In recent years, several Fortune 500 companies have changed their values to include “fun” in hopes of attracting a younger crowd of future applicants and as an overall sign of changing times. The stodgy corporation that existed 50 years ago are a dying breed in the U.S. More and more, companies are reevaluating their workplace and saying it is ok to have a sense of humor about work and to have a little fun while being productive.
Work is more stressful than ever with employees trying to keep up with new technologies, produce more while working with less and just trying to keep a job in this stagnant economy. With a company telling its employees (and the rest of the world) that their company is an amusing place to work, it helps to keep the atmosphere light and maybe the employee doesn’t notice that they are doing the work of 3 others when they win the office’s chili cook-off or are dressed up as a pirate for Halloween.
Of course, there is still a place for more serious-sounding values within companies. It is important not to jump on the “fun” bandwagon if you aren’t ready or that isn’t really who you are. For instance, I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want my investment firm to have “fun” as a core value. Having “fun” investing on my behalf does not sound like a good time.
Most importantly, a company’s core values are a reflection of the company culture (or they should be if they aren’t already). Values set a foundation for employees and provide guidance when making any decision on behalf of the company – each decision should be rooted in the company’s values. So it is important that these values reflect the company and don’t try to portray an incorrect image. Staying true to your roots is sometimes more important than adapting and a lot of people will appreciate your consistency.