Doing Something Your Employees Enjoy Restores Energy and Motivates Productivity

There are few feelings that parallel doing something you truly enjoy or love. What is your favorite hobby? Painting, playing hockey, gardening, making it to the weeknight golf outing, waltzing across the floor in dance class, walking your dog, reading, strumming your guitar? Doing something you love periodically is like a superfood because it replenishes your energy, and everyone can benefit from more energy.

A study shows that when you  – and your employees – create time to do something that interests you each week, you restore your vim and vigor more than just relaxing.

First, you are doing something you like, so the odds are good you will feel good afterward. You are also forming what is called an approach goal that allows you to look forward to something you know you will enjoy. An approach goal is easier to accomplish and feel good about rather than an avoidance goal, such as avoiding email on the weekend. Finally, when it’s a new activity or one you don’t do often, the experience challenges you in invigorating ways, which can restock your energy warehouse.

When you and your employees have more energy, it becomes easier to focus. Other experts who compare flow hobbies (requiring full attention and engagement) to meditation show the two activities have similar benefits. These include uni-tasking, relieving stress and boosting creativity.

Support Your Employees and What They Love

You can encourage your employees to create a hobby or make time for activities and experiences they enjoy in a few different ways.

Find out what your employees love to do. Do a short online survey. It can include as few as one prompt: “List two activities you enjoy in your spare time.” The feedback can help you pinpoint themes among the responses for event ideas.

Offer those activities in the workplace. Can you localize a resource for any of these activities in your workplace? If a strong percentage of your folks enjoy yoga, connect with a nearby studio to see if they can offer an on-site class each week.

Or a nearby location works, too. If your office doesn’t quite fit the build (You can’t exactly offer office space for pickup volleyball or ultimate Frisbee), talk to local businesses and see if they might cut your employees a deal. If you know enough of your team would be interested, a 10-percent discount can go a long way in encouraging others to join. Plus, it’s a nice way to say “we care about you and your health.”

Reminders are helpful. Encourage your employees to make time for things they love with reminder communications, such as an occasional email or flier about the overall life benefits of doing something you love. Or call on different employees to share. Create a “hobbies” board and have employees write or post what activities they enjoy. You could offer an incentive for posting, too. At the very least, it gets your employees thinking about it.

Offer bonus vacation days. You can always offer the sweet prize of extra time off to enjoy the activities your team loves. We all know the power of vacations.