When Matt O’Hayer and his wife Catherine Stewart first started Vital Farms, they were selling pasture-raised eggs from their own small flock of happy hens, humanely raised on their farmland in Austin, Texas. At the time, nobody really believed they could scale their family business to make pasture-raised eggs a viable model, but that’s exactly what they did.
"There is no more effective way to empower people than to see each person in terms of his or her strengths."
- Don Clifton
Several years ago, imageOne began offering employees Community Days — one paid day off a year to volunteer for any cause or organization of their choosing. Although team members thought it was an attractive benefit in theory, few were actually taking advantage of their allotted paid volunteer time off. It's not that they were against the idea or were bad people (no way, our team is amazing!) — it was because we hadn't demonstrated the value that makes it an organizational priority.
In the past decade, I’ve had the opportunity to talk with many business leaders and one of the most common challenges that they face is in how to create a culture that promotes fun and gets great results.
I often read about the newest fad in fun workplace cultures; ping-pong tables, drinks, unlimited vacation time, putting for dollars, and other fun perks. And while those perks can certainly contribute to a fun culture, they are not the answer for an engaged workforce.
Many question when it’s time to turn off the fun and turn on the results. But having fun and getting great results are not mutually exclusive practices. In my experience, both are indispensable to organizational health, and one without the other does not create a healthy culture. Having fun without getting results is just goofing off; and getting results without having fun is… well, not fun!
Here are 4 ways that we have fun and get great results at SEI.