Supervisory Leadership

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Why not create a work environment that is fun?

Fun at work should be an outcome of good work, not a means of getting good work. Most of the people who want to create a fun environment at work are really trying to slap a coat of paint on a rotten work environment and call it fixed.

What most people want from work is to do make a contribution to important work with people they get along with. They want an environment where expectations are clear and reasonable, feedback is frequent and helpful, and where consequences match up to performance.

If you create that kind of working environment, there might be "fun" things, like checking in on the basketball playoffs. But that's because your people come to work whole and the playoffs might interest them.

You have two jobs as a boss: accomplish the mission and care for the people. "Fun" things can be part of the caring, but only if you've already got that great work environment.

And don't be fooled by anecdotes about companies like Google. The reason that haircuts and food and dry cleaning services are available is that they're part of the cultural bargain that says you're going to spend a lot of time at work.

Wally

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