The chicken, the egg, the carrot or the stick?

What came first? The successful company that rewarded staff with a fun outdoor activity day … or the company that became successful because it made an effort to have fun with staff? Well, the jury is still out on that one!

But, maybe we can shed a little light on this chicken and egg scenario. There has been a lot of research done into the relationship between motivation and reward in the workplace – the carrot and the stick. It shows that when bosses relax a little and build a fun working environment there is a huge rise in the level of employee trust, creativity and communication – staff turn-over drops radically, staff are happier and profits increase.

It comes as no surprise that there is a correlation between fun and success. Businesses that form social committees, dress down days, wine tastings and BBQs know it. The key word though is ‘trust’. If companies increase the opportunities to have fun and for staff to engage with their colleagues and enjoy themselves then this is a sign of a robust company culture that employees are happy to commit to. They trust the company with their time and commitment. They trust the company to look after their future.

At PEA in Denmark, Sweden and Guernsey we work hard for our clients but we have a good time while we’re doing it. And sometimes we really push the boat out, or as on a recent occasion, kayaks. With a little help from Outdoor Guernsey, we spent a glorious afternoon exploring the rocks, gulleys and caves of our island’s wonderful south coast. The cliffs have a history of smuggling and privateering and there are spectacular beaches and hundreds of inlets. We had a great day paddling around, a few wet feet, lots of laughs and an excellent team bonding session. Highly recommended!

James Orrick holds a Masters in Corporate Governance from Bournemouth University, a BSc (Hons) in Accounting and Finance from the University of Essex, is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators.

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