Great Fun in Great Workplaces

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Creating a fun and engaging workplace is not just about boosting morale but also enhancing overall employee well-being and productivity.  At the core of this approach, organisations on the Best Workplaces lists are setting an example by integrating fun into their work culture.  These companies understand that fun is a crucial driver of high well-being levels across all generations, especially for millennials and Gen Z employees.

The Importance of Fun in the Workplace 

Across various studies, fun has emerged as a top driver of well-being in the workplace. Employees who enjoy fun activities and a light-hearted atmosphere at work are significantly more likely to report high levels of well-being. This doesn’t just mean having ping-pong tables or happy hours. Fun at work encompasses a culture that allows spontaneous moments of joy, encourages a healthy work-life balance, and fosters personal connections among coworkers.

The Business Case for Fun

These engaging workplaces do not just make for happier employees; they also see tangible business benefits. Companies that prioritise fun and well-being outperform their competitors in productivity, retention, and recruitment. Employees in these companies are nearly twice as likely to go the extra mile and recommend their workplace to others. This shows that investing in creating a fun and caring culture is not just good for the employees but also for the business.

Implementing Fun and Well-being in Your Workplace

For organisations looking to replicate this success, the approach involves several strategies:

Prioritise Employee Engagement: Engaging with employees isn’t just about conducting annual reviews; it’s about continuous interaction that helps understand and address their needs proactively. Regular surveys, team meetings, and open forums encourage feedback and dialogue, ensuring employees feel heard and valued. Informal chats, such as virtual coffee breaks or walking meetings, can also break down formal barriers and foster open communication. This ongoing engagement helps identify areas for improvement and implement changes that boost satisfaction and retention.

Foster Inclusivity: Inclusivity in the workplace goes beyond hiring diverse talent; it involves creating an environment where everyone feels they belong. Inclusivity should be woven into the fabric of the organisation, ensuring that every employee, regardless of their background or position, feels valued and has equal access to opportunities.

Offer Flexible Work Arrangements: Flexibility is a key driver of employee satisfaction and can significantly enhance work-life balance. Allowing employees to have a say in their work schedules or the choice to work remotely can lead to increased productivity and well-being. Flexible work arrangements should be adaptable to the varying needs of employees, whether they are parents, caregivers, or living in different time zones. Providing options like compressed workweeks, job sharing, or part-time opportunities ensures that employees can work in a way that suits their lifestyle while still meeting business needs and allows them to participate in activities outside of work that they feel are fun.

Encourage Social Interactions: Creating opportunities for social interactions among employees is crucial for building a cohesive team and a supportive work culture. Organising team-building activities, company-wide retreats, and social events can help employees connect on a personal level beyond work-related tasks. These activities should cater to diverse interests and encourage participation from all departments. Celebrating milestones, both personal and professional, can also enhance team spirit and foster a sense of community within the organisation.

Organisations like Be Challenged offer a wide variety of interactive team building events that turn individuals into great collaborators and more effective team players. Be Challenged’s unique approach to helping businesses reach their full potential means your team will learn while having fun.

Recognise and Reward: Regular recognition of employees’ hard work and achievements plays a critical role in motivating and retaining staff. Recognition programs should not only highlight major accomplishments but also acknowledge small wins and consistent efforts. Implementing peer-to-peer recognition systems can empower employees to celebrate each other’s contributions, reinforcing a positive work culture

Caring Culture: When employees feel cared for, they are 67% more likely to exert extra effort at work. This is especially crucial during challenging economic times when discretionary effort can make a significant difference in company performance.  For example, 91% of millennials at winning companies feel a culture of care compared to just 51% at typical workplaces.

 

Examples from some Best Workplaces in Australia

Moose Toys is a great example of a workplace aiming to have fun.  Working at Moose comes with loads of playful perks like an onsite gym, fitness classes, celebrations and special events, a vegetable patch, regular guest speakers, reward and recognition programs, bring your dog to work, and a school holiday program for the kids. Oh, and you also get to play with toys every day!

