At a first glance, there’s nothing that could link the two, since one implies work and the other games. But what if the work environment isn’t narrowed by austere business structures or a closed culture? Could the work processes borrow playtime elements? I believe so, and there’s no better mission for an Enterprise 2.0 solution.
The aim is to apply leisure features to professional activities without affecting the latter. And that’s not that challenging as it might look like: by making them work in favor of and not against employees efficiency.
So what are some of the aspects that we can observe in a playground and that could be integrated into a business background as an employee engagement motor? It’s enough to watch the kids and make the following connections:
Having initiative. Did you notice how naturally it comes for kids to make contact with other children they don’t know? Sure, they might have seen them around, but they have never played together before. Until one of them says hi and invites the other to share an activity. This type of actions are not usually stimulated in a workplace, though it can help with building unity.
Discovering new games as you go. As many children in the playground, as many types of games or different rules to the ones they already know. And they never refuse to add some new challenges to their play routine. They are open to having new occupations and they enjoy it as a new adventure. And this is a large positive impact for the whole playground community as their games become more complex and fun.
Testing time. In the playground you are always a beginner as every day and every surrounding object is a potential lesson. Not standing too close to the swing, not throwing rocks at each other, not running too fast, not saying bad words to other kids and other playground rules hide a learned lesson. Some actions will give you a boo-boo, some will push away the other children and once they understand something is wrong to do, they will stop exercising it. Fortunately, not only personal experiences teach you that, but also watching the other kids acts.
Choosing to promote a knowledge sharing solutions can make all of the above situations become applicable to any business. People that are not very good at socializing will find an easier way of connecting (through expertise), employees’ information accumulation will increase (as well as their efficiency) and the risk of making an error will diminish.
Happy Knowledge Sharing!