I was recently a motivational speaker for a Midwestern bank. They hired me to teach them to have more fun at work.
Apparently they had tried this fun at work thing, and it was not working. In fact the fun program was creating a lot of work.
They had implemented a fun system that rewarded them with prizes, coupons and activities when they accomplished certain performance milestones.
The fun system lasted several months and they scrapped it.
As I discussed it with the bank CEO, we found the challenges are...
A system creates work. You need to track performance and keep enticing people with prizes.
The prizes can create entitlement and possibly competition.
Very quickly the fun, prizes, etc became expected and people were no longer interested
The saying time flies when your having fun is only true because fun is NOT forced. You don't plan it to death and bound it by rules.
Usually fun has an unexpected and spontaneous quality.
Tying fun to work shouldn't require work.
Fun at work is a spirit and vitality that carries itself. Most of the time it's just about not getting in the way of that fun.
Spontaneous prizes, give aways and friendly competitions can be fun, just don't beat the fun out of them by casting them in rules.
As a motivational speaker for the bank I spent the time reigniting there passion for humor, play, fun and laughter. My hope after this is that the spirit of humor will organically spread through a vitality of play.