Management Articles


Tips to Make Work More Fun

By: Gregory P. Smith

Greg Smith's cutting-edge keynotes, consulting, and training programs have helped businesses reduce turnover, increase sales, hire superior people, and deliver better customer service. As President and founder of Chart Your Course International, He has implemented professional development programs for thousands of organizations globally. Greg has authored eight informative books including Here Today, Here Tomorrow: Transforming Your Workforce from High Turnover to High Retention and 401 Proven Ways to Retain Your Best Employees. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information, visit or call (770) 860-9464.

Here are a few new tips you can adapt to help you create a more productive and motivating work environment.

Recognize with a Title: Employers have discovered that people do care about their job titles--sometimes they will even choose the better title over more pay. A recent graduate with a desire to move up in a chosen career field may feel that acquiring a title which will look good on the resume is worth accepting a little less money. Recruiters have discovered that they receive a better response with well-chosen job titles. You can also encourage an employee by giving him or her a prestigious title even if you cannot afford to pay more money.

Gold Stars and Frogs: At Wachovia Bank, each Monday morning they set milestones for the week with input from staff members. On Friday, employees receive a Gold Star and $2.00 (funny money) for each milestone met. Employees can also recognize their peers with a sticker of a frog, which is worth $1.00.  Staff members display the gold stars and frogs on a white cardboard poster.  At the end of each month, they hold a random drawing for a dinner ($50.00) and movies ($25.00).

Generate Competition! A tip from the US Air Force. Once each quarter the Wing Commander recognizes the airman, NCO and Sr. NCO of the quarter at a Commander’s Call. Nominations come from within each unit, which then works to support their nominee, thereby generating competition between units.

Birthday Club. Energize your employees with fun! Once a month hold a Monthly Birthday Club celebration. At break-time, have special “goodies” and recognize employees who have a birthday that month with a card.

Reward Good Health. At Cornell University, an Excellent Attendance Program rewards employees who do not use a sick day within a six-months period with a day off, plus a certificate of recognition given at a special luncheon.

Improve Quality, Cost, Performance. At Melroe Company, employees who submit ideas to improve quality, cost, and performance are eligible for a $90.00 gift certificate to Wal-Mart.   At a yearly banquet for all contributors, the company also gives larger cash awards and items such as televisions.

Work to Earn Time Off.  At Grayson College Golf Course, employees who did not miss a day of work for three weeks received a day off, which they could use on days when bad weather meant the course was not busy.

Butts for Balls. At Pine Oaks Golf Course, employees receive one bag of range balls for picking up one cup of cigarette butts.

A Work of Art at NASA.  The graphics artist made caricatures of different groups and used the artwork pictures as awards which team members proudly display them on their desks. Eventually, everyone on the team got a picture.

Create an Employee Activity Fund. A tip from the Navy. Use an annual “auction” to raise employee activity funds. Management agrees to contribute (i.e., paying for a round of golf). Funds raised from the auction are used for office functions, etc.

Fun at Work.  Consider these ideas to boost employee morale.         
  • At Certilman, Balin, Adler & Hyman (East Meadows, NY law firm) they hold a free lunch in the conference room each day for all 25 partners.  Started as an opportunity to discuss business, it soon turned into an enthusiastic social gathering.

  • At JW Genesis Financial Corp. (Boca Raton, FL), Vice-Chairman Joel Marks allows workers to view TV-sitcom tapes (such as “Seinfeld”) during the lunch break.

  • Southwest Airlines encourages crew members to joke with the passengers.

  • Terry Deal, business professor at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, has noted that companies which allow some play in the workplace often realize higher profits.

© Copyright 2000 Gregory P. Smith

Books by Gregory P. Smith

(You are viewing the U.S. bookstore. Click here to view the Canadian store.)

Other Articles by Gregory P. Smith

The author assumes full responsibility for the contents of this article and retains all of its property rights. ManagerWise publishes it here with the permission of the author. ManagerWise assumes no responsibility for the article's contents.


Place "+" (without the quotes) in front of words that must appear; "-" to exclude articles with certain words; and put double quotes around phrases. For example, fantastic search will find all case studies with either the word "fantastic" or "search" (or both). On the other hand, +fantastic +search will find only case studies with the words "fantastic" and "search". "fantastic search" will find only case studies that with the phrase "fantastic search". Note: Searches will not find words, such as 'management', that appear in more than half of the articles or words less than five letters long.


Would you like us to consider your own articles for publication? Please review our submission and editorial guidelines by clicking here.