To create this environment, what they ask of their employees is to bring the FUN, their commitment to a work / life balance that will empower them to be their best. They work to support wellness of employees in a way that suits them.

Some of the things Moose offer to their employees to bring the fun include:

  • Play! With toys, games, having a laugh together in meetings, sharing stories over lunch, or exercising together.
  • They hold get-togethers regularly, scheduled for whatever works best for each office. For example, at HQ there is a weekly Thank Moose it’s Friday get together event, where they might have a BBQ outside, walk around the corner to a local brewery, or share snacks in the office before heading into the weekend.
  • They encourage creativity through fancy dress events in the office such as Halloween, mid-year parties, and their double denim day. Many of these events have a relevant charity associated with it that they raise funds for.
  • A staff-led Running Club, where staff meet during the lunch break to come together and motivate each other to improve their running, and even participate in a fun run.
  • Mental Health training for people managers to ensure they are aware of signs to look out for in their teams, so their people can maintain strong mental health for themselves, their family, and colleagues.
  • Their global ‘Moosies on the Move Challenge’ is where employees participate in a step challenge to encourage physical movement and improve health and mobility. Steps are logged and one lucky winner is drawn from each office on a weekly basis. Everyone who walks 8000 steps a day for at least 3 out of the 7 days that week, is eligible to win the weekly prize of a $100 AUD (or local equivalent) gift voucher.
  • Both mid-year and end of year parties, including fancy dress fun.

 

Some of their employee feedback includes:

“It’s hard to describe it, because it isn’t ping pong tables, and games rooms or free food, it’s the

people and culture. Welcoming, non-hierarchal, trusting, ‘family first, work second’ culture. The

list goes on. There is something special at Moose – an heir of magic in the air.”

“The benefits and flexibility are wonderful. My health has improved since working here. We have ‘field days’ and potlucks and celebrate diversity. I like the access to the owners and that if I respond to one of the CEOs emails, he responds and will even send links to further the convo.”

Fun means different things for different people, Moose have recognised that its not a one size fits all and have created ways for all employees to experience fun in (and out) of the workplace.

 

 The Impact of Fun on Well-being

High levels of workplace stress and burnout, especially among young professionals, have been a growing concern.  However, companies with a culture of fun and engagement are bucking this trend.  For instance, nearly nine out of ten millennials and Gen Z employees at these companies report high levels of well-being, comparable to their Gen X and baby boomer colleagues.  Moreover, these workplaces outperform average companies in terms of productivity, retention, and recruitment, with employees being almost twice as likely to recommend their company to others.

Creating a Positive Work Environment

The state of employee well-being has not been particularly rosy in recent years, with high levels of workplace stress and burnout, especially among young professionals.  However, companies that foster a culture of fun and care are managing to counteract these negative trends effectively.

Responses from organisations on the Best Workplaces lists highlight fun and engagement are integral to mental health and well-being, especially among millennials, who report feeling cared for and supported by their employers.​

Integrating fun into the workplace is not just a perk but a necessity for modern businesses aiming to enhance well-being and productivity.  By creating welcoming, meaningful, caring, and inclusive environments, companies can ensure their employees feel valued and engaged, leading to better overall performance and satisfaction.  As   the data shows, fun at work is a powerful driver of well-being for employees of all generations, and companies that prioritise this will continue to thrive.

By adopting these strategies, organisations can foster a culture that not only attracts and retains talent but also drives exceptional business outcomes.

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Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces™ in Australia 2024 Evaluation Methodology

The data science behind this list from Great Place To Work®

Great Place To Work® has been surveying employees around the world about their workplace experiences for 30 years. We have developed a set of themes and metrics that not only predict whether employees feel their workplace is great, but predict retention, agility, and overall business success.  

Using our proprietary Trust Index™ survey, we measure the core of what we know creates great workplaces — key behaviors that drive trust in management, connection with colleagues, and loyalty to the company.  

The survey enables employees to share confidential quantitative and qualitative feedback about their organization’s culture by responding to 60 statements on a five-point scale and answering two open-ended questions.

