How workplace fun influences employees’ performance: The role of person–organization value congruence
Jie Tang (Fujian Normal University), Min-Shi Liu (Soochow University), Wen-Bin Liu (University of Electronic Science and Technology of China), 2017, 45(11), 1787–1802

This recent article, in which the authors investigated how workplace fun motivates employees and improves their performance, sparked for me a memory of a time in the early 90s when I worked in a large educational organization, subject to the changes in funding, management, and curriculum that haunted many such places at that time. Among the 500+ employees, there were, naturally, a number of cynics. The goals to which we were to aspire in our work were clearly spelled out and alongside these were social activities designed to entertain staff. The measure for such goals was that 90% of employees will enjoy themselves. What a shame for the other 10%! This, in itself, amused the cynics; perhaps that was fun enough for them. 

Back to the research article: Person–organization value congruence was found to moderate the relationship between workplace fun and job performance. It is easy to identify with this finding. The more an employee values the organization, the easier it is for them to enjoy working there. In addition, the authors found that “fun activities could only positively affect task performance and OCB when employees genuinely experience fun” (p. 1799).  Providing entertainment to suit all in a large organization could be a challenging task.

Questions arise. Whose responsibility is it to make sure we enjoy work? Do we expect work to give us fulfillment in life or do we go beyond work for emotional, physical, and social nourishment? When is there time for fun at work? I believe that the nature of our work is a crucial factor in determining the pleasure we get from it. Further, relationships at work are significant in providing fun and support. In sum, there is a multitude of questions with many possible answers but perhaps paramount is the question, “Why do we work?” 


Lesley Aitken | Copyeditor
Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal