Should Work Be Fun? Really? #TChat Preview

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(Editor’s Note: Looking for a complete recap of this week’s events and resources? Read the #TChat Recap: Fun Times! Work, Games and Culture.)

Work and fun — do they fit together? Or should we save good times for vacation and weekends?

Traditionalists might say that work is serious business. However, one of the most creative and productive minds of the Industrial Age seemed to think otherwise:

“I never did a day’s work in my life; it was all fun.”
-Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison
Learn more about Thomas Edison

It’s impossible not to admire Edison’s enthusiasm. But these days, with global employee engagement stubbornly stuck at 30% or less, companies everywhere are looking for ways to inject more of that spirit into their organizational cultures.

That’s why the principles of gaming are gaining appeal as a way to improve workforce commitment, development and performance.

But how can we create environments where work is naturally more engaging and enjoyable, without losing sight of business objectives?

That’s the topic we’ll explore this week at #TChat Events, with two innovators in workplace culture development:

•  Dan Benoni, Co-Founder & Product Director at Officevibe, a social employee engagement platform
•  Mario Coculuzzi, Eastern Canada Regional Director at Microsoft.

Dan and I spoke briefly in a G+ Hangout, where he suggested that successful approaches don’t focus on the work, itself, but instead focus on three essential human factors:

Also to help us prepare for the discussion, TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro, wrote a related article at Read “5 Fresh Trends to Fuse Fun and Work.”

This topic promises to be great fun — and helpful, too. So please plan to join us this week to share your ideas and opinions about why and how game-oriented tools and techniques make sense in the world of work.

#TChat Events: Should Work Be Fun, Really?

Listen to the #TChat Radio show

#TChat Radio — Wed, Oct 23 — 6:30 pmET / 3:30 pmPT

Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talk with Dan Benoni and Mario Coculuzzi about why and how “fun” can be an effective way to improve employee energy, drive and focus. Follow the action LIVE online this Tuesday afternoon!

#TChat Twitter — Wed, Oct 23 7pmET / 4pmPT

Immediately following the radio show, we’ll move this discussion to the #TChat Twitter stream for an open chat with the entire TalentCulture community. Everyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we address these questions:

Q1: How often do you see healthy company cultures? Examples?
Q2: Why is engagement key to creating/maintaining a vibrant culture?
Q3: Can “fun” team challenges and other activities really help?
Q4: How can leaders improve employee well-being and retention?
Q5: How can HR drive adoption of recognition and engagement platforms?

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed and on our LinkedIn Discussion Group. So please join us share your questions, ideas and opinions.

We’ll see you on the stream!

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Tim McDonald

Tim McDonald

Tim is the community manager at HuffPost Live, the live streaming video network of The HuffIngtonPost, where he grows a vested community of on-air guests and commenters.As founder of My Community Manager, Tim provides a community for community managers. His weekly hangouts (#cmgrhangout) and conferences (#cmgrUN) bring together community managers both online and in person.


  1. If it doesn’t come naturally it might not be the best thing to try and force it. There’s a lot of talk in elearning about gamification, but sometimes I think you just need to get the job done and trying to sprinkle sugar on the top, or sweeten something in another way, can make things worse. That’s why I wrote a short blog asking is elearning should be like going to the dentist

    1. Valid point. Forcing anything will not get you what you want and certainly won’t help drive up employee engagement. Finding areas where you are helping solve a problem for the employee or are improving something they are already doing, is where you you can gain adoption. Gamification or not.

    2. Most definitely Andy. I like to use the cupcake analogy for that one. No matter the amount of icing (gamification), if the original muffin is made out of dirt, the resulting cupcake will still be disgusting.

      Related that that: here’s a deck about the gamification of engagement and culture I presented earlier this year to a class of graduate students in Cambridge, let me know what you think:

      (it’s also available from:


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