Making the workplace more fun does not consist of adding lounges for the staff, putting video games in the break room or making the atmosphere more lax. Your staff might tell you that’s what they want, but in reality that is not going to get you or them very far.
Let’s face it. You’ve hired employees because you want them to get work done that can be provided to your customers in exchange for money, and you have certain business/personal goals you want to meet. Your employees are there because they want to make a living and reach their own goals. Now doesn’t it follow that if you and your employees were reaching those goals that you would be having a lot more fun? Don’t you think they would be excited to come to work every day if they knew that it meant getting one step closer to their goals? How do you make that happen? It’s easier than you think!
In a nutshell, high production must be rewarded – the higher the production, the more reward/income your employees should be able to earn. This of course benefits the company as well. Every employee’s final product must be measurable. I’ll give you an example. The Marketing Director’s responsibility might be getting new patients, so their weekly product quota would be in terms of “# of new patients.” You would then work out a minimum “bottom line” number they must achieve each week as well as a higher figure that, when attained, gets rewarded with a bonus. And the higher their numbers, the bigger the bonus.
This works much better than annual raises based solely on longevity in which long term employees can just coast along, knowing they’re going to get their raise no matter what.
Another aspect of this might be profit sharing. You could work out a system that allows for disbursing a percentage of the profits to your employees when certain levels of income are achieved. In order for an employee to receive a share, they must personally be meeting or exceeding their individual “bottom-line” production levels.
In implementing these, you may at first run into some resistance from staff, but you will very quickly be able to weed out those who don’t actually produce enough and therefore don’t want to be put on the spot. The high producers will fully embrace it and thank you for implementing a system which appropriately rewards them.