As managers and leaders in the radio business, having fun can sometimes become difficult. A lot is being asked and expected of you and it grows daily. But somehow through all of this you, need to be the CEO of fun and positivity.
Fun is a vibe that permeates the workplace and when people are having fun, they are generally super-focused on creativity and innovation and enjoy doing it. You can feel it when you walk through a radio station that is having fun; there is energy, personality and teamwork. And most of all, as a listener you can hear a radio station that is having fun!
Here are a few things you can do to create fun, and no, it is not the mantra, “If we don’t start having fun around here, heads will roll.”
First, the environment needs to have a personality and really be fun. Encourage employees to decorate and personalize their workspaces. In fact, have a contest for the most creative workspace. We sometimes forget that this is show business and the radio station needs to be putting on a show!
Second, as part of creating this fun environment, create a fun and games area. As long as there is a TV monitor, this is easy — get a variety of video games and a couple of consoles and start a station tournament with a weekly winner. If you have the space, a ping-pong table is always popular.
Third, create a fun employee motivation contest. At one of my stations, I had a “cookie board” which was basically a large bulletin board which showed all of the names of our team. When a team member did something above and beyond the call of duty or something outside the realm of their responsibilities, I would award them a “cookie” which I pinned on the board under their name. (The cookies were actually little paper cookies I printed on my computer; I had to stay in budget.) When someone received 10 cookies, they were awarded $100. It was bigger than I ever could have imagined. Even my multi-million dollar morning host was fighting to win “cookies.” It became a common ask around the station, “Jay, do I get a cookie for this?”
Take a few minutes and walk around the station, catch someone doing something right; celebrate National Wear Shorts To Work Day and allow the staff to all wear shorts and do a creative shorts contest, within reason. The list goes on and on.
Always keep in mind that most of us in this business are social creatures and that a little fun goes a long way.