We all like to have fun, but you can have too much of it, and too little.
Too much fun
Salespeople occupy their positions for one purpose: to make sales.When there is too much fun in the office it can often be at the expense of results. Leaders tread a fine line between balancing results while still making their offices a happy place to work.
Notice that I said ‘happy’ and not ‘fun’. Happy offices are not always fun offices. Sometimes the team focuses on work, happily, because everybody is pulling in the one direction without office politics, hidden agenda, or other negative issues chipping away at morale.
But there have to be regular pressure releases or the work will grind your people down over time.
Remember the saying, “All work and no play makes…” Some leaders put too much pressure on their people but don’t diffuse it with a bit of fun. Sure, we have to focus on results, but a team that laughs together is a bonded team.
It doesn’t cost the agency much to down tools occasionally and order in pizza, wine, beer and soft drinks, and to show appreciation to the team that generates the income and profit.
Too little fun
Some offices are joyless places. You can never imagine the leader cracking a joke. Everybody is serious and, often, scared. Scared to do anything wrong for fear of the leader becoming angry. People stay because many find starting a new job daunting, but these people can’t wait for the weekend, to get out of their workplaces.
These offices are often notable for their small teams and for high staff turnover.
One leader I know was a superb salesperson, but in twenty years of running his own business had never been able to build a long term winning team. I can’t remember how many times over the years I said to him, “Lighten up will you?” but he wouldn’t: perhaps he couldn’t.
He enjoyed longevity in business simply because of his selling ability but he never truly built a business because he didn’t bring people along with him. Nobody succeeds alone.
In my opinion, his office was a dour place to work. Even those who made money didn’t stay long. Some even went into opposition with their former leader, meaning that loyalty was zero.
Balance is the key
Being a leader, we should control the intensity within our businesses – the intensity at which the business focuses on results, and the intensity at which our people play when at work.
Get this right and we build happy environments, with a blend of focus and fun. Build an environment like that and people might just want to stay… and produce results.