Is there no real camaraderie in your office? Do people keep to themselves and speak only when addressed? Sometimes the boss sets the tone and the atmosphere is so serious and dense, you could cut it with a knife. It is simply no fun to work in such an environment. You barely crack a smile throughout the day. Every office needs a little fun and humor from time to time. But how do you start?
You can’t expect things to change by themselves, so if you want to see a change in tone, you must take action. People are reticent but they appreciate a push if they get good results. Doing “secret Santas” at Christmas is a good way to start and break the ice. You can suggest after work drinks at the local bar, or a lunch partner round robin where players automatically meet new people. I have seen games succeed if they are inter-departmental. You can bet on something as a group, play fantasy football, etc. If people won’t be offended, you can have a losing weight contest with prizes. The boss could be the only one to know the poundage and award the winner.
If you have enough staff, perhaps you can organize a talent show to present to the entire company. I have been involved in many and they bring out the best in everyone. There is more talent in a company than you may realize. Here are some of the best examples from shows I have been in or attended.
· A comedy monologue is funny just because we know the person giving it in another context. Just be sure to keep it tasteful.
· Music is always a great showcase of office talent. It can be a solo, duet, trio, etc. Add dancing if you like.
· A great singing voice is irresistible. A choir isn’t bad either.
· A skit can be hilarious, like the silly ones we wrote in high school and college.
· Impersonations are a hoot. Anything goes. Think a cut above Halloween.
· Recitation of a famous poem with the lines altered humorously.
· “This is your life” of the company boss. It has to be a well-known person. Bring in friends and family to add to the fun. Try to include surprises.
· Improvisational theater. Give the volunteers a topic and see what they come up with.
Now you have an idea of how to foster more openness in the office and more connection between people. Extraverts are by nature ready, willing, and able. Let the introverts in on the fun. Once the ball is rolling, it will take off in new directions.