Recently a client’s company was purchased by a much larger organization. The new owners were impressed with the smaller company’s HR function, particularly the employee manual. The big company’s CEO asked my client to prepare an employee manual for the new combined entity and suggested using the existing manual as the model. My client wrote the new manual, and when it came back from the CEO’s review, only one sentence was red-lined, “We have fun!”
Why would he red-line that phrase? You can’t have fun at work? You’re not working hard if you’re having fun?
Another client just sold a significant part of her business, requiring a substantial level of transition work. By midnight on a specified date, the entire inventory had to be transferred, reports run, and balances balanced. All hands were on deck overnight and until 8:00 am the next morning, but there was no complaining, people worked hard, and the manager stayed out of the way and provided food and support for his team. Everyone was focused on what they needed to do, and there was an underlying enjoyment of the work, perhaps better known as having fun.
Fun can be the satisfaction of a job well done. It can be being on a well-organized and winning team. Fun is a reflection of the organization’s values and culture. Is that something you’d want to red-line out?
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