Employees tell us whether leaders are accessible, communicate honestly and clearly, and if their actions match their words. They tell us whether they feel respected as individuals, if they receive training benefits, appreciation, support for their well-being and opportunities to contribute. They tell us whether they believe their company is fair related to pay, profits, promotions, recognition, favoritism and opportunities. They tell us if they are proud of their work, their team, and their company, and if they feel they make a difference and their work is meaningful. And they tell us whether they enjoy the people they work with, feel cared for and can be themselves.  

List rankings are based on this employee feedback, which we analyze to determine the extent to which this experience is shared by the full workforce. Great Place To Work measures the differences in survey responses across demographic groups and roles within each organization to assess both the quality and consistency of the employee experience. Statements are weighted according to their relevance in describing the most important aspects of an equitable workplace. 

The best companies create great work experiences not just for management, but also for their part-time employees on the front lines, for those who’ve just joined and those who’ve spent their whole career there, for every race and ethnicity, gender, neurotype, or other demographic in the organization – we look at it all. Companies with the broadest set of employees who report positive workplace experience receive the highest rankings on lists.

In addition to analyzing employee feedback, for National List’s for companies in the Medium and Large size categories, we also consider what a company can tell us about their programs and workplace strategy. Each company also answers six essay questions that provide greater insight into how, and why the organization is great for all people. Responses are rigorously evaluated and cross-reviewed according to Great Place To Work’s research-driven criteria. From what companies share in datapoints and essays, we identify the organizations that offer the most generous, caring and innovative cultures that reflect a genuine commitment to meet the diversity of their people’s needs inside and outside the workplace as validated by what employees themselves report in survey results.
Where an industry list is being revealed (i.e. Healthcare, Technology) additional information provided from an organization in the form of a culture audit will not be considered; rather we analyze employee feedback from the Trust Index survey with the above methodology.

Because employee feedback drives these rankings, surveys must meet strict requirements for how they are distributed and the percentage of employees who respond to ensure they accurately represent honest feedback from the company’s full population. To be eligible for the list, companies must be Great Place To Work Certified™, have 10 or more employees in the country they are being Certified, and be operating in the industry relevant to a specific Industry list if applicable (i.e. Healthcare, Technology). If categories are being listed within a National list, category break downs are as follows: Companies with 10-29 people were considered for the Micro category; those with 30 to 99 people for the Small category; companies with 100 to 999 employees were considered for the Medium category; and those with 1,000 or more for the Large category. Some lists in certain countries may combine categories in which case that will be specified in the list breakdown.
While essay responses provide important context for rankings, only survey data can garner a list placement.

Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces™ in Australia 2024 Evaluation Methodology

The data science behind this list from Great Place To Work®

Great Place To Work® has been surveying employees around the world about their workplace experiences for 30 years. We have developed a set of themes and metrics that not only predict whether employees feel their workplace is great, but predict retention, agility, and overall business success.  

Using our proprietary Trust Index™ survey, we measure the core of what we know creates great workplaces — key behaviors that drive trust in management, connection with colleagues, and loyalty to the company.  

The survey enables employees to share confidential quantitative and qualitative feedback about their organization’s culture by responding to 60 statements on a five-point scale and answering two open-ended questions.

Employees tell us whether leaders are accessible, communicate honestly and clearly, and if their actions match their words. They tell us whether they feel respected as individuals, if they receive training benefits, appreciation, support for their well-being and opportunities to contribute. They tell us whether they believe their company is fair related to pay, profits, promotions, recognition, favoritism and opportunities. They tell us if they are proud of their work, their team, and their company, and if they feel they make a difference and their work is meaningful. And they tell us whether they enjoy the people they work with, feel cared for and can be themselves.  

List rankings are based on this employee feedback, which we analyze to determine the extent to which this experience is shared by the full workforce. Great Place To Work measures the differences in survey responses across demographic groups and roles within each organization to assess both the quality and consistency of the employee experience. Statements are weighted according to their relevance in describing the most important aspects of an equitable workplace. 

