every workplace has that one negative downer who drains everyone. You know the type. The day you bring in donuts as nice gesture, that person barks off at you, “Real NICE! You bring in donuts on the day I am starting my diet!”

Is it wrong to add a little inspiration to your meetings, maybe to wrap them up? I mean, if you are in a leadership role, don’t you want your people to be charged with positive energy? I guess it boggles the mind when organizations say we can’t afford to have fun, or we don’t have time.  

My philosophy is that it should be a constant and never-ending quest to bring out the best version of your people. The moment you take fun out of a company is the moment you remove the substances that combat stress and negativity. Take fun away, and you take away passion, engagement, enthusiasm, loyalty, commitment and dedication. TRUST ME–I know my stuff. For 15 years, I have worked with hundreds of companies–small shops to  Fortune 500–and I am telling you, fun is not a luxury; it’s a necessity.

So, let me ask you about your organization. Do you have fun?

Is fun good to have in the workplace?

What ways do you have fun or lighten things up?

I think if you define fun in such a way that it makes people happier about life and the work they do, then that fun is living up to its calling.

On the flip side, I know companies that define fun in ways that can bring out the worst in people. Recently, I got wind of a company that is going to do something called the Drunk Olympics. They get on a bus, go to a retreat, and drink and drink and do activities drunk. Then they get back on the bus, get dropped off at their cars, and the rule is you have to be at work by 8 a.m. the next morning or you are fired.

REALLY?? Can I just say whoever came up with this concept of employee fun just might qualify for my idiot of the year. Yes, I said idiot. You may say, “Sam, I don’t like that word ‘idiot.’” 

To them I reply, “I don’t like people being idiots.” This is a concept that hurts. As I like to also say, “Stupid should hurt.”

It never hurts to consult professionals who know how to rejuvenate a company by incorporating fun in positive ways. I observed one company that purchased bikes, then divided people up and gave them a time limit to build the bike as a team. There were prizes and such and to top it off, the bikes were donated to youngsters who didn’t have or could not afford a bike.  

I suppose there are a lot of ways you can do it right–have fun and be productive at the same time. But the bottom line is, you gotta have some fun once in a while. I think it’s funny that people will actually choose to get paid less to work at a company that is known for having more fun.  Get the picture?

Fun is good!

We want your take on what makes meetings more fun? 

1 thought on “Making Meetings Fun”

  1. "Joan of ART" Caligiuri

    I’ve taken this philosophy to my classroom for years. I am an ART teacher in a special needs school and the FIRST rule in my room is HAVE FUN! I believe that if my students are having fun, they will do better, learn more and build their self-esteem. We start the class with a Brain Teaser to foster diverse thinking… to ‘think outside of the box’. The winner gets a prize and writes his or her name in the week’s winner section of the chalk board. Even the adult aides look forward to them. We then move onto a positive ‘Attitude Quote’ and a couple riddles. If there is time left before the bell rings, I give them a visual puzzle, “Can you find the differences?”. to foster visual awareness. These are all fun activities that make ART class enjoyable even for those who don’t particularly like ART!

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