Fun – More Than Just a Good Time
“Fun” is one of our core values at Footers Catering and it’s rooted in the first part of our mission statement; “Love what we do”. My wife, April, and I have set out to build a culture where our team is genuinely happy, where we like the camaraderie of the people we work with and where we enjoy working hard to create exceptional experiences for our clients and their guests. Because catering demands hard work, and requires working on many nights, weekends and holidays, it makes it even more important that we all factor fun into our lives.
As part of our commitment to create fun throughout the year and in anticipation of the Summer Olympics in Rio, we recently hosted the “Footers Olympics” for our team. We divided employees into teams (countries) prior to the event and for three hours at a nearby park we competed in six field day games such as an egg on a spoon relay, a sling-shot sponge launch, and a water balloon toss. While we’ve done a great job of engagement with our management and full time team, we have historically struggled with engaging our part time work force and front of the house team members. We were able to overcome that challenge at this event and had over 60 people attend with all of the departments (kitchen, warehouse, sales/office, service team) well represented.
Part of that success was a result of personal invitations. We had team captains reach out to the people on their team directly instead of relying on a mass email to the entire team. These emails/texts encouraged the team members to dress up in their country colors, got people excited about the games we were playing and provided a more compelling reason to attend.
Fun is not only enjoyable, it has been proven to provide stress relief, a connection to others, and can stimulate creativity and problem solving. Fun keeps people happy and although many people think that success sparks happiness, it’s actually the other way around. The happiest people tend to be the most successful. Fun in the workplace also helps to strengthen relationships among team members, which in turn fosters understanding. Despite our best efforts, it seems that catering doesn’t always go according to plan and in these cases we are forced to make adjustments on the fly. A team who can work together and understand that everyone is trying their best will have a much better chance of success than a team who looks to blame someone for what went wrong.
I know It’s hard to let yourself have fun when there seems to be an endless list of responsibilities and obligations both personally and professionally. At Footers the second half of the year is shaping up to be incredibly busy and everyone is going to have to work extremely hard to make sure we deliver on our promise to create those exceptional experiences. To make sure we all stay on top of our game, we are encouraging everyone to find ways to continue creating fun while at work and make time for some fun outside of work as well. So I pose the question to you – What fun are you planning for your team or yourself?