This has been a pretty challenging year for employee morale across most businesses, but today being Halloween gives you as a manager the perfect excuse to inject a little fun into your workplace. Researchers from California State University Long Beach determined that people who have fun at work are more creative, more productive, work better with others, and call in sick less often.
Many people think of Halloween as just an event for children to extort candy from their neighbors in exchange for avoiding "tricks" often involving eggs, soap suds and toilet paper (not necessarily in that order). However, there is no rule preventing adults from a little childish fun. Since the economy has been less than robust, here are some low cost ideas for some Halloween fun in your workplace.
1. Even the most serious of businesses like hospitals get into the costume act. If they can do it, so can you. Let people vote on their favorites and award small prizes. Even if you just decide to do this today, make it impromptu and see the creative things people can come up with using what is hanging around your workplace.
2. Who doesn't appreciate a little gratuitous candy? If that goes against your company culture, then give out small toys like slinky's, yo-yos, and the little airplane gliders. You can even stage impromptu contests to see who can do the most tricks with the various toys. In one of my offices we had the office cube olympics, in which one of the games involved throwing a little souvenir football over the greatest number of cubes.
3. Challenge your team to a pumpkin carving contest. It is always fun to see who has hidden talents. I wouldn't recommend this if you have concerns about any of your employees wielding knives, especially when your back is turned. In that case, or in case of policies forbidding knives and sharp objects, use magic markers instead and make it a pumpkin decorating contest.
If you are already on top of this, then congratulations! Yours is probably a pretty great place to work and you are reaping the benefits of greater employee satisfaction like lower absenteeism and higher productivity, not to mention having a little fun yourself in the process.