Building better connections through PLAY.

It’s Not Magic: Tips to Get EVERYONE Playing at your next company event!

Posted by Natalie Simmons on May 1, 2019 9:15:00 AM

The experts have spoken: Play is more than just fun and games. But as HR professionals and people leaders, how can we be strategic in using play to engage your coworkers? How can we design experiences that make employees excited to raise their hand and jump in the game?

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Topics: Office Culture, Play, Team Building, Event Planning, Play at Work, Corporate Event Planning, Company Retreats, Ideas, Employee Engagement, Fun at Work, Connection, Culture, Employee Experience, Company Culture, Tips, Human Resources, diversity and inclusion, company events, Employee Appreciation, Fun, Play Personalities, Stuart Brown

Leaders In Play: Meet Amanda Delaney, Blend's EX Extraordinaire

Posted by Angel Torres on Mar 15, 2019 9:02:56 AM

Welcome to Leaders In Play! We interview people who take having FUN at work very seriously. We know, it seems like a crazy concept, but incorporating Play At Work has been proven to improve employee engagement, creativity, recruitment, retention, and provide countless other benefits that help create healthy company culture. Read on to learn more about our featured leader and their definition of Play, both in and out of the workplace.

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Topics: Office Culture, Event Planning, Play at Work, Work Culture, Connection, Culture, Employee Experience, Company, Company Culture, Leadership, Human Resources, company events, Employee Recognition, Games, Interview, Leaders In Play

Leaders In Play: Meet Jon Yousefzadeh, Our Favorite Person In People Ops

Posted by Angel Torres on Mar 1, 2019 1:34:38 PM

Welcome to Leaders In Play! We interview people who take having FUN at work very seriously. We know, it seems like a crazy concept, but incorporating Play At Work has been proven to improve employee engagement, creativity, recruitment, retention, and provide countless other benefits that help create healthy company culture. Read on to learn more about our featured leader and their definition of Play, both in and out of the workplace.

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Topics: Office Culture, Play, Play at Work, Gratitude, Culture, NYC, Company Culture, Core Values, Human Resources, Employee Recognition, Interview, Leaders In Play, Employee Appreciation, Employee Appreciation Day

Spread love, it's the culture way: How to playfully express gratitude in the office

Posted by Samantha Roblin on Feb 13, 2019 3:20:35 PM

As a kid, did you buy those pharmacy-branded Valentine’s Day Cards with cheesy sayings like “Just speeding by with Valentine 'Hi'”?

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Topics: Office Culture, Team Building, Holiday, Gratitude, Connection, Culture, Employee Experience, Company, Company Culture, Core Values, Tips, Human Resources, Games, Valentine's Day, Love

It's award season: Time to recognize star employees in your office

Posted by Angel Torres on Feb 12, 2019 9:00:00 AM

It’s that time of the year when renowned artists and entertainment industry titans come together to recognize the best of the best—it’s award season. The Grammys came and went, and the Academy Awards are around the corner, but award ceremonies don’t have to be limited to Hollywood. 

What if your office had its own fun way to recognize the stars who made significant contributions to the company’s success all year?

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Topics: Office Culture, Employee Engagement, Work Culture, Gratitude, Culture, Company, Company Culture, Core Values, Human Resources, Empowerment, Employee Recognition, Awards

Five Tips to Keep Office Morale High During Summer

Posted by Rob Herzog on Jul 10, 2017 9:53:00 AM

Summertime and the livin’ is easy, though just because the sun is blazing and the rooftop frosé is singing a Siren’s song, it doesn’t mean the work stops.

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Topics: Play, Summer, Company Culture, Tips, Human Resources

10 Tips to Infuse Play into your Company Culture

Posted by Kelaine Conochan on Jun 25, 2017 3:51:00 PM

Think about the last time you experienced play — maybe it was a game of beach volleyball on your spring vacation, or a round of trivia at the bar last weekend, or maybe it was as simple as that “Would You Rather” question you posed to your friend on your subway ride.

