Why Your Company Won’t Survive Without Play
You know your company is a great place to work. You value employee well-being and culture.
But the world has changed. So has the way we work.
Assuming wages and benefits are fair, what workers care about, above all else, is how they are treated.
In fact, when employees are asked if they would take a pay cut to work for a company that treats them better, the answer is a resounding “YES.”
Companies that continue to use fear-based tactics to increase worker productivity, such as monitoring and micro-managing, will struggle to attract and retain top talent in this ever tightening labor market.
So, the real question is this:
In a post-pandemic world, where remote work is here to stay, how should companies treat their workers so that they feel cared for and fulfilled?
I believe this is the solution:
Every company must dissolve its boundaries between ‘work’ and ‘play.’
In other words…
Make work feel like play.
And that is the key to attracting and retaining the best talent—all while increasing your bottomline.
“People are most mindful when they are at play; their senses are fully engaged, their physical and mental prowess is at its highest. If we find ways of enjoying our work — blurring the lines between work and play — the gains will be greater.”DR. ELLEN LANGER, PROFESSOR OF PSYCHOLOGY AT HARVARD UNIVERSITY
What Is Play In The Workplace?
Now, you might cringe at the word ‘play.’ I get it.
Before we go any further, we need to define what play is NOT.
❌ Play is NOT having a ping pong table, arcade games, or a slide in the office.
❌ Play is NOT acting wacky, doing ice breakers, or forcing people to have fun together.
❌ Play is NOT hosting happy hours, corporate retreats, or doing trust exercises with co-workers.
❌ Play is NOT reserved for weekends, vacations, and retirement.
The reason none of these qualify as “play” is because they are all an escape from work. They imply that ‘work’ and ‘play’ are separate existences.
Quite simply, Play is the operating system of a healthy company culture.
Play is the ability to experience each moment as an opportunity for fun, joy, and pleasure.
When companies have Play as their culture, rather than Work, it completely changes the dynamics.
Rather than an environment of fear and competition, there is an air of support and camaraderie. Trust flourishes as workers can finally feel secure showing up as themselves.
A culture of play signals that you value your team’s well-being and enjoyment of life. It shows you care about how they feel and are treated at work, and that the quality of their relationships matters.
What Does A Culture of Play Look Like?
- Leadership ”walks the talk.” Everyone is looking at the execs and managers for models of behavior. If they see that play is not truly valued, rewarded, recognized, or incentivized by the leaders of your company, they will not do it.
- Everyone feels SAFE. This means providing the support they need to minimize or eliminate their chronic sources of stress and fear, which allows people to show up as the best version of themselves.
- Everyone has FREEDOM. This simply means giving them the autonomy to work how they want, and the freedom to STOP working whenever they need to (i.e. recess).
- Everyone experiences MASTERY. Their work feels like a game, which gives them an internal paycheck as they continue leveling up. They enjoy the process and are able to get lost in flow.
- Everyone has a strong sense of CONNECTION. With themselves, their team, and the work itself. Your people can show up as their authentic selves, while getting to work alongside talented people they admire and respect.,
When all of these conditions are in place, work no longer feels like work. It’s play.
“I’ve never really understood why so many people separate work and play. It’s all living. We should be able to have fun at work and bring out the best in each other.”RICHARD BRANSON, FOUNDER AND CEO OF VIRGIN
But Is Play Profitable?
YES! Studies have repeatedly shown that play boosts the bottom-line, in numerous ways.
✅ 66% fewer leave days
✅ 37% more sales
✅ 25% lower turnover
✅ 22% more profitability
✅ 21% more productivity
Becoming a more playful company can directly increase your bottomline, and top-line revenue.
Here’s a case study. Awhile back, I advised an agency that handled the marketing execution for Fortune 500 brands. Each member of their team was required to do over 100 sales calls per day on behalf of their clients.
They started approaching their work through the lens of play, where they intentionally had more fun on each task, and with each other throughout the week. As a result, their sales numbers went WAY up.
They went from hitting an average of 70% of the sales attainment goals set by clients… to 94%.
70% was their average for years, so improving sales by 24% was a massive increase. Like, mind-blowing. So, how did play have this effect?
Intentionally infusing play into their work directly increased their energy levels, morale, trust, and productivity. They found that — even on days when they took an hour off just to play and goof off — they never missed their sales quotas.
Imagine the contributions and innovations your workers could make if they could approach their work with a sense of play. Imagine what it would do for employee well-being, retention, recruiting, productivity, company culture, and your brand.
The Roadmap to Your Culture of Play
I am here to support you in redefining play for your company, and infusing it into your personal and professional lives. Together, we’ll create a strategic partnership that elevates you and your team’s well-being, and upgrades your company culture. I will treat you like family, and your business as though it is my own, so we can be true partners on your journey.
We start by creating a custom-tailored blueprint for your business and personal life, and agree on a plan to reach your goals. Then, you will have full support in implementing this strategy. We will meet regularly to assess progress, results, direction, and opportunities. You will have VIP access to me throughout the entire process.
Phase 1: Play Blueprint
We’ll begin with a multi-day VIP intensive. This is ideal for leadership teams, though it can be also done as an individual. During our time together, we will focus on creating your Play Blueprint. We’ll dive deep into personal and professional opportunities, then create your roadmap for infusing play and measuring progress and well-being. There will also be plenty of time for having fun and doing wellness activities that recharge and refresh. By the end of the intensive, you’ll have your Play Blueprint ready to implement.
Phase 2: Implementation & Consulting
Coaching and Check-Ins: We’ll meet regularly to discuss your progress, and work through any challenges together to ensure your success. If required, I can visit your company for in-house consulting needs. This might entail any and all of the following services: keynotes, workshops, 1-on-1 coaching, surveying, creating and training the CWO role (Chief Wellness Officer), attending meetings, etc.
Follow-up Intensive: During this second intensive, we will revisit your Play Blueprint and review overall progress and results. We’ll make adjustments to the plan for the following period, so we can continue with your team’s growth and ongoing progress.
Your experience is custom-tailored to you and your team’s specific needs.
To request a quote, click here or email hi AT charliehoehn.com.