The best companies create great work experiences not just for management, but also for their part-time employees on the front lines, for those who’ve just joined and those who’ve spent their whole career there, for every race and ethnicity, gender, neurotype, or other demographic in the organization – we look at it all. Companies with the broadest set of employees who report positive workplace experience receive the highest rankings on lists.

In addition to analyzing employee feedback, for National List’s for companies in the Medium and Large size categories, we also consider what a company can tell us about their programs and workplace strategy. Each company also answers six essay questions that provide greater insight into how, and why the organization is great for all people. Responses are rigorously evaluated and cross-reviewed according to Great Place To Work’s research-driven criteria. From what companies share in datapoints and essays, we identify the organizations that offer the most generous, caring and innovative cultures that reflect a genuine commitment to meet the diversity of their people’s needs inside and outside the workplace as validated by what employees themselves report in survey results.
Where an industry list is being revealed (i.e. Healthcare, Technology) additional information provided from an organization in the form of a culture audit will not be considered; rather we analyze employee feedback from the Trust Index survey with the above methodology.

Because employee feedback drives these rankings, surveys must meet strict requirements for how they are distributed and the percentage of employees who respond to ensure they accurately represent honest feedback from the company’s full population. To be eligible for the list, companies must be Great Place To Work Certified™, have 10 or more employees in the country they are being Certified, and be operating in the industry relevant to a specific Industry list if applicable (i.e. Healthcare, Technology). If categories are being listed within a National list, category break downs are as follows: Companies with 10-29 people were considered for the Micro category; those with 30 to 99 people for the Small category; companies with 100 to 999 employees were considered for the Medium category; and those with 1,000 or more for the Large category. Some lists in certain countries may combine categories in which case that will be specified in the list breakdown.
While essay responses provide important context for rankings, only survey data can garner a list placement.

Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces for Women™ List Methodology

The data science behind this list from Great Place To Work®

Great Place To Work® has been surveying employees around the world about their workplace experiences for 30 years. We have developed a set of themes and metrics that not only predict whether employees feel their workplace is great, but predict retention, agility, and overall business success.  

Using our proprietary Trust Index™ survey, we measure the core of what we know creates great workplaces — key behaviors that drive trust in management, connection with colleagues, and loyalty to the company.  

The survey enables employees to share confidential quantitative and qualitative feedback about their organization’s culture by responding to 60 statements on a five-point scale and answering two open-ended questions.

Employees tell us whether leaders are accessible, communicate honestly and clearly, and if their actions match their words. They tell us whether they feel respected as individuals, if they receive training benefits, appreciation, support for their well-being and opportunities to contribute. They tell us whether they believe their company is fair related to pay, profits, promotions, recognition, favoritism and opportunities. They tell us if they are proud of their work, their team, and their company, and if they feel they make a difference and their work is meaningful. And they tell us whether they enjoy the people they work with, feel cared for and can be themselves.  

List rankings are based on this employee feedback, which we analyze to determine the extent to which this experience is shared by the full workforce. Great Place To Work measures the differences in survey responses across demographic groups and roles within each organization to assess both the quality and consistency of the employee experience. Statements are weighted according to their relevance in describing the most important aspects of an equitable workplace. 

The best companies create great work experiences not just for management, but also for their part-time employees on the front lines, for those who’ve just joined and those who’ve spent their whole career there, for every race and ethnicity, gender, neurotype, or other demographic in the organization – we look at it all. Companies with the broadest set of employees who report positive workplace experience receive the highest rankings on lists.

In addition to analyzing employee feedback, for National List’s for companies in the Medium and Large size categories, we also consider what a company can tell us about their programs and workplace strategy. Each company also answers six essay questions that provide greater insight into how, and why the organization is great for all people. Responses are rigorously evaluated and cross-reviewed according to Great Place To Work’s research-driven criteria. From what companies share in datapoints and essays, we identify the organizations that offer the most generous, caring and innovative cultures that reflect a genuine commitment to meet the diversity of their people’s needs inside and outside the workplace as validated by what employees themselves report in survey results.
Where an industry list is being revealed (i.e. Healthcare, Technology) additional information provided from an organization in the form of a culture audit will not be considered; rather we analyze employee feedback from the Trust Index survey with the above methodology.

