Make work fun!

By Amy Sleeman, Human Resources Manager

An area of human resources that is near to my heart is employee morale and the positive impact it has on company culture. Statistically speaking, when employees are happy with their work environment the result is better productivity. That’s a strong business case for implementing employee morale-boosting activities, but to me employee morale means more than increased productivity. It means getting up and looking forward to going to work because you actually enjoy your job and the people you work with. For many of us, the workplace is also a social environment, and our co-workers are considered “family.” It’s important that we take time to connect with one another. It makes us a better team.

At our Goodwill, we have a special events committee whose sole responsibility is to create social events at work. How fun is that? Members of the team are from various departments with different levels of responsibility so the employees are well represented. The team hosts monthly events such as our Valentine’s Day Chocolate Fest, Cinco de Mayo Potluck, Dog Daze of Summer Picnic, Halloween Party, Ugly Holiday Sweater Contest … to name a few. All of the activities are intended to break up the day, have a little fun, and present an opportunity to get to know one another a little better. Sometimes we add games and prizes to an event such as $10 gift card or a beach towel just to spice things up.

During the summer we also host our “Potlucks on the Road” in which the special events team, our president, and a few executive staff members, visit our 16 stores (from Manistee … to Newaygo … to Holland) for a lunchtime potluck every other Friday. The team supplies the main dish, while store employees bring some of their favorite side dishes and desserts to share. It’s a great way to meet co-workers face-to-face, share recipes, and learn about what’s going on at each location.


Try adding a little fun to your work environment and see if it doesn’t make work more enjoyable for everyone, including yourself. Judging by the smiles on our employees faces, everyone seems to look forward to the events big or small. Smiles lead to laughter, and laughter in the workplace is a beautiful sound.