How much time do you as a leader spend thinking about fun? Is your workplace fun? Do you have fun at work? What the hell does fun have to do with anything?
Here’s the thing though: fun is one of the most powerful, yet under utilised tools for driving behaviour and a positive culture.
As simple as it may sound, having fun makes it easier to get motivated to do the things necessary for our success. To “make a game of it”, is something you’ve probably heard, but have you ever thought about how having fun can affect performance, behaviour and attitude?
Volkswagen, together with agency DDB put together a campaign called The Fun Theory (thefuntheory.com), which is “is dedicated to the thought that something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better. ”
They tested the theory with a number of fascinating experiments. The first, and probably most well known, is when they replaced the stairs next to the escalator with piano keys, playing a tune every time you step your way up the stairs. The idea was simple: could we get more people to take the stairs, as opposed to the escalator, just by making it fun?
The results speak for themselves. Check the video below to see just how many more people take the stairs, based on fun and curiosity.
In fact, 66% more people chose the stairs over the escalator during the experiment period.
Can we apply the same thing to work, and in particular sales? Of course!
Let me give an example, actually one that we have implemented here at Sparta. Like many B2B companies, cold calling and booking meetings is one of core elements of our sales process. However, it’s clearly not the most fun activity. So, we made a game of it.
We call it “The Pit”. Twice a week, for two hours - we meet in The Pit. The objective? 50 dials and 2 booked meetings. Once you’ve completed those numbers, you can exit the pit.
Simple, fun and SUPER effective. The Pit has become one of the most fun parts of our week, when we gather together, work hard together and live through The Pit together :)
This makes it easier to grind out those calls.
Another example. I met a company recently who was struggling to have great phone calls. Their calls were fast, boring and not at all great discussions. Their salespeople were struggling to add energy, buzz and fun to the calls. The prospects on the other line bored quickly, and started reading the news on the other end.
They needed a way to get their salespeople to improve their phone personas. What they devised was genius.
They set up competitions where the sales rep was rewarded with 10 points every time they dropped a famous movie quote into the phone pitch. Yes, they had to maintain a professional tone, yet the sales reps immediately loosened up, started laughing more and became instantly more likeable.
Small changes that make work more fun can have a remarkably big impact on your employees, their work rate and of course the sales results.
Don’t forget fun. It’s one of the most underused, yet powerful motivators we have!