Because employee feedback drives these rankings, surveys must meet strict requirements for how they are distributed and the percentage of employees who respond to ensure they accurately represent honest feedback from the company’s full population. To be eligible for the list, companies must be Great Place To Work Certified™, have 10 or more employees in the country they are being Certified, and be operating in the industry relevant to a specific Industry list if applicable (i.e. Healthcare, Technology). If categories are being listed within a National list, category break downs are as follows: Companies with 10-29 people were considered for the Micro category; those with 30 to 99 people for the Small category; companies with 100 to 999 employees were considered for the Medium category; and those with 1,000 or more for the Large category. Some lists in certain countries may combine categories in which case that will be specified in the list breakdown.
While essay responses provide important context for rankings, only survey data can garner a list placement.

Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces™ in Australia 2024 Evaluation Methodology

The data science behind this list from Great Place To Work®

Great Place To Work® has been surveying employees around the world about their workplace experiences for 30 years. We have developed a set of themes and metrics that not only predict whether employees feel their workplace is great, but predict retention, agility, and overall business success.  

Using our proprietary Trust Index™ survey, we measure the core of what we know creates great workplaces — key behaviors that drive trust in management, connection with colleagues, and loyalty to the company.  

The survey enables employees to share confidential quantitative and qualitative feedback about their organization’s culture by responding to 60 statements on a five-point scale and answering two open-ended questions.

Employees tell us whether leaders are accessible, communicate honestly and clearly, and if their actions match their words. They tell us whether they feel respected as individuals, if they receive training benefits, appreciation, support for their well-being and opportunities to contribute. They tell us whether they believe their company is fair related to pay, profits, promotions, recognition, favoritism and opportunities. They tell us if they are proud of their work, their team, and their company, and if they feel they make a difference and their work is meaningful. And they tell us whether they enjoy the people they work with, feel cared for and can be themselves.  

List rankings are based on this employee feedback, which we analyze to determine the extent to which this experience is shared by the full workforce. Great Place To Work measures the differences in survey responses across demographic groups and roles within each organization to assess both the quality and consistency of the employee experience. Statements are weighted according to their relevance in describing the most important aspects of an equitable workplace. 

The best companies create great work experiences not just for management, but also for their part-time employees on the front lines, for those who’ve just joined and those who’ve spent their whole career there, for every race and ethnicity, gender, neurotype, or other demographic in the organization – we look at it all. Companies with the broadest set of employees who report positive workplace experience receive the highest rankings on lists.

In addition to analyzing employee feedback, for National List’s for companies in the Medium and Large size categories, we also consider what a company can tell us about their programs and workplace strategy. Each company also answers six essay questions that provide greater insight into how, and why the organization is great for all people. Responses are rigorously evaluated and cross-reviewed according to Great Place To Work’s research-driven criteria. From what companies share in datapoints and essays, we identify the organizations that offer the most generous, caring and innovative cultures that reflect a genuine commitment to meet the diversity of their people’s needs inside and outside the workplace as validated by what employees themselves report in survey results.
Where an industry list is being revealed (i.e. Healthcare, Technology) additional information provided from an organization in the form of a culture audit will not be considered; rather we analyze employee feedback from the Trust Index survey with the above methodology.

Because employee feedback drives these rankings, surveys must meet strict requirements for how they are distributed and the percentage of employees who respond to ensure they accurately represent honest feedback from the company’s full population. To be eligible for the list, companies must be Great Place To Work Certified™, have 10 or more employees in the country they are being Certified, and be operating in the industry relevant to a specific Industry list if applicable (i.e. Healthcare, Technology). If categories are being listed within a National list, category break downs are as follows: Companies with 10-29 people were considered for the Micro category; those with 30 to 99 people for the Small category; companies with 100 to 999 employees were considered for the Medium category; and those with 1,000 or more for the Large category. Some lists in certain countries may combine categories in which case that will be specified in the list breakdown.
While essay responses provide important context for rankings, only survey data can garner a list placement.