Can HR be fun? Really? I think so with a couple creative ideas:
New Hire Betting Pool – This could be a lot of fun. Every time we start a new employee we could put money into a pot and whoever guesses the longest time they stay (or shortest) gets the money. If they stay longer then 90 days the employee gets the money!
Target Practice – set up a BB gun range in the back parking lot. We can use any number of things for targets: Best practices, “Zappos”, ROWE, open enrollment or performance management just to name a few. Think of how much fun this would be. Finally, HR would be the “cool department” that everyone one would want to hang out with. We could even start charging people to use the range. Then we would be a money maker!
HR Happy Hour – I’m only half joking on this one. Seriously, HR should sponsor a happy hour event. If you include free alcohol your employees would definitely come at least for a free drink. What better way to build team spirit and engagement?
I know these ideas are a bit on the ridiculous side. There are probably a whole host of reasons why your company can’t do one or any of these. I get it. But…the key here is giving ourselves a place or activity to blow off some steam.
HR can be a stressful place. In the course of a day you could be dealing with new hires (usually a bundle of nerves), counseling an employee that is upset with their manager or vice versa. And in between all that stuff you are trying to get your own job done; not an easy or stress free place.
HR can become more fun by taking a deep breath and letting off some steam. And no I wasn’t serious about the BB gun range but I am serious about these tactics:
1. Stop thinking that HR has to be the police – unless someone is being unethical or illegal don’t think you need to police everyone. Let managers manage.
2. Get rid of the rigid policies that no one follows anyway – enough said.
3. Lighten up – laugh at the jokes you think are funny, even if they are slightly off color.
4. Go eat lunch with people that aren’t in the HR department and encourage others on your team to do the same – really its okay. You can go to lunch with people outside of HR and not leak the family secrets.
5. Go to Happy Hour- Again you can go to happy hour and consume alcohol without spreading the company secrets; its called moderation.
6. Get into social media – by now most companies have a social media account. Get out there and use it or create your own Facebook page (check out All Children’s Hospital HR Facebook). Mix up the professional stuff with funny, goofy stuff like “its backwards day”
None of the above costs any money (unless you are buying lunch or drinks) but goes a long way towards having some fun and developing a better reputation for HR. At most companies, HR probably isn’t the “cool” department but it doesn’t mean you can’t do stuff to change that. So really stop reading this post and go do something fun. Everyone needs to blow off steam and laugh out loud. Start modeling that behavior!