Is Your Business Fun?

Today’s newsletter is going to be short because I am traveling but it actually reminded me of one of the key traits you want in your business. And it’s one of the things that as a small business you can definitely include and which is much harder for larger businesses to replicate.

I was reminded of how a business can build fun into what it does, even as it takes doing a great job seriously. For my flight out of town, I flew Virgin Atlantic, an airline I always try to use when I am going to Europe. I generally don’t have too much loyalty to airlines and just look for the cheapest direct route, but I always make an exception for this route if I can.

Why? Because I have never had a bad experience on this airline. Maybe I’ve just been lucky, but I don’t think so. I think it comes down to how they run their business.

The first time I flew it was by accident, but every time after I have made the choice to use them. I have since read the autobiography of Virgin founder Richard Branson which made me want to use them even more. Branson has an amazing entrepreneur story, starting with founding Virgin Records back when records were a thing.

He worked with lots of famous musicians and made a real mark on the music business even though he never even made it out of high school. But he wasn’t one to stop there. He’s since started dozens of ventures under the Virgin brand, including an airline!

He started Virgin to compete with British Airlines (BA), which was a company known for its stuffy service and high prices. Branson wanted to be the opposite of that and despite BA trying every trick in the book, including many dirty ones, to keep them out of the sky he was ultimately able to prevail and get his airline launched.

So today, when I went to board, the first thing I saw was a male flight attendant, dressed in the male uniform, except when it came to his shoes, which were three-inch high heels. Clearly, this was still a company that allowed employees to be themselves and was not too concerned with appearances!

Now I don’t care what anyone wears – everyone is free to do what they want as long as it’s not hurting anyone else in my opinion – but this was not something I think a lot of companies would be OK with, even today, but it was cool to see that Virgin obviously didn’t care either as long as it was some uniform!

And the service was still as great as I remembered and the experience was still top-notch. More importantly, the staff seemed to really enjoy their jobs and genuinely want to provide a great experience and even get to know passengers a bit. Which is not something I see on too many other airlines! Southwest used to have some of this spirit but I can’t say I’ve seen it lately. On the other hand, Spirit Airlines has none of it at all!

So how does this relate to my business or yours? Well, I can say with confidence when people are having fun at work the customers are going to notice. That positive energy is going to flow over to their customer interactions and people will remember and feel good about their experience with us. I personally try to connect with everyone I speak with and get a laugh going if I can.

Not because of some cynical reason that relates to making a sale (although people are much more likely to buy from people they like and connect with) but because I would rather spend my days at work laughing and enjoying as much of it as I can versus being stiff and formal and not like my usual self.

For your business, you can ask yourself do your employees seem like they are having fun at work?

If not, why not? Can you get them to loosen up and be in better spirits? Maybe they are taking their cues from you – are you not having fun at work? Why not?

You spend enough time there you really should be trying to enjoy it as much as you can. Big corporate businesses (Virgin excepted!) generally have a hard time figuring out how to make fun a part of work but small businesses don’t have the same restrictions.

You can encourage people to be authentic and real with customers, including joking around. Of course, you don’t want jokes at the expense of others but that still leaves a lot of room for laughing. And if you can laugh at work it suddenly feels a lot less like a long day and a lot more like something to look forward to – for you and your staff and your customers!

If you can have a work environment where having fun is not just an accident but something you can encourage and build into the process I think the rewards you’ll see will amaze you and you’ll be glad you lost the formality and let your fun side show. 

Spread the word:

Similar Posts