Just add laughter and Personality (in vast amounts and often)
Recently there have been reports from a management body, that think we, (men especially), should control the amount of time we talk about sport at work, because it encourages ‘Laddish Behaviour’. To me it’s another example of someone with not a lot to say, trying to get noticed whilst being divorced from reality. But rather than ‘go on about the rights and wrongs’ or what they thought they were trying to do I want to encourage people in business and in your business to use two things that make them and the business in which they work, the brilliant place it should be.
I am a very big advocate of having a lot of fun in your workplace. Having fun is not unprofessional – everyone benefits and people like to be involved.
The most noticeable example I have seen of this in recent times was by a national fresh juice business that has grown to have hundreds of outlets in a very short time. A visit to one of these stores is like visiting the theatre.
The team have a lot of interaction with each other and they laugh, they have fun, they clown around and they generally seem to be having a pretty good time. As a customer it is very refreshing to watch a group of young, energetic people having fun doing what they are doing. It makes the whole experience far more enjoyable. Judging by the way this business is growing, there is no shortage of customers who share my views.
An excellent book that promotes the concept of bringing some fun into the workplace is Fish by Stephen Lundin. The author bases his recommendations on his observations of a very successful fish mongering business at the Pike Place Fish Markets in Seattle.
The book has sold millions of copies worldwide so there appears to be a lot of support for the idea that it is not only okay to bring some fun into your workplace, it is actually a very significant method to help build a successful business. Lighten up your business and encourage your team to bring some humour and fun into the workplace. Personally I believe it shows the staff have a degree of confidence in the business when they feel comfortable enough to enjoy themselves.
If you haven’t already purchased a copy of the book Fish, today is the day.
Buy it, read it and put some of the author’s recommendations into action.
The other thing I want to encourage is people to bring their personality to work
I believe that the days of the faceless employee are over and I say good riddance.
Sterile workplaces, nameless faces and an overall sense of being just a number in the machine needed to go. People like personalities and I believe it is something that should be encouraged.
Sure, there is a limit – we can’t have people being too over- the-top or gregarious to the point that it is intimidating, but encourage your staff to make work a reflection of themselves- it has many benefits. Most importantly your staff will enjoy their work a lot more. They will tend to be more relaxed and happier and they will feel a sense of ownership regarding the business. If they are enjoying themselves they will offer better levels of service and your customers will notice the difference.
How you encourage people to bring their personality to work is up to you.
It might be personal items at their desk; it might be what they wear or what they say. Bringing personality into a business environment is being encouraged at senior management levels, in fact it is essential, so why not adopt the same principles at all levels of your business.
As a business owner and entrepreneur you bring your own personality and flair to work. Encourage others to do the same and your business will benefit from it.
Here I want to quickly write about a friend of mine that genuinely, not only brings their personality to work, but also their business is an extension of their personality.
I’d like to introduce you to Andy Pearson, owner of ‘Drive Like A Rockstar’ Driving School. His business and he personally are so far removed from what a driving school or a driving instructor should be like, it’s brilliant and unique.
Andy worked for a major national franchise when he first started. Previous to that he had mainly worked on building sites and within in the construction and electrical industry, so he had almost zero knowledge of an industry that was so cluttered with the ‘same old, same old’. He quickly realised that he was not going to make a lot of money working for them. So he sought a fresh perspective on a driving school.
Andy is heavily tattooed. Andy loves rock music. Add those two together and you would think that the answer is the total opposite of what a driving school should be. But, like many people and businesses, people are prone to incorrect misconceptions.
Andy is a thoroughly nice bloke. He’s also incredibly skilful at what he does with a fantastic record and a top grading within the industry. He also thought that there was a misconception about some of the students that get into instructors cars when they have tattoo’s and love ‘Guns and Roses’. His only previous experience of running a business was running a Rock band and because he was proud of his achievements in that industry, targeted an ‘audience’ rather than customers.
So Andy brought his personality to his business and set up ‘Drive Like A Rockstar’ and is now expanding. The flamed look car. The graphics, even the way he dresses is absolutely ‘Rockstar’ status. He’s in the regular running for National Awards within the industry. He’s recently been asked to work as a ‘judge’ on a panel from Derby University looking at new concepts and new ideas. So whilst some may mock, his business has gone from strength to strength, using his personality and his uniqueness as his strength. He attracts the customers that want a unique experience and want to learn with someone that understands and ‘gets’ what they like in life.
So don’t let the doom mongers water down your business or you…it’s 2020…we know where the boundaries are and we’re all adult enough to know the difference between offensive and fun…we’re only here ounces whilst we’re here we might as well have some fun and show the world what we got!