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Putting The Fun Back In Work

Why this CEO believes that prioritizing his employees' enjoyment at work will eventually reap growth and profitability.

We’ve all seen the memes about the “Sunday Scaries” or “having a case of the Mondays.” These viral sentiments could have one thinking that work environments are, by design, negative—that we are all just getting through the day.

However, as I have proven within Cyberbacker, the formation of a positive work environment is not only possible, but integral to the success of any business within any industry.

The road to positivity

As leaders, we all want the best for our employees. Goals for the formation of a positive work environment may seem lofty, but they are entirely achievable if one concentrates on what is truly important when forming their company (and it’s not necessarily the bottom line).

Every business needs to be built on a set of strong values that, when developed and set in place, will drive the company forward. Those values—whatever they may be—help direct hiring decisions and give employees a compass to guide their decisions within the workplace.

When thoughtful hiring decisions are made and the people brought on to work within the company share the same values, positivity can radiate from those decisions. With a strong value system reiterated time and again, employees know what to expect, and build a sense of belonging within the company.

I’ve often heard it said that there can be no growth within your comfort zone, and no comfort within the growth zone, and I find this to be true. At Cyberbacker, we encourage our team members to grow beyond their comfort zone through positive reinforcement and support of their various talents, which leads to growth for the business.

Though the workplace may seem to be where fun and enjoyment fade into the background, that doesn’t have to be the case. With the rise of remote work, there has been a renewed interest in bringing fun and enjoyment back to “the office,” especially in cases where teams may be spread around the globe. Injecting a little fun into the day-to-day routine is a great way to bring teams together and forge a corporate community.

According to recent research, 90% of “highly engaged” employees work on what they consider a “fun team.” We spend a lot of our daily lives at work, some of that should be enjoyable.

At Cyberbacker, we have a division called “Funbackers.” This team is tasked with checking in on the emotional wellbeing of the other Cyberbackers within the company. For example, if someone reports that they are feeling lonely, these Funbackers are there not only to validate that emotion, but also to try to help that Cyberbacker work through it. Funbackers at our organization play a crucial role, and it’s important to clarify that they are not volunteers; they are paid team members. Their primary focus is on addressing the human and emotional side of our employees. Essentially, they’re there to ensure that everyone on our team feels great because we believe that when people feel good, they perform at their best. Funbackers contribute significantly to creating a positive and vibrant work environment, ultimately contributing to our team’s overall success.

Keeping on top of these three aspects of a positive work environment will lead you to the fourth: money and wealth. The most important part of this approach to building a positive environment is to remember that the first three considerations must fall in place first before there can be an expectation of financial growth. When you get the value, the growth and the fun right, the money will follow.

The benefits of a positive work environment

There are a wealth of benefits to be expected from a positive work environment, but the most important positive benefit is the rise in productivity, which comes from employees who are happy and engaged with their work. Employees who work within a culture that values their wellbeing are far more likely to be engaged in the work at hand and happy to work with their team toward a common goal.

A positive environment also fosters loyalty to the company, an important consideration at a time when some employers are struggling to attract and retain talent amid the ongoing Great Resignation. According to Pew Research, 57% of people who left their jobs in recent years did so because they felt “disrespected” at work.

A positive environment and work culture will eventually attract top talent to your business. People will be clamoring to work for you, and those people will be more likely to be the ones that fit the positive company values. All of this positivity and employee engagement will be passed down to the customer, improving customer relations and the bottom line.

Unplugging and hiring right

In any company, the CEO is the guardian of the company’s culture and therefore must set a positive example. It’s a fundamental aspect of leadership. If a CEO feels overwhelmed with tasks, it might indicate that they haven’t built the right team around them. A CEO’s role is much like that of a conductor in an orchestra, guiding various elements of the business to create a harmonious result. Trying to do everything alone is quite different from orchestrating a symphony. While many people take pride in being busy, my perspective is distinct; I see myself as a job creator, and my primary job is to create positions and hire the right people to ensure our organization’s success. This approach ensures that I have the necessary support to lead effectively and nurture a thriving company culture.

At Cyberbacker, we have a session that we do with everyone via Zoom called “Unplugged.” This is an opportunity to shout out team members who are doing an exemplary job, to recognize people in a positive way, and allow people to flex about what they feel they are doing right.

All too often, there is a focus on how employees need to improve, do better, produce more or conform to a more negative corporate value system. This negative focus can have the opposite effect—sowing seeds of dissatisfaction and disengagement. By emphasizing positivity, you ultimately drive better productivity, loyalty and ROI.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to hiring right. Leaders need to consider the company’s values and culture of positivity when choosing employees to bring on board. Potential hires with a negative disposition from the get-go are liable to bring an entire team down if leaders allow them to infest the culture they have built.

Positive work environments have long-lasting benefits for both company and individual team members. By keeping values, personal growth, and fun at the center of the company’s approach, success is bound to follow.


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