Now think about the people surrounding you during that moment. Think about the laughs you traded, the high fives you shared, and the stories you now have to tell.

Imagine if you could bring this playfulness to the workplace to connect with your coworkers and be part of a community where people cared about each other and knew each other in a “real friends” type of way. Work, and life, would be a whole lot better, don’t you think?

Use these tips to incorporate play into your company culture to feel connected to your colleagues, part of a community, and so you can play in and outside of the office:

1) Playful meetings. Are there ways you can add play to recurring meetings? Whether it’s an all hands, a weekly 1:1 or a team meeting, think about ice breakers, riddles, or fun rituals you can add to spice them up. For inspiration, LivePerson uses a technique called “connection before content”. The leader of the meeting poses a question at the start of a meeting designed to get people out of their comfort zones.

2) Three questions. At ZogSports, every employee answers the following three questions and sits down the with CEO to share their responses:

1) What’s your dream?

2) What do you want to learn/develop in the next year?

3) What are the top 10 personal things you want to do in your free time?

By allowing space for these conversations in the office, people are free to share their dreams, ambitions, and what they do for fun. Work and life blend, and people are supported in reaching their personal and professional goals.

3) Birthday ritual. Whether we like it or not, birthdays are a constant and happen regardless of what else is happening in the world. See this as an opportunity to celebrate, and set one day per month to acknowledge all the birthdays from the last 30 days. Pro tip: Ask each person celebrating their birthday to choose their favorite birthday treat.

4) Games in office. While perks certainly do not make a great culture, bringing games such as foosball, ping pong or even playing cards gets people up and away from their desks.

It’s not the games that create the playful culture, it’s the way people show up to the games that creates connection and community.

5) Healthy competition. Who doesn’t love setting and reaching a team goal? While this is often a tactic used on sales teams, think about other areas of the business where you can start a challenge and create friendly competition. At ZogSports, we have a gym challenge where employees set gym goals and hold each other accountable to meeting their goals.

6) Moving meetings. Taking walking meetings and/or having standing desks is a great way for people to get up and out of their normal routines. According to a research article published in Harvard Business Review, walking meeting increase creative thinking. Get moving!

7) Music. Music is scientifically proven to change your mood (even sad music can boost your happiness!), so play it in the office when the time is right and you’re looking to shift the energy. You may be surprised how 90’s rock helps people transition from lonely heads down work to fun collaboration.

8) Leaders lead. Ask your leaders to lead by example by being vulnerable, trusting, and smiling. Research shows that smiling is in fact contagious, so encourage your leaders to embody these positive traits of leadership so it spreads throughout the organization.

9) Summer outing. Plan a summer outing to give people the chance to connect out of the office. Baseball games, summer picnics, or happy hours are a great way to bring the fun outside and enable connections, community and play.

10) Start a fun committee. We’ve noticed the companies with greatest “play cultures” have teams dedicated to bringing fun to their office. This may (or may not) be their full time responsibility, though empowering your employees to take the lead on bringing in play allows them feel ownership and greater connection to the play experience.

How do you incorporate play into your company culture?

ZogSports is America’s most popular social sports community, with over 100,000 players forming millions of new connections every year. In 2014, ZogSports realized the need to bring connection, community and play to workplaces, and launched the ZogSports Culture Business.

The ZogSports Culture Business supports organizations by increasing morale and collaboration, and enhances the employee experience by creating connections and camaraderie. We offer Field Days and Company events, In-Office Programming, and Private Tournaments. Learn more at www.ZogSports.com/Corporate-Events.aspx or email Danny@ZogSports.com to inquire about bringing Zog to your company.

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Topics: Play, Summer, Company Culture, Tips, Human Resources

About the Zog Blog

Want to make your workplace more fun AND more productive? Follow along as we share great ideas, tips, and best practices to help build better employee relationships by infusing PLAY into your workplace.

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